Screening & Colonoscopy for Colon Cancer

Although colon cancer is 2nd commonest cancer in both male and female, the good news is that the number of deaths from colorectal cancer has been dropping for the last 10 years. This is because more people are going for regular screening, which can detect colorectal cancers early. Early detection of colorectal cancer allows patients to be treated more effectively.

Click to watch the video on ‘What happens during a colonoscopy’ by You&Colonscopy

Colonoscopy is advised for people with the following risk factors

  • Familial polyposis coli
  • Previously treated polyps or colorectal cancer
  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Family history of colorectal cancer
  • Age over 50 years (most colorectal cancers are found in people over the age of 50 years)
  • Smokers
  • Diet high in fat or low in fibre and vegetables
  • Sedentary lifestyle or being over weight

Screening is also advised for people with the following symptoms

  • Change in bowel habit which can be either loose stool, diarrhoea or constipation
  • The feeling that your bowel does not empty completely, bloated or excessive wind
  • Blood in your stool which can be red or very dark brown / black in colour
  • Loss of appetite or losing weight for no reason
  • Feeling tired or lethargic

How to prepare before a colonoscopy

Before your colonoscopy, you will be given some solution (laxative) to help empty your bowels to allows the doctor to have a good view of the colon.  Check with your own doctor the schedule.

  • 7-8 pm night before – 1 sachet Fortrans mixed with 1 litre of water.  Drink slowly over 1 hour
  • 8-9 pm night before – 1 sachet Fortrans mixed with 1 litre of water.  Drink slowly over 1 hour
  • 5-6 am morning of colonoscopy – 1 sachet Fortrans mixed with 1 litre of water. Drink slowly over 1 hour

On the day before your colonoscopy, take plain food such as white bread, plain porridge and NO solid foods after 6 pm the night before your colonoscopy.  You are only allowed plain water.  Avoid high fibre foods such as

  • Vegetables, fruits or red meat
  • Milk or milk products including chocolate drink such as Milo
  • Wholemeal bread, cereals, oats or nuts

Follow-up schedule after colorectal cancer treatment

There is a small risk of recurrence even after successful treatment of the original cancer.  As such, it is important to see your doctor regularly and adjust your lifestyle to lower your cancer risk.

  • Stop or reduce smoking
  • Increase the amount of fibre, vegetables and fruits in your diet
  • Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day (such as brisk walking)
  • Maintain a healthy weight suitable for your age and height

Your doctor may suggest CEA (Carcino Embryonic Antigen) tumour marker or other blood tests as well as repeat colonoscopy on a regular basis to help monitor for any possible recurrence.  Remember to have regular check-ups

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?