Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in Singapore with both men and women at equal risk. Most colorectal cancers are found in people aged 50 and above. People with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or those with inflammatory bowel disease, are more likely to develop this cancer. Low fibre intake, a high fat diet, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity are linked to a higher risk of having colorectal cancer.
Screening can prevent cancer through the detection and removal of pre-cancerous growths such as polyps as well as detect cancer at an early stage, when treatment is more successful. As a result, screening reduces colorectal cancer deaths by both decreasing the number of new colorectal cancer cases and by increasing the likelihood of survival. It is recommended that everyone aged 50 and above who at average risk of getting colorectal cancer undergo one of the screening tests below:
|Test||Benefits||Limitations||Test Time Interval|
Faecal immunochemical test (FIT)
Detects microscopic blood in stool, a common sign of colorectal polyps and cancers
| || ||Annual|
Evaluates the inner lining of entire colon and rectum.
| || ||10 years|
Examines the inner lining of lower colon and rectum
| || ||5 years|
The recommended screening test depends on your individual risk factors. Please discuss colorectal cancer screening with your doctor if you are in one of the risk groups highlighted in the table below.
|Risk||Patient Description||Recommended Screening Test|
|Average|| || |
Any adult, regardless of age, with a:
Dr Chee Cheng Ean
SCS CCAM 2016 Chairperson
Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology
National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS)