"Don't flush away early detection" campaign to get public to test early for colorectal cancer

The Singapore Cancer Society is organising its 12th Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March.

Themed "Don't flush away early detection", those aged 50 and above are advised to get screened for the cancer. One method is through a DIY Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) kit, which tests for blood found in stools and can detect the disease even at an early stage.

The Singapore Cancer Society plans to give out 65,000 free test kits this year, 5,000 more than in 2012.

Between 2007 and 2011, a total of 8,459 new cases of colorectal cancer were detected, up from about 8,200 from 2006 to 2010, according to figures from the National Registry of Diseases.

Although more people are using the test kit in recent years - from 12,162 in 2006 to 24,634 in 2012 - the Singapore Cancer Society wants to reach out to more.

Said CEO of Singapore Cancer Society Albert Ching: "Despite the increase in FOBT screening numbers, we are only reaching out to a very small fraction of the 1.17 million Singapore residents who are above the age of 50 years."

A series of forums for General Practitioners and the public, as well as roadshows about the cancer and early detection will be conducted in March, alongside Health Promotion Board screening events.