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Colorectal Screening in High-Risk Patients in Southeast Asia

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer that affects both men and women all over the world with about 1.5 million new cases recorded every year. Evidence suggests that the condition is associated with a diet that is high in red and processed meat and being overweight. Many colon cancer patients do not experience symptoms in the early stages of the disease, which can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment. This can be a problem as cancer treatments are most effective when initiated in the early stages of the disease.

Patients who suffer from chronic inflammatory intestinal conditions, have a family history of colon cancer, with a low-fibre and high-fat diet, and have a sedentary lifestyle have a high risk of developing colon cancer and can thus benefit from undergoing colorectal cancer screening as a preventative measure.

Comprehensive colorectal cancer screening is widely available and very affordable in Southeast Asia. Countries such as Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia offer a range of procedures including those approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These include high-sensitivity faecal occult blood tests, stool DNA test, sigmoidoscopy, standard (or optical) colonoscopy, and double-contrast barium enema. For best results, international patients are encouraged to have the procedures performed in any of the countries' Joint Commission International (JCI)-accredited hospitals or fully equipped diagnostic centres where tests are performed using the most advanced technology, best practices, and advanced methods.

Patients who have a high risk of developing colorectal cancer must undergo the tests mentioned above on a regular interval. Thankfully, these are very affordable in Southeast Asia and are often up to 75% cheaper than when obtained in Western countries such as the United States and United Kingdom.

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