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Second most lethal cancer for men

Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in men and second most common in women.

Between 2009 and 2013, there were 8,931 new cases, according to the National Registry of Diseases Office. It is the second greatest killer of cancer in men and the third greatest in women.

Colorectal cancer is formed from cells that line the inner wall of the colon and rectum. It causes problems as it grows, such as bleeding and bowel obstruction, that can have fatal effects.

Risk factors include hereditary and lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking and heavy alcohol consumption.

DETECTION

Like every other cancer, early detection is key.

People aged 50 and above are recommended to get a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or a colonoscopy.

The FIT kit is free for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents above the age of 50 who have not gone for colorectal cancer screening in the last year.

The test kit is available at the Singapore Cancer Society, polyclinics and selected Guardian pharmacy stores.

People above the age of 50 are recommended to do a FIT yearly even if they show no symptoms.

The other option is a colonoscopy which is recommended every 10 years for the same group.

Colonoscopy can be performed only in hospitals or some specialist centres.

Those aged 50 and above can use their own or their immediate family member's Medisave for colonoscopy at approved centres.