Colorectal Cancer Screening

By PCR Blood Test

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Colorectal cancer disease overview
Am I at Risk?

Screening in Singapore

Colorectal Cancer
Disease Overview

colon and rectum

Colorectal cancer ("CRC" in short) affects any part of the colon (large intestine) or the rectum (last part of the large intestine).

 

Cancer is a disease where cells grow abnormally with the potential to spread to and invade other parts of the body. The early stages of cancer usually present little to no symptoms; progressively, spread of the cancer cells lead to complications. Learn more

 
 

Am I at Risk? 

The following factors contribute to increased CRC risk:

  1. A physically inactive lifestyle

  2. Obesity and overweight

  3. Diets high in red meats and processed meats

  4. Smoking and alcohol abuse

There are, unfortunately, other contributing factors that are out of our control, such as: 

  1. Having type 2 diabetes

  2. Ageing (CRC is more common past 50 years of age)

  3. Personal history of colorectal polyps (adenomas) or cancer

  4. Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease

  5. Family history of CRC or colorectal polyps

  6. Having one of various inherited syndromes (rare)

Learn more (USA CDC)

Estimating Your Risk

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Information extracted from the Singapore Health Promotion Board

Note: First degree relatives include: Parents and siblings. Second-degree relatives include: Aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

Colorectal Cancer (CRC)
in Singapore

HPB National Registry of Diseases Office

Cancer Statistics 2015-2019

*5-year age-standardised relative survival rate

Screening is key

Screening means examining individuals without symptoms in order to detect disease early or identify individuals with an increased risk of disease. 

Data shows a marked increase in life expectancy and quality of life when CRC is detected early

 

Screening Guidelines

The Health Promotion Board recommends colonoscopy screening every 5 to 10 years for average-risk individuals over 50 years old. Frequency of colonoscopy screening should increase with risk of CRC.

 

Screening alternatives include annual FOBTs (faecal occult blood tests) and FITs (faecal immunochemical tests).

Alternative Screening by PCR

Image source: Epigenomics AG

Screening by PCR blood test overcomes the challenges of colonoscopy and FOBT. 

Colonoscopy has a low compliance rate due to its invasiveness, dietary restriction requirements, and troublesome bowel preparation. The FOBT/FIT is an inexpensive and non-invasive test, but it suffers from low test sensitivity for advanced adenomas or stage I CRC detection. 

Acumen Diagnostics offers the Epi proColon® 2.0 CE clinical test as a colorectal cancer screening service. This test is approved by both the US FDA and Singapore's HSA (Health Sciences Authority).