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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many elective procedures being put on hold, and this has led to a substantial decline in cancer screening. Public hospitals have a long waiting list as of June 2022.

Who Should Get Screened For Colorectal Cancer

Screening should begin at age 50 years for individuals without any risk factors. In individuals with an increased risk, screening should begin earlier, before the age of 50, depending on the risk factors.

For Average Risk Individuals

Asymptomatic individuals. This means that you have no symptoms such as blood in stools, persistent abdominal discomforts, such as cramps, gas or pain, a persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhoea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool.

Family history is limited to non-first degree relatives. None of your first degree relatives has had any occurrence of colon cancer.

Screening Guidelines

For average risk, MOH guidelines state that you should get screened for colorectal cancer from 50 years and above, and every 5-10 years thereafter. Have you gotten a colonoscopy yet? Contact us to learn more about Medisave and Insurance claims that make it easier for you to get screened.

High Risk

Colorectal cancer in the first degree relative age 60 years or younger OR two or more first-degree relatives. If any of your first degree relatives have had colorectal cancer aged 60 years or younger, or you have TWO or more first-degree relatives who have had colorectal cancer, you are in the high-risk group.

What is a first-degree relative?

A first-degree relative is a family member who shares about half of your genetic information with you. First-degree relatives include your parents, siblings and children.

For high-risk individuals, screening is recommended 10 years prior to the youngest case in the family or age 40 years, whichever is earlier.

People who have had certain types of polyps removed during a colonoscopy

You will need to get a colonoscopy again after 3 years, but some people might need to get one earlier (or later) than 3 years, depending on the type, size, and number of polyps. Speak to a colorectal surgeon to find out more.

People with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)

If you have any of the above, you generally need to get colonoscopies starting at least 8 years after your initial diagnosis. Follow-up colonoscopies should be done every 1 to 3 years, depending on your risk factors for colorectal cancer and your doctor’s findings on the previous colonoscopy.

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