People with Crohn’s disease appear to have a higher risk of colon cancer.
The findings of a Denmark-based study revealed that patients with Crohn’s disease have a greater overall risk for colon cancer compared to the general public, but the same was not true for those with ulcerative colitis. The researchers looked at 1,437 patients with ulcerative colitis and 774 with Crohn’s disease between 1978 and 2002. Follow-up was conducted until December 2010, or until cancer incidence, death, or emigration from Denmark.
There were 207 ulcerative colitis patients who developed cancer, with no significant difference in the overall risk even when other contributing factors were taken into account. On the other hand, these patients did have an elevated risk for prostate cancer, especially among those who have used 5-aminosalisylic acid (5-ASA).
Crohn’s disease patients had a higher overall risk of cancer, with 129 patients developing it during the follow-up period. More specifically, these patients had a higher risk of small bowel and lung cancers, as well as cervical dysplasia. Male Crohn’s disease patients were also more likely to develop colon cancer.
An increased risk of lung cancer was associated with smoking and was higher among women. Cervical dysplasia was linked to smoking, 5-ASA use, thiopurine exposure, and younger age at diagnosis. Lymphoma diagnosis in CD patients was associated with nonuse of 5-ASA, younger age, and small bowel and colonic disease.
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