A Hawke's Bay doctor is donating a rather wacky prize to this year's Hawke's Bay Cancer Society auction - a colonoscopy procedure.

A colonoscopy is where a tube with a camera on the end is inserted into a person's anus to examine the bowel.

The procedure can evaluate abnormalities in the bowel and screen for bowel cancer, among many other things.

Dr Bernard McEntee and his anaesthetist, Ozman Ozturk, of Royston Hospital, approached the hospital, who thought it was a good idea.

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"I went to the Hawke's Bay Cancer Society's auction last year and I noticed that every year one of the urologists donated a vasectomy, so we thought we could donate a colonoscopy, as long as we can find an anaesthetist and as long as Royston Hospital agreed to waive their usual fee," Dr McEntee said.

Royston Hospital's general manager, Denise Primrose, said it is delighted to be partnering with its specialists to gift the unique contribution to the auction.

"Bowel cancer is the most prevalent cancer to affect our Hawke's Bay community," she said.
"We're hopeful by donating this bowel-screening colonoscopy it will assist the Cancer Society with their fundraising efforts to further raise awareness of this disease and promote means of early detection to reduce these statistics."

Dr McEntee said the colonoscopy is a valuable procedure and can detect a whole host of problems.

He said the bidder could be somebody who has symptoms or may know someone who has symptoms, or they might have a family history.

"Who knows, it'll be a bit embarrassing if it doesn't sell though," Dr McEntee said.

Whoever the successful bidder is will possibly be saving themselves precious time and money, however.

The procedure is free in the public system, but a person could be on a waiting list for a long time.

The cost of the procedure privately can vary from place to place, so it's hard to give an exact estimate, Dr McEntee said.

"But on average it would be a few thousand dollars for everything - the hospital costs, the surgical costs and the cost of having an anaesthetist.

"Just one procedure could identify a problem or identify pre-cancerous legions that could be removed at the time of the colonoscopy, then that person would go on to a surveillance program and have periodic colonoscopies if that was the case."

Cancer Society Hawke's Bay manager Trudy Kirk said the donation is very generous and she hopes it will create some competitive bids on the night.

"New Zealand has one of the highest incidences of bowel cancer in the world, so this donation and the reasons for it will cause some hilarity but everyone present will understand the sobering message behind it," Ms Kirk said.