Colorectal Cancer Surgery in Singapore

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors You Need to Know

Colorectal cancer stands as one of the most prevalent and potentially life-threatening cancers globally. While it can affect anyone, understanding the risk factors associated with this disease is paramount for prevention, early detection, and effective treatment. For individuals in Singapore, access to skilled medical professionals is crucial, including expert colorectal cancer surgeons in Singapore. These specialists play a vital role in diagnosing, treating, and managing colorectal cancer cases with precision and care.

Here are some of the Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer


Age is a significant risk factor for colorectal cancer. The likelihood of developing this disease increases as individuals grow older, with the majority of cases diagnosed in people over the age of 50. However, recent trends have shown a concerning rise in colorectal cancer rates among younger age groups, emphasizing the importance of awareness and early screening across all ages.

Family History and Genetic Predisposition:

Individuals with a family history of colorectal cancer or certain genetic syndromes, such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), are at a higher risk of developing the disease. Understanding your family’s medical history can help assess your risk and guide preventive measures, including earlier and more frequent screenings.

Personal Medical History:

A personal history of colorectal polyps, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or previous colorectal cancer diagnosis increases the risk of developing new colorectal cancer lesions. Close monitoring and follow-up care are essential for individuals with these predisposing factors.

Unhealthy Lifestyle Choices:

Several lifestyle factors have been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. These include:

  • Poor dietary habits are high in red and processed meats, and low in fiber-rich foods, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Lack of regular physical activity and sedentary behavior.
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, characterized by a balanced diet, regular exercise, avoidance of tobacco products, and moderation in alcohol consumption, can significantly lower the risk of colorectal cancer and improve overall health outcomes.

Race and Ethnicity:

Certain racial and ethnic groups, including African Americans and individuals of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, have a higher incidence of colorectal cancer. While genetic factors may play a role, disparities in access to healthcare, socioeconomic status, and cultural differences in lifestyle behaviors contribute to these disparities.

Prevention Strategies:

Prevention lies at the core of combating colorectal cancer. Embracing a proactive approach to health can substantially reduce the risk of developing this disease. Key preventive strategies include:

Undergoing regular screenings, such as colonoscopies, starting at age 45 or earlier if you have risk factors or a family history.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes a well-balanced diet, regular physical activity, and weight management.

Being aware of your family’s medical history and discussing it with your healthcare provider to determine appropriate screening intervals and preventive measures.

Dr Lee Kuok Chung. Colorectal Surgeon, Endoscopist

Planning for Colorectal cancer surgery in Singapore? Get in touch with Crest Surgical Practice for a consultation with an experienced Colorectal surgeon in Singapore. Contact us today to know your treatment options!