“Should you see a specialist?”

The symptoms of cancer aren’t always obvious. Patients with colorectal cancer may present first to their general practitioner with abdominal discomfort and a change in bowel habit. Initial diagnosis as irritable bowel syndrome or diverticular disease can occur in some cases, leading to delays in the institution of appropriate treatment.

PCC’s Facebook Live Q&A Session gives you a chance to clear your doubts. It’s the beginning of 2013 and we have invited our specialist, Dr Zee to answer questions related to colorectal cancer and other cancers of the digestive tract, including oesophageal and stomach cancers. We are here to extend our helping hands and listening ears.

Trained in the United Kingdom and Singapore, Dr Zee brings high quality patient-centred care and years of specialist experience to our practice.

Dr Zee is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and founding member of the Hepatopancreatobiliary Association of Singapore.

►More About Dr Zee Ying Kiat: http://goo.gl/hBWWg

Here, specifically, is some of what you’ll be discovering on the LIVE Q&A.

  • What are the causes of and risk factors for colorectal cancer?
  • Can colorectal cancer be prevented?
  • Is there a role for colorectal cancer screening?
  • What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?
  • What treatments are available for colorectal cancer?

►►► Our live Q&A event wall is open for question posting now!

If you would like the opportunity to ask questions about colorectal cancer and other digestive tract cancers, then DON’T MISS this LIVE Q&A event on 31 January 2013.

We look forward to answering your questions!  

Recap for Live Facebook Q&A Session (31 Jan 2013) with Oncologist Dr Zee

Q1. I have some of the symptoms being described, the Polyclinic doctor referred me to TTSH, I was sent for colongraphy, which the doctor said is normal except for some diverticula. I am discharged from the gastroentology slept and being referred to the hepatobiliary depth as the scan showed I have a gall stone. Can colongraphy show the inside of the colon. What is the difference between a colongraphy to colonscopy?

Dr Zee: “Thanks for your question. In a colonoscopy, the rectum and entire colon are examined using a lighted instrument called a colonoscope. Precancerous and cancerous growths throughout the colon can be found and either removed or biopsied, including growths in the upper part of the colon. A thorough cleansing of the colon is necessary before this test, and most patients receive some form of sedation. In a CT colonography (or virtual colonoscopy), special X-ray equipment is used to produce pictures of the colon and rectum. A computer assembles these pictures into detailed images that can show polyps and other abnormalities. It is less invasive than standard colonoscopy and sedation is not needed.”  

Q2. May I know how frequent should we do a standard colonoscopy if the result for the recent one done in June 2012 is normal?

Dr Zee: “Hello Theresa. In an average risk individual from the age of 50 and above, the current recommendation is for a screening colonoscopy to be performed every 10 years.”  

Q3. Is it true that if you maintained a PH of 8.4 cancer cells would die…Would like to know as my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer recently and requires surgery…

Dr Zee: “I am sorry to hear that your father has been diagnosed with colon cancer. I hope that the planned surgery goes well. Maintaining a pH of 8.4 has not been proven to be an effective form of cancer treatment.” Tips #1 Dr Zee: “People often ask how common colorectal cancer is. Worldwide, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer affecting men and second only to breast cancer in women. It accounts for 10% of all cancer cases diagnosed throughout the world. Men are slightly more likely to develop colorectal cancer than women.” Tips #2 Dr Zee: “Another commonly asked question is whether colorectal cancer can be prevented. The answer is ‘yes’. Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful weapons for preventing colorectal cancer. Precancerous polyps can be present, often without symptoms, in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops. Colorectal cancer screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. In this way, colorectal cancer is prevented. Some studies suggest that people may reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer by increasing physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, taking more dietary fibre, limiting red and processed meat, limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco.”