Colorectal Cancer is the cancer of the colon (large intestine) and the rectum (the passageway connecting the colon to the anus). Colorectal Cancer is Singapore's top killer, affecting more than 1,865 cases each year. Colorectal Cancer usually starts as a non-cancerous polyp (a growth of tissue) on the inner lining of the colon or rectum which may develop into cancer over time. This is why screening using colonoscopy is important as the polyp can be detected and removed before it becomes cancerous. Rectal cancers account for around 30% of the total number of colorectal cancers seen here. Screening for Colorectal Cancer saves lives.
Colorectal Cancer is often a silent disease, developing with no symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur they may include the following:
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.
The following are at risk of Colorectal Cancer:
The FIT test checks for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of Colorectal Cancer. The test comes in a simple kit and can easily be carried out in the comfort of your own home. Another advantage is that dietary restriction is not required in immunochemical testing. The FIT test needs to be done annually to be an effective screening test.
Depending on the stage of the colorectal cancer, there are various treatment options available. The main types of treatment that can be used for colorectal cancer include the following.