APPOINTMENT - (65) 6339 0233

Cancer overview

Q. WHAT IS THE LIKELIHOOD OF AN INDIVIDUAL BEING STRUCK BY CANCER?

It’s a modern-day, developed country epidemic. The No. 1 killer. There is up to 40% chance of lifetime risk of getting cancer.

Q. IS THE INCIDENCE OF CANCER RISING OR IS THE HIGHER INCIDENCE DOWN TO GREATER AWARENESS AND EARLY SCREENING?

It is still rising. Most importantly, the message is that early detection saves lives. The earlier we detect and treat cancer, the better the outcomes. Key factors in this balance are the hereditary factor, which we can do little about, and the environmental factor such as the things we eat or are exposed to, like radiation, viruses, and environmental hazards.

Cancer overview

Q. THE MOST COMMON CANCERS IN SINGAPORE?

Colon cancer is most common overall. Breast cancer is most common in females. There is a high incidence of lung cancer and liver cancer is particularly common in Asians.

Q. WHY ARE THESE THE MOST COMMON?

Smoking is linked to lung cancer and many other cancers, like head, neck and oral cancers. Colon cancer is linked to high red meat and high alcohol intake and low fibre intake, as well as consumption of charred and burned food such as barbecued meats.

Q. ARE YOU SEEING PATTERNS IN THE INCIDENCE OF CANCER?

More and more young patients are getting cancer, which is worrying. They are the most conomically productive and their illness affects the most people, as their dependents include parents and children.

Q. WHAT’S THE PROGNOSIS FOR A CANCER PATIENT WHO GETS TIMELY TREATMENT?

Early stage treatment can saves lives. The earliest stage of disease may have a more than 90% chance of cure.

Q. HOW CAN WE CHANGE OUR DIET AND LIFESTYLE TO PREVENT CANCER?

Avoid carcinogenic foods, smoking and drinking. Increase exercise.

Q. WHAT’S THE GOOD NEWS?

There are more advanced and better treatments in the pipeline. Treatment can now be better tolerated with a higher efficacy rate. Cancer treatments are very different from 10 years ago. We have achieved a higher level of understanding at the genetic, molecular and immunological level of cancer. There is hope for cancer.

DEBUNKING CANCER 5 MYTHS

  • Cancer is not curable
  • If it is not diagnosed, it will be fine
  • Smoking does not cause cancer
  • Chemotherapy is very difficult to tolerate
  • It is better for cancer patient to stay indoors, segregated from the general community

SCREENING METHODS FOR COMMON CANCERS

Colorectal cancer Singaporeans aged 50 and above should go for the faecal immunochemical
test (FIT). This test checks for blood in your stools invisible to the naked eye. It is extremely easy to administer as there are no drugs or fasting involved.

Breast cancer Women under 50 should do regular breast self-exams.Alternatively, you can opt to have a physical exam by a healthcare professional. Women over 50 should go for mammogram screenings once every two years.

Lung cancer A specialist will first have to understand your medical history and recommend the appropriate tests based on the results of his physical examination. Common investigations include PET CT scanning and MRI.

Prostate cancer A medical professional will do a physical examination of the prostate to determine if there are lumps present.Further tests such as a blood test and transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy may be recommended if necessary. CT scans and MRIs are usually done only after a biopsy confirms cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital

Address:
38 Irrawaddy Road #09-41, Singapore 329563

Opening Hours:
Mon - Fri: 9am - 6pm
Sat: 9am - 1pm

Contact number: 6339 0233