Colon cancer (also known as colorectal cancer) is a cancer that affects the large intestine and the rectum. It is the top three commonest cancer worldwide with over 1.8 million cases diagnosed in the year 2018. In Singapore, it is the most common cancer for male patients with over 1200 deaths a year. Colon cancer screening is now recommended worldwide in view of increasing disease burden and potential for successful treatment with early detection.
Early cancer may be totally asymptomatic. As the disease progresses, it may lead to symptoms such as:
• Abdominal pain
• Change in bowel habit (change in number of stool movements, texture and size)
• Blood in stools
• Weight loss
• Loss of appetite
The risk of colon cancer increases as a person gets older (especially after 50 years old). Family history of colon cancer (genetic), history of colon polyps, inflammatory bowel disease and lifestyle (cigarette smoking, obesity, a diet high in fat and red/processed meat, sedentary lifestyle) are other known risk factors for the development of colon cancer.
Most colorectal cancers develop from precancerous polyps (growth in the lining of the colon). Hence, colon cancer screening is recommended to detect precancerous polyps leading to cancer prevention and/or early cancer diagnosis and treatment.
There are several tests available for colorectal cancer screening:
• Colonoscopy screening
• CT colonography
• Stool for occult blood
Each of this test differs in terms of performance characteristics, cost and ultimately suitability for patients. It is therefore important to speak to your healthcare provider so that you can discuss and decide on the test that suits your profile the best.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, our clinic services are being streamlined to enable us to provide our usual services with effective social distancing measures. In addition to normal clinic consultation, we also offer telemedicine service for patients. Please contact or e-mail us at +65-62356136, +65-6288360 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.