Top Cancer In Singapore By Age Group (Males)

Top Cancer In Singapore By Age Group (Males)

Top Cancer In Singapore - Males

Approximately 1 in 4 people in Singapore may be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. Like many people, you may have concerns and wonder what the top cancer in Singapore is. This article takes a closer look at the top cancer in Singapore for males, broken down by age group. This can give you a better idea which are the ones you may want to pay more attention to, based on your age. You should be aware though, that the chances of contracting cancer are affected also by other factors such as your family cancer history, personal genetics, lifestyle, environment, etc.

Top Cancer In Singapore – Differences In Most Frequent Cancers Between Age Groups

The overall top cancer in Singapore for males is prostate cancer, with 6,912 new cases diagnosed during the period 2017 – 2021, according to the Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2021. This is followed by colorectal cancer with 6,697 diagnosed cases, and lung cancer with 5,567 diagnosed cases.

However, the data for the top cancers based on age grouping paints a different picture for certain age groups. People falling into the different age groups may wish then to consider giving priority to screening for cancers that affect their age group more.


Most Frequent Incident Cancers For Males By Age Group (2017-2021)

Age Group: 0-29 Years

Cancers affecting younger people are broadly different from those affecting older patients. In children, cancers may more likely impact parts of the body that are still developing. This includes the brain, central nervous system, bones, connective tissues and blood. For this younger age group, the most common cancer is lymphoid neoplasms. Examples of these are lymphomas, myelomas, and lymphoid leukaemias. These are cancers that originate from the lymphatic system, an important part of the body’s immunity system.

Testicular cancer, which mostly affects males aged 20-40 years, is the second most common cancer for the 0-29 age group. Myeloid neoplasms, the third most common cancer for this age group, are also blood cancers that happen when the body produces too many red or white blood cells or blood platelets.

1Lymphoid neoplasms26231.9
3Myeloid neoplasms779.4
4Brain & Central Nervous System718.6
6Connective tissue425.1
8Other endocrine293.5
10Heart, thymus, & mediastinum232.8
 All Sites821100.0
Table 1: 10 Most Frequently Diagnosed Cancers For Males, Aged 0-29 years.

Age Group: 30-39 Years

For males in the 30-39 age group, the top cancer in Singapore continues to be lymphoid neoplasms. Colorectal cancer however, jumps straight into 2nd position. Nasopharynx cancer (which affects the tissue connecting the back of the nose to the back of the mouth) moves up from 9th position to become the 3rd most common cancer. Lung cancer, one of the overall top 3 cancers for males, enters the top 10 for this age group.

1Lymphoid neoplasms14616.2
2Colon & rectum10011.1
5Myeloid neoplasms697.7
7Non-melanoma skin495.4
9Brain & Central Nervous System384.2
 All Sites901100.0
Table 2: 10 Most Frequently Diagnosed Cancers For Males, Aged 30-39 years.

Age Group: 40-49 Years

For males aged 40-49, colorectal cancer displaces lymphoid neoplasms as the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer. People with increased risk factors should consider screening for colorectal cancer at this stage. Further down the list, lung cancer also becomes a larger proportion of all cancers for males.

There is a substantial doubling of the total number of cases of cancer compared to the 30-39 age group.

1Colon & rectum38016.8
2Lymphoid neoplasms24410.8
6Non-melanoma skin1617.1
9Myeloid neoplasms984.3
 All Sites2,259100.0
Table 3: 10 Most Frequently Diagnosed Cancers For Males, Aged 40-49 years.

Age Group: 50-59 Years

The number of cancer cases for this age group is close to 3 times the number for males aged 40-59, reflecting a significant uptick in the chances of contracting cancer from page 50. It is particularly important that people in this age group screen for cancer regularly.

Colorectal cancer remains the most common cancer, while lung cancer increases from 7.1% of all male cancer cases in the previous age bracket to 11.7%. There is a sharp increase in prostate cancer cases for this age group, making it the 3rd most common cancer.

The government’s Screen for Life programme starts supporting colorectal screening from age 50, and is offered with Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT). People in this age group should consider also lung cancer screening (low-dose CT scan, tumour markers) and prostate cancer screening (ultrasound, tumour marker), particularly if there are risk factors such as a positive family history, or a smoking history in the case of lung cancer.

1Colon & rectum112418.6
4Lymphoid neoplasms4737.8
7Non-melanoma skin2954.9
 All Sites6,052100.0
Table 4: 10 Most Frequently Diagnosed Cancers For Males, Aged 50-59 years.

Age Group: 60-69 Years

Prostate cancer becomes the most common form of cancer for this age group, followed by colorectal and lung cancer. The total number of cancer diagnosis again doubles from the previous age bracket. This is despite there being a smaller population size of males in this bracket.

2Colon & rectum234618.2
5Lymphoid neoplasms7916.1
7Non-melanoma skin4813.7
10Myeloid neoplasms3522.7
 All Sites12,889100.0
Table 5: 10 Most Frequently Diagnosed Cancers For Males, Aged 60-69 years.

Age Group: 70-79 Years

For the 70-79 age group, prostate cancer remains the top cancer in Singapore. Lung cancer and colorectal cancer swap positions, becoming 2nd and 3rd most common respectively. The total number of cancer diagnosis falls marginally, despite there being substantially fewer people in this age group. The chances of contracting cancer for people aged 70-79 is thus much higher than when they were aged 60-69 (1,043.7 cases per 100,000 population for age 60-69 years, versus 2,043.4 cases per 100,000 population for age 70-79 years)

3Colon & rectum178415.2
5Lymphoid neoplasms7106.0
6Non-melanoma skin6015.1
10Myeloid neoplasms3583.0
 All Sites11,761100.0
Table 6: 10 Most Frequently Diagnosed Cancers For Males, Aged 70-79 years.

