Not everyone is aware, but colorectal cancer is one of the few types of cancer that can be treated when detected early. But like most cancers, the symptoms are so subtle that the condition is often ignored until the disease has progressed.

Look out for the symptoms of colorectal cancer.
The symptoms of colorectal cancer will resemble other diseases of the bowel such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Some patients do not even notice that their constipation or diarrhea is a symptom. As the disease progresses, however, the symptoms become more severe and persistent and it becomes difficult to determine if you have colorectal cancer when you already have an existing bowel disease.

Some symptoms of colorectal cancer include diarrhea, constipation, changes in shape and size of the stool, bloody stool, inability to empty the bowel completely, rectal pain, abdominal pain, stomach cramps or gas pains, changes in appetite, sudden weight loss, feeling full or bloated, and fatigue.When the cell lining of the large intestine develops cancer, it causes blockages and results in bloody stool.

Get to know the function of the colon and the rectum.
Colorectal cancer, sometimes called colon cancer, affects the colon or the rectum. The colon is part of your large intestine, while the rectum is a passageway that connects the anus to the colon. The rectum is the last part of the large intestine, which is only 15 cm long, and its location makes it highly likely to spread the cancer cells to other organs. Taking care of your large intestine through healthy diet and lifestyle can lower the risk of having colorectal cancer.

Get diagnosed when you feel the symptoms.
If your family has a history of any type of cancer or you have a history of ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel disease, you should be screened annually because you’re at risk of developing the disease than most people. Most cases of colon cancer start off as abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum called polyps. These should be removed to prevent them from becoming cancerous.

Most people affected by this cancer are aged 50 years and above, although are cases among young adults who have inherited conditions such as non-polyposis and familial adenomatous polyposis. Among the male patients in Singapore who suffer from cancer, colorectal cancer is the most common form, while it is only second to breast cancer among female cancer patients.

Several screening methods are used to diagnose colorectal cancer such as rectal examination, sigmoidoscope/colonoscope exam, and barium enema.

Know the available treatments for colorectal cancer.
Sometimes when the cancer cells spread from the colon to the lymph nodes near it, treatments are quite successful in hospitals in Singapore through surgery and chemotherapy. Treatment becomes difficult, however, if the cancer cells have spread to the other organs.

Surgery, such as the removal of the fat, lymph glands, and the cancer, is the first form of treatment. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy might also be recommended.