Inflammatory bowel disease during childhood linked to higher cancer rates

DN Bureau

A recent study has revealed that individuals who suffered from inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease during childhood are at an increased risk of cancer and early death.

Representational Image
Representational Image

Washington DC: A recent study has revealed that individuals who suffered from inflammatory bowel disease including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease during childhood are at an increased risk of cancer and early death.

Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine and causes irritation and swelling called inflammation whereas Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterised by inflammation that responds to tissue injury ultimately causing redness, swelling, and pain.

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According to the study published in the Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, researchers diagnosed patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease before 18 years of age.

Over a follow-up of 9.6 years, 72 patients developed cancer and 65 died. Most cancers were in the small or large intestine, but there were also cases of lymphomas and skin melanomas.

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Patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis during childhood had 2.5-times higher risk of developing cancer and a 3.7-times higher risk of dying during follow-up compared with the general population.

For Crohn's disease, the risk was 2.6-times higher for cancer and 2.2-times higher for death compared to the general population. The main causes of death were cancer, suicide, and infections.

The findings stress the importance of cancer surveillance for young patients with Ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Also, the increased risk of suicide found in the study highlights the need to assess patients' mental health. (ANI)

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