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Colorectal Screening Singapore: Who should get it?

colorectal screening

Colorectal screening is a preventive health procedure for detecting colorectal cancer early. It involves various tests which can help identify abnormal polyps or growths in the colon or rectum.

Key among these tests include fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, and DNA stool test. On this page, we answer the question; who gets colorectal screening?

We also touch on other key aspects like colorectal screening price in Singapore and how to prepare for colorectal screening among other basics. Keep reading!

Who gets Colorectal Screening?

Many cases of colorectal cancer develop from precancerous polyps that may grow in the colon or rectum. Here’s where colorectal screening in Singapore comes in. It can help in the detection of precancerous polyps so they’re removed early before they can turn into cancer.

Colorectal screening can also help you detect colorectal cancer early when it is still easier to manage. With this in mind, many people ask; who gets colorectal cancer screening. Here’s the answer;

The groups of people who get colorectal screening are adults aged 45 to 75. You may still benefit from colorectal screening if you’re between ages 76 to 85 but it is best to consult your doctor first to be sure.

During your colorectal screening, some of the tests you can get include; colonoscopy, stool tests, CT colonography, and flexible sigmoidoscopy. Now, in the vast majority of cases, adults begin their colorectal screening at 45 years of age.

They would then continue with these screenings at regular intervals. But, there are isolated instances when you may need to begin your colorectal screening before age 45 or more often than other people. These instances include;

·       If you Live with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

IBD is a term for disorders of chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. They cause symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea and fatigue.

Examples of IBD include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Individuals with conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Since these conditions cause chronic inflammation in the digestive tract, they can lead to the formation of abnormal cells. As a result, individuals with IBD should begin screening earlier than the recommended age of 45. Also, they may need more frequent screenings to detect any signs of colorectal cancer early.

·       If you have a Personal or Family History of Colorectal Cancer or Polyps

A family history of colorectal cancer in a first-degree relative increases your risk for colorectal cancer. So, your recommendations for colorectal screening in Singapore may be different from someone without a personal or family history of polyps or colorectal cancer.

A first-degree relative can be your parent, sibling, or child. If you have a personal history of colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps, or if you have a family history of these conditions, you may need to start screening earlier and undergo more frequent screenings.

·       If you Live with Genetic Syndromes

Certain genetic syndromes significantly increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer even at a young age. Examples of genetic syndromes that may warrant more frequent or early-onset of colorectal screening include familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).

Individuals with these syndromes often need to begin screening in their twenties or thirties. Also, they may require more frequent screenings to detect and prevent colorectal cancer.

How do I Prepare for Colorectal Screening?

To ensure the best treatment outcomes, you will want to ensure proper planning before your colorectal screening procedures like colonoscopy for example. This is especially true when it comes to medications and your diet. Real quick, here are key guidelines to prepare for your colorectal screening in Singapore;

      I.         Medications

  • Stop medications for diarrhea (e.g., Imodium, kaopectate) or those containing iron seven days before the procedure.
  • Most prescription and non-prescription medications can be taken up to the day of the colonoscopy.
  • Low-dose aspirin can be continued and does not need to be stopped.
  • Take morning medicines. This is particularly important for those for blood pressure. Take these medications at least four hours before the procedure with a small amount of water.
  • Blood pressure medicines should be continued while preparing for the test. Take these medications with water at least two hours before the test.
  • If you’re on blood thinners, you may need to temporarily discontinue them. However, be sure to consult your doctor first for guidance. Do not stop these medications without consulting your doctor.
  • Insulin/diabetes medication doses may need adjustment. That said, if you’re on these medications, seek clarity from your prescribing doctor before considering stopping them.

   II.         Diet

  • Three days before the procedure, start a low-residue diet to limit high-fiber foods.
  • It is recommended that you avoid high-fiber foods like whole-grain bread, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, raw vegetables, fruits with skins or seeds, and beverages with pulp.
  • Foods you may eat include refined grains, cooked vegetables without seeds, bananas, soft melons, avocado, lean meats, eggs, margarine, oils, smooth sauces, dressings, cakes, cookies, pudding, ice cream without nuts or seeds, hard candy, popsicles, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Starting one day before the procedure, follow a clear liquid diet. In fact, it is best that you avoid all solid foods.
  • Drink clear liquids such as water, clear fruit juices, clear soft drinks, broth, popsicles, gelatin, coffee or tea without milk, and meal-replacement drinks.
  • Stop drinking clear liquids four hours before the procedure.

 III.         Transportation

  • You must have someone accompany you home after the procedure. This is important even if you take a cab.
  • You can use public transportation (taxi or bus) only if you have an adult to escort you.
  • Medical transport may be arranged for safe transportation home.
  • Do not drive a car, operate machinery, return to work, drink alcohol, or make any legal decisions after the procedure until the following day.

In Closing

Generally, many people begin their colorectal screening at age 45 and then continue to age 75. While you can still benefit from the procedure from age 76 to 85, you can expect to be guided by your doctor if it is still ideal for you to continue with the screening. Also, due to varied circumstances, you may need to begin the screenings earlier than age 45.

Do you need colorectal screening in Singapore? Or you’re seeking clarification on the procedure? Our specialists are available to help. Get started by scheduling your appointment today.

Alpine Surgical Practice


3 Mount Elizabeth #14-06

Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre

Singapore 228510

+65 6322 7323

+65 8875 0080 • After Office Hours

+65 6602 8086


319 Joo Chiat Place #04-07

Singapore 427989

+65 6589 8160

+65 8875 2149 • After Office Hours

+65 6871 8870

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