Nutritional Immunology

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer is a collective term encompassing cancer of the colon and rectum. The first is cancer of the large intestine, which is the lower part of the digestive system. The second is cancer of the last 15cm of the colon. It is the top killer cancer in Singapore, affecting more than 1,000 cases each year. Worse of all, the number of people afflicted every year is on the rise.

Warning signs:

  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • A change in bowel habit
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort such as cramps, gas or pain
  • Incomplete emptying of the bowel
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness or fatigue

Who are at risk?

  • Common amongst those age above 50
  • Family history of colon cancer
  • Previous history of colon polyps
  • Persons with inflammatory bowel disease
  • A Diet low in fibre and high in fat and calories
  • Sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, obesity and smoking

What can you do?

  • Maintain a diet high in fruits, vegetables and grains
  • Exercise regularly
  • ┬áDrink enough water
  • Undergo stool blood test (Faecal Occult Blood Test)
  • Undergo colonoscopy screening every 10 years (age 50 years and above)

Source of information: National University Cancer Institute, Singapore

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