Colorectal Cancer

Patient Information

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer occurs when malignant tumours develop in the large intestine (colon). The large intestine is the last part of the digestive tract responsible for absorbing water from solid food waste and forming stool.


Colon cancer is known for being asymptomatic in its early stages, with symptoms becoming noticeable in the more advanced stages:

  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Recurring abdominal pain and cramps
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Changes or irregularities in stool
  • Persistent feeling of incomplete or unfinished bowel movement
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue or weakness

Risk Factors

Here are some factors that increase one’s risk of developing colon cancer:

  • Age – Majority of patients diagnosed with colon cancer are older than 50.
  • Genetics – A family history of colon cancer increases one’s risk of developing it as well.
  • Personal History – Those who have been diagnosed with colon cancer or polyps before are at risk of developing the cancer again in the future.
  • Having inflammatory intestinal conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Having a low-fibre, high-fat and high-calorie diet
  • Being obese
  • Excessive smoking and drinking


Early detection is the most important key to preventing colon cancer. Colon cancer screening is best done through a colonoscopy, in which long, thin tube attached to a light and camera is inserted through the anus and through the colon to check for abnormalities such as polyps.

A colonoscopy should be performed every 10 years once a person reaches 50 for lower-risk individuals; and earlier and more frequently for higher-risk individuals as advised by the colorectal surgeon.

What is Rectal Cancer?

Rectal cancer occurs when cancer cells develop in the rectum. The rectum is the last part of the large bowel that connects the colon to the anus.

Colon and rectum cancers are collectively known as colorectal cancer in Singapore, given that both organs’ structure and functions can be affected regardless from which organ the cancer first originated.

Symptoms, Risks & Prevention

Like colon cancer, rectal cancer has no obvious symptoms in its early stages, but will manifest similar symptoms as it progresses into the advanced stages. Its risk factors are also similar to that of colon cancer. In terms of prevention, apart from undergoing routine colorectal cancer screening, certain lifestyle and dietary changes can reduce one’s risk, such as:

  • Consuming more fibre-rich food, fruits and vegetables
  • Reducing consumption of red meat and fatty food
  • Engaging in physical activities or exercise regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol intake
Read More About Colorectal Cancer:
Because no symptom is ever too lateEarly detection helps saves lives

For more information, call our colon surgeon at (+65) 6737 2778

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Our care team will be here for you before, during, and after your procedure.We strive to provide the highest quality of surgical care to our patients in a caring, compassionate, and respectful manner to ensure your healthy recovery.

Ho Kok Sun ColorectalColorectal Surgeon

3 Mount Elizabeth, Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre#04-08, Singapore 228510

Operating Hours:

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Sat : 9am - 1pm
Closed : Sunday, Public Holiday