Did you know that colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers that affects people in Singapore?
While it has been more than a month since Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, the need to raise awareness about this disease and encourage our community to get screened remains as important as ever.
Over at G&L Surgical Clinic, our team has been actively promoting colorectal cancer screening and awareness for the past seven years. Dr. Ganesh Ramalingam, a specialist in colonoscopy and treating colorectal cancer through surgery, has been championing early detection through regular screenings to lower colorectal cancer cases in Singapore.
“From the colorectal cancer cases I’ve treated, most of them do not experience clear signs or symptoms of cancer, which is what makes this a disease that often remains undetected. Early and regular screenings have been key to successful treatment and recovery, so we urge everyone to get screened regularly, especially if you have a family history or other risk factors.”
– Dr Ganesh Ramalingam, General Surgeon at G&L Surgical
Colorectal cancer remains the most common cancer in Singapore, affecting both men and women. In fact, it is the highest cancer in men and the second highest in women in Singapore.
According to the Singapore Cancer Registry, there were more than 11,000 cases of colorectal cancer recorded in 2018 alone.
While men are more likely to get colorectal cancer than women, the risk increases as people age, with most cases occurring in people over 50. However, it is important to note that anyone can develop colorectal cancer, regardless of age or gender, especially when cancer cases have been observed to be on the rise amongst younger adults.
Most cases of colorectal cancers start from a polyp (small growths) that forms in the lining of the colon or rectum. They are usually benign, but some polyps can become cancerous over time. This is why colorectal cancer is highly preventable if we adopt a proactive approach. If polyps are detected early, they can be removed during a colonoscopy to prevent cancer.
While the outlook of colorectal cancer patients may look dire, there are also stories which give us hope.
For 60-year-old Mr Eilil Mathiyan, a double cancer survivor, his story was filled with determination and inspiration.
“By sharing my story, I want to give other ostomates the hope and confidence to live life to the fullest and not to consider themselves handicapped. Life is good!”
Despite being a double cancer survivor, Mr Mathiyan maintains a positive and outgoing spirit. He is committed to giving back to the cancer community and has been recognised for his efforts. In 2018, he received the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS).
Similarly, Mr Prabu, who was unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage 3A colorectal cancer from his Faecal Immunochemical Test Kit, made his journey to recovery possible with a supportive community of people who shared similar experiences.
At G&L Surgical Clinic, we stay committed to raising awareness about colorectal cancer and encouraging both men and women to get screened regularly. We believe that early detection is key to successful treatment and recovery.
If you are still wondering who should go for yearly screenings, here is a simple recommendation guide:
Speak to our doctor about your risk factors and when to start getting screened. Alternatively, if you are concerned about your risk of colorectal cancer or if you would like to schedule a screening appointment, please contact us at G&L Surgical Clinic.