Weighing Your Options for Colon Cancer Screening in Singapore
Colorectal cancer is the number one cancer affecting Singaporeans. Colon cancer screening in Singapore has been recommended even for people who think they do not have any risk of developing colorectal cancer.
To know which colon cancer screening method is most suitable to your condition, consult with an oncologist before deciding on a screening procedure.
Colon Cancer Screening In Singapore: Who Should Be Screened?
According to the Singapore Cancer Society, colon cancer screening in Singapore men and women should begin at age 50 for those without symptoms.
If you are 50 years old and have not had colon cancer screening in Singapore in the past year, you are encouraged to collect a free Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kit from the Singapore Cancer Society.
FIT examines your stool for the presence of blood which may not be readily visible. Blood in your stool may indicate a variety of conditions, including the presence of enlarged polyps in your colon. If your FIT result shows you are positive for having blood in your stool, your doctor may further recommend colonoscopy (please see below).
Which Colon Cancer Screening Method Is Best For Me?
Different screening methods are recommended depending on people’s risk factors. To know which method is best for you, please consult with your doctor before taking any test.
Colonoscopy is an available method of colon cancer screening in Singapore. It allows your doctor to look inside the walls of your large intestine and determine the presence of polyps, bleeding, inflammation, tumors and ulcers.
If the doctor finds polyps in your colon, he or she would usually recommend to have this removed. Polyps in your colon may develop into cancer later on.
Similar to a colonoscopy, this method of colon cancer screening in Singapore examines the lower part of your colon, but does not allow the doctor to see the entire colon.
Double contrast barium enema
In this procedure, X-rays of the rectum are taken after you have been given liquid containing barium. Barium helps outline the colon and rectum on an X-ray and helps show abnormalities.
CT colonography or virtual colonoscopy
In this procedure, a CT scan produces detailed images of your colon and rectum.
Does Colon Cancer Screening Hurt?
This is one of the most common questions of patients who are deciding to undergo colon cancer screening. They fear that they will not be sedated enough and will feel the pain of the procedure.
In reality, patients undergoing colon cancer screening in Singapore are either in total sedation or at twilight sleep throughout the procedure, and many wake up not remembering anything at all about their exam.
If you have been advised to undergo colon cancer screening, particularly, a colonoscopy, rest assured – you will only feel mild pain or discomfort and will be able to resume with your usual activities after the procedure.
What Can I Do To Lower My Risk Of Developing Colorectal Cancer?
There are many things you can do to help lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Include colon cancer screening into your annual health check as soon as you’ve reached the age of 50, or sooner if you have risks.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Fight stress and obesity.
- Avoid smoking.
- Exercise regularly.
Remember, colon cancer screening is one of the best ways to detect polyps in your colon before these become cancer and can save your life.
Contact The Harley Street Heart & Cancer Centre to set an appointment for colon cancer screening today.=