With more people today eating unhealthy diets and leading sedentary lifestyles because of their work in offices, many diseases once diagnosed in older people are now seen in younger adults. These diseases can include chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or some types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer. It is important to know the symptoms of colorectal cancer no matter how young you, are so it can be spotted early and treated accordingly.
Importance of Early Detection
Colorectal cancer can occur in people in their thirties and forties, but it isn’t usually diagnosed in most people until they are age fifty or older. It is more common in men, but women can also have this type of cancer. If it is detected early, it can be successfully treated, but if it is not found until its late stages, it is almost always fatal.
The prognosis for colorectal cancer is as follows:
- Stage I survival rate is around 93%
- Stage II survival rate is 72% – 85%
- Stage III survival rate is 44% to 83%
- Stage IV is survival rate is only 8%
To detect colorectal cancer in its early stages, it is important to be aware of its symptoms.
Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer
Although the terms colorectal and colon cancer are used interchangeably, they are not necessarily the same disease. Cancers within the rectal, or anal, area are different than cancer of the colon, and a large percentage of rectal cancers are the result of HPV, or human papillomavirus. Colorectal cancer is often hereditary, but it can be the result of lifestyle as well.
To have a better chance of survival, it is important to know the early symptoms of colorectal cancer, which include the following:
- Change in stool habits lasting for four weeks or longer, including diarrhoea or constipation
- Blood in stools
- Unusual anaemia
- Feeling fatigued
- Unexpected weight loss
- Bloating or cramping
- Feeling the need to defecate, but not being relieved when you do
It is important to be tested if you have these symptoms, because they could be caused by other medical conditions. However, since early detection is the key to survival, it is important to go ahead and see a doctor if you notice them. Many people do not have any symptoms until the advanced stages of the disease, so if someone in your family has had colorectal cancer, you need to have a screening for it.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
You can undergo a test for colorectal cancer in Singapore which can help diagnosis cancer. However, there are several tests from which to choose, including the following:
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
- Double-contrast Barium Enema
- Guaiac-based Faecal Occult Blood Test
- Stool DNA Test
There are some other tests which can also be done to detect polyps or cancer. After consulting with a doctor, they can recommend the best test for you to take to find out if you have colorectal cancer. With more people under the age of fifty being diagnosed with this form of cancer, it is important to know the symptoms and get tested for it, as doing so could help save your life.