There is a new campaign to raise awareness of colon cancer screening. Badly needed in my mind as colon cancer screening rates are appallingly low.
Minister Gan Kim Yong, responding to a question in Parliament last week provided the following statistics:
In the National Health Survey 2010, among Singaporeans aged 40 to 69 years, 71% had been screened for high blood pressure in the past year; and 61% and 64% had been screened for high blood cholesterol and diabetes respectively in the past three years, in accordance with the recommended frequency of screening. In terms of cancer screening, 48% of women aged 25-69 years had undergone the Pap smear test within the past three years; and 10.3% of Singapore residents aged 50-69 years had a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past one year. (Emphasis added)
Personally I think that for Singapore, a colonoscopy makes more sense than an annual FOBT but that’s a commentary for another day…
Colon cancer is the most common cancer in Singapore today, and because of the long lag time (called the adenoma-carcinoma sequence) between the appearance of a polyp in the bowels and the malignant transformation of the polyp into a cancer, colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers today.
Kudos to Dr. Koh Poh Koon, the PAP candidate for Punggol East 2013 by-election who very sportingly spoofs the Mr. Brown video making fun of him and also goes into ‘campaign mode’ to promote awareness of colon cancer screening. Kudos also to Fortis Healthcare for advocating for a cause rather than marketing itself as a provider of services.