If you are a Singaporean and have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it becomes challenging to decide who to call for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Some people go to Colorectal Surgeons many times more than they see Gastroenterologists and the reverse trend is also true.
In case this is a post-operative problem, it is better to see a Colorectal Surgeon. It is also necessary for assessing if the condition can be better managed by surgical procedures. Moreover, if there are complications like an abscess, fistula, etc; a Colorectal Surgeon can only help because of their proficiency in treating colon and rectal diseases.
The Gastroenterologists are the primary physicians to see for bowel problems. They specialize in diagnosing, managing, and treating different diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. People can also get primary care and medication for managing IBD and extra-intestinal manifestations. Both of them can perform colonoscopy and endoscopic procedures based on their expertise.
Why colorectal cancer is common in Singaporeans?
The Singaporeans wakes up every morning with approximately 5 new incidences of colorectal cancer!
Colorectal cancer is ranked as one of the 3 leading cancer in a report of the Singapore Cancer Registry.
It develops in the colon or rectum and its symptoms include many things like abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, blood in the stool. Even unexplained weight loss can also signify the disease that starts mostly with polyps.
There are many contributing factors. Singaporeans are heavier and more obese than their ancestors. Other than this, the increasing percentage of smokers, per-capita alcohol consumption, overeating, and the prevalence of diabetes are responsible for the situation.
It is always better to minimize the risks of developing colorectal cancer than to consult a colorectal specialist. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, eating a balanced diet, and doing some exercises are needed to live a healthy life.
You must ask the Cancer Care team these questions
Having colorectal cancer is scary. It is also somewhat embarrassing as it involves a hidden part of the body that most people do not like to talk about. Although colon cancer is common among the Singaporeans, the irony is that, in many cases, the disease gets detected in an advanced stage only. As such, it becomes imperative to discuss everything with the colorectal specialist in detail for making informed decisions about treatment and life.
One should know the location, spread, and stage of the disease, further tests needed, and also for help in getting insurance coverage on the first information of the disease. The patient should also ask about the treatment options, the doctor’s expertise, if a second opinion is necessary, side effects, recovery time, follow up needed chances of recurrence, etc. And speaking with the team helps the successful management of the condition.