Raffles Hospital to offer free colorectal cancer screening to those aged 50 and above

Raffles Hospital will be offering free FOBT (Faecal Occult Blood Test) screenings from Feb 18 to April 30 to people aged 50 and above to help in the testing of colorectal cancer. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Raffles Hospital will be offering free FOBT (Faecal Occult Blood Test) screenings from Feb 18 to April 30 to people aged 50 and above to help in the testing of colorectal cancer. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Raffles Hospital will be offering free FOBT (Faecal Occult Blood Test) screenings from Feb 18 to April 30 to people aged 50 and above to help in the testing of colorectal cancer.

This is done in conjunction with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is the top cancer in Singapore. The cancer develops when malignant tumours form along the innermost lining of the large intestine. Those aged 50 and above, even without a family history of cancer, are at risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in March aims to educate the public about early detection and prevention of the nation's leading cancer killer, as well as increase regular screenings for people who are at risk.

"Providing the FOBT screening for free marks a key step in helping us keep our patients in good health," explained Dr Prem Kumar, general manager of Raffles Hospital.

Dr Ng Chin, a specialist in surgery at Raffles Hospital, added: "Patients diagnosed at later stages of colorectal cancer have a poorer survival rate than those diagnosed earlier. Screening with the FOBT test can help early disease detection which means early treatment and possibly cure."

A kit and a step-by-step guide will be issued to individuals to help them perform the test. The kit can be collected from Raffles Hospital and all 45 Raffles Medical clinics nationwide starting from 18 February. Those who are found to have blood in their stools are encouraged to do a colonoscopy or gastroscopy. There are also packages available that are covered by Medisave. Interested candidates can call 6311 1152.