People with no symptoms or family history should screen at 50 for early detection, says Dr Ho. If screening for
prevention, they should start at 40 to check for
Colonoscopy is currently the most accurate test for examining the colon, and also allows polyps to be removed. If the
results are normal, patients are advised to go for stool occult blood testing every year, and a repeat colonoscopy
every 10 years.
If cancer is present, the only sure treatment is surgery. Laparoscopic or keyhole surgery is becoming the preferred
option if a tumour is not too large, as it minimises pain after surgery and leads to faster recovery. Robotic
colorectal surgery is also gaining recognition as an advancement in keyhole surgery, and may be widely deployed in the
Additionally, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are applied to curb the risk of recurrence, or to control the disease
if it is advanced and incurable.
Despite numerous studies on diet and its
link to colorectal cancer
, there is no consistent evidence of a link. There
is also no evidence that constipation and toxin buildup can predispose someone to colorectal cancer. Colon cleansing
to remove ‘toxins’ will not reduce cancer risk.
States Dr Ho: “The only scientific evidence so far is that anyone who has
had a colonoscopy
can greatly lessen the
possibility of death from colorectal cancer. Any polyps found are removed, so they can’t develop into colorectal