I had a colonoscopy today and a large partially obstructive polyp removed. The surgeon said that had it been left, it would have become cancerous.

— Irene, Accuro member

Bowel Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in New Zealand and although it is more common over the age of 50, around 300 people under this age bracket are diagnosed each year. In fact, one in six kiwis are affected by bowel cancer and 1,200 of us die every year (as many as breast cancer and prostate cancer combined). It is also called colon, rectal or colorectal cancer.

Bowel Cancer Symptoms

Obvious symptoms of bowel cancer might not appear until quite late. People who are diagnosed with bowel cancer and receive treatment when it is at an early stage, have a 90 percent chance of long-term survival so it’s important to stay aware of your bowel health.

Symptoms of bowel cancer may include:

  • Bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding)
  • Change of bowel motions/habits that come and go over several weeks
  • Anaemia
  • Severe persistent or periodic abdominal pain
  • A lump or mass in the abdomen
  • Tiredness and loss of weight for no obvious reason

If you have any of these symptoms, or you are concerned about your bowel health, see your GP right away.

Bowel Screening Kits

Even if you don’t have symptoms, you could still have an innocent growth called a polyp that could quickly develop into bowel cancer. Most of us don’t enjoy the thought of taking a ‘poo’ test but it’s quick and easy to do with the home bowel testing kits and it could save your life.

New Zealanders over the age of 60 are eligible to participate in the free Bowel Screening Aotearoa programme.

Accuro Member Offer

Accuro members receive a free bowel screening kit for every three years of continuous cover.

Who is eligible?

Accuro members with a hospital and surgical plan are eligible for a free bowel testing kit after three years of continuous cover.*

If you are not yet eligible for a free bowel testing kit, you can purchase one directly from Accuro.

How do I access my free bowel screening kit?

If you believe that you are eligible for a kit, or you would like to purchase one, please email us at membership@accuro.co.nz to arrange delivery.

Irene's Story

Irene, an Accuro member from Auckland, took up our offer of a free bowel testing kit despite having no symptoms or issues to indicate that anything needed looking into. She was therefore surprised to receive a positive test result. Irene undertook further medical investigation procedures, covered by Accuro, and was shocked to discover that she had a large mass growing in her rectum. Without this initiative, Irene would not have known about this mass until it was potentially too late.

"I would like to say thank you to Accuro for your initiative of the bowel testing kits. I returned a positive result for blood present in the test. Because I have medical insurance with you, I didn’t have to worry about waiting to have an investigation done. I had a colonoscopy today and a large partially obstructive polyp removed. The surgeon said that had it been left, it would have become cancerous. I feel very lucky to have Accuro as my insurer, so again thank you." - Irene


A Bowel Screening Kit does not provide a diagnosis and is not a substitute for visits to a healthcare professional. If you have a personal or family history of bowel cancer or bowel polyps, please see your doctor for advice on screening. This service is not intended for use on children.

Further Resources

*Hospital and Surgical plans are by default on the following Accuro products: SmartCare, SmartCare+, StaffCare, StaffCare+, KidSmart, SmartStay, Major Medical Plan, Real Value Plan. For full terms and conditions, please refer to your policy document.