Stomach cancer in Singapore is the 7th and 9th most common cancer in men and women respectively. This is based on data from the Singapore Cancer Registry’s 2019 report. It has the sixth highest mortality rate among males, accounting for 5.6% of all cancer deaths in men during the period 2015-2019. In women, stomach cancer accounted for 5.1% of cancer deaths, making it the cancer with the seventh highest mortality rate. There is currently no national programme in Singapore for stomach cancer screening.
Stomach Cancer Diagnostics
Diagnostic tests to detect stomach cancer include options such as gastroscopy or double-contrast barium radiography. These are relatively invasive procedures, and most people in Singapore do not routinely undertake such tests. In Japan and Korea, there are national screening programmes that offer gastroscopy or double-contrast barium radiography. However, the incidence of stomach cancer is almost 4 times higher in those countries than in Singapore. This may explain the difference in policy positions by the health authorities with regard to national screening for stomach cancer.
Early detection and treatment of stomach cancer greatly improves the chances of survival. Treatment of Stage IV stomach cancer yield good outcomes for less than 20% of patients, but the success rate for treatment for Stage I stomach cancer is much higher at more than 50%. However, early stage stomach cancer usually does not have clear symptoms and the disease is often not diagnosed in time. This is why a good screening option for stomach cancer is important.
An Innovative, Minimally-Invasive Option Is Now Available For Stomach Cancer Screening In Singapore – GASTROClear
Here is some good news for those of us who are looking for stomach cancer screening options that are less onerous or invasive. GASTROClear by Mirxes is a blood test (claimed to be “the first of its kind in the world”) used for detecting stomach cancer in people who may not be experiencing any symptoms yet. This test was developed via an international collaboration led by the Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium (SGCC), and involved researchers and clinicians from Singapore and Korea.
GASTROClear measures the levels of microRNA in the patient’s blood and picks up 12 microRNAs that are associated with stomach cancer. The result of the test allows healthcare professionals to assess the patent’s risk of stomach cancer. GASTROClear is minimally invasive compared to gastroscopy and takes less of the patient’s time to undertake.
GASTROClear now available at over 50 clinics and hospitals in Singapore, according to Mirxes. If you are interested in getting tested with GASTROClear, you can consult Mirxes’ listing to find a clinic or hospital near you that offers this product. GASTROClear testing is also available at Alpha Digestive & Liver Centre.
[Updated 5 Dec 22]
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.