Colorectal Support Group

Cancer Supportive Care Program
Colorectal Support Group (UKM Specialist Centre)
UKM Specialist Centre (UKMSC) Colorectal Support Group exists as a result of our concern in the rise of colorectal cancers.

Currently colorectal cancers are the second most common cancer in  Malaysia. It is the number one cancer among men in all races in Malaysia and the third most prominent cancer among women, after breast and uterine cervical cancer in Chinese and Malays.

The support group is developed by our colorectal surgeon Professor Datuk Dr. Ismail Sagap whose concern and dedication for the betterment of the patient's quality of life had made it possible to come up with the support team.

The colorectal support group offers specialist support and is focused in continuing of care, education and advice for patient following their diagnosis and stoma care.

What is colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and rectum. The colon and rectum are segments of the large intestine that play an important role in the body's ability to digest food and pass waste. Colorectal cancer is also known as colon cancer or bowel cancer.


  • Colorectal cancer is the first most frequent cancers among males and the third most important cancer for women in 2003
  • The incidence of colorectal cancers has been rising slowly in Malaysia. it is decreasing around 16% cases compare to 2002.
  • Changes in the diet, such as an increase in dietary fat, decrease in dietary fiber and overall total energy consumption are thought to pre-dispose people to colorectal cancers.
  • In year 2003, Malaysia recorded at least 2552 cases of both colon and rectal cancers among male and female.
  • Male recorded for 52.3% (1335 cases) while female recorded 47.7% (1217 cases) both for colon and rectal cancers.
  • The incidence of this cancer increased exponentially after age of 40 for both sexes.
  • According to National Cancer Registry, Chinese have a highest incidence of colon and rectal cancers, there were 59.8% of cases involved Malaysian Chinese followed by Malay with 34.6% cases and Indian with 5.6% of cases.

 Who's at Risk?

  • Age: More than 90% of the colorectal cancer cases in Malaysia occur in people over the age of 40
  • Polyps: Most colorectal cancer begins in polyps. This non-cancerous growth occurs in the lining of the large intestine. Certain types of polyps can develop into cancer.
  • Family History: People whose family members have colorectal cancer especially at a young age, have a higher risk of developing this disease.
  • Personal History of Cancer: Women who have had cancer of the ovary, uterus or breast are more likely to develop colorectal cancer.
  • Diet: A diet high in fat and low in fibre is linked to the development of the disease.
  • Tobacco: Smoking increases the risk of polyp formation.
  • Body Weight and Physical Activity: People with sedentary lifestyles and who are overweight or obese increase thier risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS): Some studies suggest that taking aspirin and other NSAIDS may reduce the risk of developing polyps.

What are the Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer?
Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don't always cause symptoms, especially at first. You could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important. Symptoms for colorectal cancer may include

  • Blood in or on th estool (bowel movement)
  • Stomach pain, aches or cramps that do not go away
  • Losing weight and you don't know why

These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. If you're having any of these symptoms, the only way to know wat is causing them is to see your doctor.

How Can You Reduce Your Risk?
The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives, but many people are not being screened according to national guidelines.

If you're 50 years old or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life. Here's how

  • Colorectal cancer screening tests can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. In this way, colorectal cancer is prevented.
  • Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment often leads to a cure

What are the Screening Tests for Colorectal Cancer?
Tests that examine the rectum, rectal tissue and blood are used to detect (find) and diagnose colorectal cancer. The following tests and procedures may be used:

  • Physical Exam and History: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient's health habits and past illness and treaments will also be taken.
  • Digital Rectal Exam: An exam of the rectum. The doctor or nurse inserts a lubricated gloved finger into the rectum to feel for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
  • Faecal Occult Blood Test: A test to check stool (solid waste) for blood that can only be seen with a microscope. Small samples of stool are placed on special cards and returned to the doctor pr laboratory for testing.
  • Barium Enema: A series of x-rays of the lower gastrointestinal tract. A liquid that contains barium (a silver-white metallic compound) is put into the rectum. The barium coats the lower gastrointestinal tract and x-rays are taken. This procedure is also called a lower GI series.
  • Sigmoidoscope: A procedure to look inside the rectum and sigmoid (lower) colon for polyps, abnormal areas or cancer. A sigmoidoscope is inserted through the rectum into the sigmoid colon. A sigmoidoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove polyps or tissue samples which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer. It allows doctors to view only the final 2 feet of the colon.
  • Colonoscope: A procedure to look inside the rectum and colon for polyps, abnormal areas or cancer. A colonoscope is inserted through the rectum into the colon. A colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove polyps or tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer. It allows an examination of the entire colon. Colonoscope - A thin, lighted tube is inserted thorugh the anus and rectum and into the colon to look for abnormal areas.
  • Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer.

We welcome anyone who is cuirrently undergoing treatment and those who have been treated for colorectal cancer.

For further inquiries or if you want to join the group, please call 03 - 9145 6288 / 7776 / 7777, Klinik Pakar Khas for an appointment.