The Prime Minister has listed an invitation to undergo bowel cancer screening as one of the most bizarre he has received in his role as Prime Minister - but he's giving it a go anyway, saying it is important to highlight the issue.

Mr Key revealed he would go through the bowel screening process when he was asked on the Breeze radio station about the strangest things he had been asked to do for the cameras - although he was quick to add that he did not think it would come with photos.

"I thought in the end I'm 52 and I'm a male, it is a good thing to do and the second thing I thought was it will help promote men's health awareness."

The invitation was from the Auckland DHB but it is not known what the screening will involve. One test that could be used on Mr Key is the double-contrast barium enema.


Labour MP Shane Jones was treated for bowel cancer in the early 2000s and said he applauded Mr Key for leading by example.