Age Group: 80+ Years

For males aged 80 and above, lung cancer forms the largest proportion of all cancer diagnosis. Prostate and colorectal cancers nonetheless remains within the top 3 most frequently occurring ones. The total number of cancer cases is still high, in excess of 6,000. The incidence rate for this age is the highest, at 2,883.5 per 100,000 population.

3Colon & rectum94214.6
4Non-melanoma skin5378.3
7Lymphoid neoplasms3605.6
8Myeloid neoplasms2564.0
 All Sites6,443100.0
Table 7: 10 Most Frequently Diagnosed Cancers For Males, Aged 80+ years.

The Chances Of Cancer Increases With Age

In addition to having a different set of top cancers affecting us as we age, the data also shows that age also increases the probability of contracting cancer. The per-100,000 population incidence rate for cancer jumps more than 2.5 times between consecutive age groups up until the 60-69 years group, from which point it increases by about 2 times moving into the 70-79 years group, and by about 1.4 times moving into the 80+ age group. However, the incidence rate in the 80+ age group is a substantial 120 times higher compared to the 0-29 years group.

Age0-29 years30-39 years40-49 years50-59 years60-69 years70-79 years80+ years
No. of Incidence8219012,2596,05212,88911,7616,443
Age-specific rate (per 100,000 population)24.163.9153.2401.61,043.72,043.42,883.5
Table 8: Age-Specific Incidence Rate Of Cancer In Males By Age Group (2017-2021)

The following Singapore population breakdown from the Department of Statistics is provided as an additional point of reference.

Total Male Residents1,953,114
0-29 years660,919
30-39 years283,026
40-49 years286,016
50-59 years288,738
60-69 years256,484
70-79 years127,333
Table 9: Distribution Of Males Resident In Singapore By Age Group (2021)

Take Active Steps To Protect Yourself Against Cancer

We can protect ourselves against cancer via maintaining a healthier lifestyle, such as reducing our intake of alcohol and processed foods, avoid smoking or 2nd-hand smoke, managing our stress, and ensuring we get adequate amount of sleep each day.

1. Avoid tobacco

  • This includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, shisha, and chewable tobacco products. Inhaling secondhand smoke also increases the chances of developing cancer.
  • By quitting smoking, the risk of developing these types of cancers are reduced: cancers of the lung, larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, pancreas, bladder, stomach, colon and rectum, liver, cervix, kidney, and acute myeloid leukemia.

2. Minimising alcohol intake

  • There are strong links between alcohol consumption and developing the following cancers: Head and neck cancers, oesophageal, liver, breast, and colorectal cancers.
  • Choosing not to drink alcohol is the healthiest choice. Individuals who choose to drink should limit their alcohol intake to no more than 2 drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.

3. Vaccinations

  • Immunization reduces the chances of developing certain cancers.
  • For instance, hepatitis B vaccination protects against hepatitis B infection, as chronic hepatitis B is a major risk factor to developing liver cancer.

4. Protecting from the sun

  • Skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer.
  • Proper use of sunblock reduces the risk of skin cancer and sun damage.
  • Stay out of the sun between 10am to 4pm when UV rays are strongest. When outdoors, avoid exposure to direct sunlight and remain in the shade. Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  • Avoid tanning beds

5. Health screening

  • By doing regular self-examinations and going for routine screenings, there is a greater potential to detect cancers in its early stages before symptoms appear, when the disease might be more treatable.
  • Colorectal cancer screening prevents cancer by removing polyps during colonoscopy, and detects early cancers with a good chance of a cure. Under Singapore’s National Health Screening programme, for individuals with no risk factors, colorectal cancer screening should begin at the age of 50, and can take place in the form of annual faecal occult blood test, colonoscopy every 10 years or a barium enema every 5 years.
  • Lung cancer screening is currently not part of our national health screening programme. However for high risk individuals, screening using low dose computed tomography (LDCT) is advised. Low dose CT scanning is a type of imaging that uses a low dose of radiation to produce detailed images of the lungs. High risk individuals are people aged between 55 – 74 years, have smoked a pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years or more, and continue to smoke or have quit smoking.
  • Prostate cancer is currently not part of our national health screening programme. However, males are advised to screen for prostate cancer if they are above 50 years old and have a family history of prostate cancer, with the family member being under 60 years of age at the point of diagnosis. Screening includes a prostate surface antigen (PSA) blood test, digital rectal examination, as well as an ultrasound of the prostate gland.

Health Screening And Cancer Detection

Cancers often present no symptoms in the early stages and may go untreated until they have developed into an advanced stage whereby treatment become more difficult. Fortunately, they may be detected during regular health screening. In Singapore, there is no shortage of opportunities for health screening. If cost is a consideration however, health screening in nearby countries such as Malaysia is an option too.

Where To Get Health Screening

Health365 has partnerships with trusted healthcare providers in Singapore and across the region.

  • Looking for a S$300 health screening that includes a suite of tumour marker blood tests for cancer detection? Explore this specially curated package from AsiaMedic : Basic Plus Package for Men or Basic Plus Package for Women.
  • Explore a comprehensive range of packages at different price points from our partners in Singapore and overseas here.
  • Contact us via Whatsapp for enquiries.

Protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases with regular health screening. Compare and shop for health screenings from Singapore and regional healthcare providers at a single convenient platform - shop.health365.sg

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.