Colorectal cancer is the cancer of the colon (the main part of the large intestine) and the rectum (the passageway connecting the colon to the anus). It is the top killer in Singapore, affecting more than 1,700* cases each year.
Regular screening can often detect colorectal cancer early, when it is most likely to be curable. In many cases, screening can also prevent colorectal cancer as some polyps or growths can be removed before they have the chance to develop into cancer. There are several tests that examine the colon and rectum and are used to find and diagnose colorectal cancer.
You are at high risk if you have a family history of cancer or polyps. Even if you have no symptoms and are not considered high risk, national guidelines recommend that you go for annual screening from 50 years of age. If you are at high risk, a colonoscopy at a younger age and at more frequent intervals may be needed. Please consult your doctor for advice.
Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT): A test to check stool for blood that can only be seen with a microscope. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards and returned to the doctor or laboratory for testing. The FIT is a quick and convenient screening test to detect early stages of colorectal cancer. Those with positive FIT will go through colonoscopy to rule out cancer.
Colonoscopy: This procedure allows examination of the whole colon for cancer. A colonoscope (a thin, tube-like instrument) is inserted through the rectum into the colon.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: This procedure examines the rectum and the sigmoid (lower) colon for polyps, abnormal areas or cancer. A flexible, thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing is inserted through the rectum into the sigmoid colon.
For more information about Colorectal Cancer, click here.