Do Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis increase risk of cancer? The short answer is yes. If you have ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease involving the colon, you are at a higher risk for developing colon cancer. However, the majority of people with these two conditions may never develop colon cancer. Keep reading to find out how to reduce your risk factors.
Why The Higher Risks?
There are several reasons why Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis increase your risk of cancer.
Inflammation is one of the ways these conditions are linked. Crohn’s Disease causes high levels of inflammation in the intestines. That inflammation can make it more likely that abnormal cells could become cancerous, especially in the GI tract.
The risks increase under the following conditions:
- The longer you have Crohn’s disease, the higher the risk of cancer. After eight years, increased screenings should occur every one to two years.
- Getting a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis or a type of Crohn’s that only affects the colon. This is known as Crohn’s colitis.
- Suffering from a severe colon inflammation
- Having a family history of colon cancer
- If there are changes in the cells known as dysplasia.
- Having Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, or PSC, which is an inflammation of the bile ducts.
- Being a male
- Being over the age of 50
Reducing The Risks
If you have Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, reducing inflammation via the medications from Colorectal Wellness Center will greatly reduce your risks of developing colon cancer. Early detection is the key to successful treatment, and regular colonoscopies will identify precancerous polyps and early cancer.
See Colorectal Wellness Center in Atlanta at least once a year. There is no cure for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, but the goal is to keep inflammation under control.
The bottom line: with IBD, the sooner you get a diagnosis, the faster you get symptoms under control, reduce any inflammation, and thereby reduce the risk of cancer.
Schedule an Colorectal Appointment in Metro Atlanta
Don’t wait to contact the board-certified colorectal specialists at Colorectal Wellness Center if you notice any bowel irregularities.