Why Stool Checking?
Noticing abnormal and persistent changes in your stools could potentially help in detecting symptoms of colorectal cancer and prompt one to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The earlier the detection, the higher the rates of survival, and the cheaper it is to seek treatment.
What Should I Look Out For In My Poop Then?
If you notice a persistent change in any of these areas, you should consult your GP for evaluation.
If your stools appear red, black, or contain streaks of red, that could possibly indicate the presence of blood.
While not all cases represent colorectal cancer, it is still important to get it checked by a colorectal surgeon and have the cancer ruled out.
If your stools appear pencil-thin or ribbon-like, this could be a cause for concern. Thin stools could be the result of the narrowing of your colon caused by colorectal cancer.
If your stools are frequently loose, watery or appear with mucous, you should consult a colorectal surgeon especially if they are accompanied by episodes of constipation.
So does this mean that stool checking replaces the need for colorectal screening?
NO, IT DOES NOT.
Stool checking may be a great way to help you spot for anomalies that may require a doctor’s attention, however this does not mean that screening is unimportant.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer may not always occur in early stages. As such, it is still advisable to consult a doctor and attend routine screening — especially for adults above the age of 50 or those at a higher risk (e.g. family history of colorectal cancer, existing bowel-related diseases etc.)
Click here to see if you're at risk and learn more about various screening options in Singapore.