In Singapore, colorectal cancer (also known as colon cancer) continues to be the most common cancer affecting men. It is the second most common for women after breast cancer. It has been overall the most common cancer in Singapore over the last 10 years. It is a cancer that may be prevented or treated if discovered early.
“Most types of colorectal cancer arise from polyps which start out as benign or non-cancerous growths from the cells lining the inside of the colon or rectum. The change from being benign to becoming cancerous may take years but once a polyp becomes cancerous, it can grow and invade surrounding organs,” says Associate Professor Tang Choong Leong, Head and Senior Consultant from the Department of Colorectal Surgery, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.
Colorectal cancer symptoms
Most cases of early colon cancer hardly present any symptoms. Even during advanced stages, colon cancer can have seemingly benign symptoms:
- Change in bowel