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Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer - What it is

Colorectal cancer is a cancer that develops from the cells of the large intestine. The large intestine consists of the colon and rectum. The rectum comprises the last 15 cm of the large intestine and lies within the pelvis, which consists of the hip bones. This is a very small area and the distance between the cancer and the surrounding normal organs is very short. Hence, the chance of the cancer spreading to neighbouring organs in the pelvis is significantly high.

The colon forms the rest of the large intestine that lies above the level of the hips. It is surrounded by fatty tissue, called omentum, and anchored by more fatty tissue (called mesentery) to the walls of the abdominal cavity. The lymph glands are in the mesentery.

Cancer can develop from the cell-lining of the large intestine. The cancer can cause blockage of the intestine, or bleeding in the faeces.

How Common is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is now the most common cancer in Singapore affecting both males and females. There were about 9,807 cases diagnosed from 2011-2015 locally.

Age of Onset

Most persons diagnosed with colorectal cancer are older than 45 years of age. Younger persons, below 20 years of age, if diagnosed to have colorectal cancer, are likely to have the hereditary form of colorectal cancer such as familial adenomatous polyposis.

Colorectal Cancer - How to prevent?

Colorectal Cancer - Preparing for surgery

Colorectal Cancer - Post-surgery care

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Information provided by Singhealth