Understand More About Cancer Rates In Singapore

According to research, the leading cause of death in Singapore is cancer. Since 2010, this island nation has seen a 17% increase in cancer cases which shows a steady and alarming increase in the Singaporean society. One of Singapore’s famous Doctors, Dr Ganesh Ramalingam recommends that screening begin a decade earlier at age 40 or even in the mid-20s if the risk is very high. We will talk more about cancer rates in Singapore in this article. 

“The safest and most accurate method of colorectal cancer screening is through a flexible colonoscopy, which can be done as a day surgery procedure,” he adds. “During the process, any polyps found can be removed and abnormal growths can be sample for a proper diagnosis.”

Poor lifestyle habits like smoking, lack of exercise and poor diet, are reportedly the leading risk factors, while the disease is responsible for whopping 29.7% of deaths in the country so far. The most prevalent forms of lethal cancers among men and women are lung cancer and breast cancer respectively.

Further data from the National Registry of Diseases Office (NRDO) shows that over 64,000 Singaporeans were diagnosed with cancer from 2011 to 2015, with men making up 31,284 of this number, while women 33,057. The worst part is that the number of cancer-related fatalities in Singapore has seen a steady increase over the last few decades. In fact, 50 years ago, cancer only accounted for 15% of the death rate in Singapore, but now that number has literally doubled in less than half a century.

What Causes Cancer?

Cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of certain cells within the body, which is bought about by the gene mutation of these cells. The problem with cancer cells is that unlike normal cells, their growth can’t be controlled, which means that it can find its way through the body pretty quickly.

Experts reckon that this mutation happens randomly but the chances of its occurrence increase with age. As mentioned, bad lifestyle habits like smoking and consuming preserved foods can also increase your risk.

There are also other types of cancer which are brought on by bacterial and viral infections like helicobacter pylori (which leads to stomach cancer), human papillomavirus (which leads to cervical cancer), and hepatitis B virus (which leads to liver cancer).

Most Common Cancers in Men and Women in Singapore


  1. Kidney/Urinary
  2. Lung
  3. Leukaemias
  4. Liver
  5. Colorectal
  6. Lymphomas
  7. Nasopharynx
  8. Prostate
  9. Skin
  10. Stomach


  • Breast
  • Cervix
  • Colorectal
  • Lung
  • Lymphomas
  • Ovary
  • Skin
  • Uterine
  • Stomach
  • Thyroid

A Healthy Lifestyle Can Prevent Cancer

The key to cancer prevention lies in adopting healthy lifestyle habits. This includes eating whole, unprocessed foods like organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, as well as healthy grains and lean protein. In addition, one has to move often and get regular exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight and avoid risky behaviours like smoking and excessive drinking.

A healthy lifestyle will play a huge role in preventing the development of cancer as well as other serious diseases like diabetes, stroke and heart conditions.

It’s also a good idea to follow the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s recommendations for cancer prevention, which include going for cancer screenings on a regular basis to allow for early detection and treatment. Screening options include a colonoscopy, pap smear, mammography, stool testing etc.

Women are also given the option to get at human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which will help decrease their chances of developing cervical cancer. 

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