Colorectal Cancer: The Most Common Cancer in Singapore

Colorectal Cancer in Singapore Cancer of the colon, also referred to as colon and rectum (large intestine) cancer, is the most common type of cancer among females and males in Singapore. It is estimated that around 9,324 individuals were diagnosed with this cancer type in Singapore between 2010 and 2014.

What Happens When You Have Colon and Rectum Cancer

Once food enters your colon, water will likewise be absorbed and bacteria will convert the residue from food into faeces or waste. Your rectum is a portion of your colon tasked to store waste prior to being expelled via your anus. Polyps, which are typically benign lumps, could form in your rectum and colon’s inner walls — these are quite common in individuals aged 50 and above. However, some polyp types could become malignant or cancerous and must be removed once detected.

A polyp is usually considered cancerous or malignant if it is bigger than 1 centimetre in diameter and if it doesn’t have a stalk (sessile polyp). Multiple polyps could likewise indicate cancer. According to Ncis.com.sg, during the early stage of colorectal cancer, the cancerous cells will only affect your colon. However, if they go undetected for a long time, it will also affect the colon’s lumen and invade using the wall or the colon and metastasise by:

  • Infecting neighbouring organs and intestines
  • Accessing your lymphatic system to infect adjacent lymph glands
  • Accessing your blood stream to infect your liver where more cancerous deposits could develop

While this cancer type typically doesn’t exhibit symptoms during its earlier stages, you must consult a physician as soon as possible if you notice you have bloody stools, a difference in your bowel habits, anaemia, abdominal discomfort or pain, and a lump in your abdomen.

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What to Do if You Suspect You Have Colon and Rectum Cancer

Regular cancer screenings are capable of efficiently detecting polyps or cancer of the colon and rectum. There are several testing methods but the most recommended is the FIT or Faecal Immunochemical Test. Usually, other tests may follow depending on the result of the FIT test. Plenty of patients who’ve had cancer of the colon and rectum live a generally normal and healthy lifespan. However, it is vital that you get tested early on so that if you’re diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you can begin treatment as early on as possible.