Photography: Arseny Togulev via Unsplash
The following article was published by Honeycombers, in partnership with StarMed Specialist Centre.
PSA: Early colonoscopies can save lives, and they’re quicker than you think.
“What do you mean I need a colonoscopy?” If the mere thought of it sends shivers down your spine, you’re not alone. But guess what? Getting a colonoscopy in Singapore is a lot more common than you might think. In fact, it’s a vital step in taking control of your health and potentially saving your life. We speak to a specialist from StarMed Specialist Centre, Dr Christopher Kong San Choon, to get his expert insights into this procedure.
Listen to your gut – and check your stool
Have you noticed blood in your stool or experienced odd changes in your bathroom habits? (For instance, diarrhoea, constipation, or a change in stool texture.) Don’t brush these off. They could be subtle signals from your body that something is not quite right. These symptoms are one of the top reasons to get a colonoscopy in Singapore.
Plus, a colonoscopy can detect early signs of cancer, giving you the upper hand in the battle. Early detection can make it easier to treat and increase your chances of a full recovery. In Singapore, the official age for colon cancer screening is 50. So when your doctor recommends a screening, be sure to take heed.
Know your risk
Another key reason for an early colonoscopy? Personal or family history. If you have close relatives who’ve battled colon cancer or a history of colon polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, it’s time to plan your screening. Conditions like familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome might be lurking in your genes, increasing your risk of colon cancer. Don’t wait until it’s too late – a colonoscopy can provide clarity and peace of mind.
What to expect during a colonoscopy in Singapore
Now, let’s demystify the procedure itself. You’ll have to drink strong laxatives the evening before and on the morning of the examination to ensure your large intestine is squeaky clean. Faecal material can hide potential issues like small polyps or even small cancers. So, this prep is your ticket to a thorough examination. Pro tip: it’s good advice to start on a low-fibre diet, omitting certain foods like green leafy vegetables, for three days leading up to your procedure.
Patients are usually given sedatives to ensure they’re comfortable, relaxed, and often asleep during the procedure. If a polyp is discovered during the colonoscopy, the good news is that, depending on its size, it can often be removed right then and there. Typically, it’ll be over and out in half an hour – easy peasy!
Keen to ensure your colon is in tip-top shape? Book a doctor’s appointment at StarMed Specialist Centre in Singapore, or opt for its comprehensive colorectal screening package at $170 (subject to GST) with a colonoscopy add-on to get yourself checked out.
This post is in partnership with StarMed.