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Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer: What is it

The lowest portion of the digestive system is the large intestine. It is made up of the colon and rectum. Colorectal cancer is a cancer that develops from the cells of the large intestine and is currently the most common cancer in Singapore.

Risk Factors of Colorectal Cancer

  1. A family history of colonic polyps and colorectal cancer
  2. Personal history of bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis especially present for more than 8-10 years
  3. Personal history of bowel disease such as Crohn’s Disease
  4. Personal history of colonic polyps or colorectal cancer previously resected
  5. Lifestyle factors such as high-fat, low-fibre diet, smoking and drinking. These are associated with higher incidence of colorectal cancer.

Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

  1. A change in bowel habit – persistent diarrhoea or constipation, or alternating diarrhoea and constipation
  2. Blood or mucus in the stools
  3. Stools that are narrower than usual size
  4. Generalised abdominal discomfort – feeling of bloatedness, fullness and cramps
  5. Feeling of incomplete emptying of bowels
  6. A mass or lump felt in the abdomen
  7. Constant tiredness
  8. Severe or unexplained weight loss

These symptoms may be caused by a number of problems and may not indicate the presence of cancer, but if any of the above symptoms persists or is bothering you, do consult your doctor for advice.

Screening of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer screening is available at:

  • National Cancer Centre Singapore
  • Singapore General Hospital
  • SingHealth Polyclinics

Treatment of Colorectal Cancer

Treatment options for colorectal cancer include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Specialist Services

Specialist services are available at the following institutions:

  • National Cancer Centre Singapore
    Tel: 6436 8088
  • Singapore General Hospital
    Tel: 6321 4377