COLORECTAL CANCER

Modified: February 3, 2020

Dear @[email protected],

Your healthcare team has discussed the following subject with you: colorectal cancer. Here is some additional information. Let us know if you have any questions regarding this information.

Colorectal cancer can occur anywhere in the large intestine (colon and rectum). Chronic inflammation of the colon can damage the lining of the colon over time, leading to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Therefore, people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease involving the colon are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. However, the risk usually does not begin to increase until 8-10 years after developing ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease involving the colon. It is important to know that colorectal cancer is preventable and highly treatable in the early stages.

The risk for colorectal cancer can be reduced by keeping your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) under control. However, this does not eliminate the risk entirely. Therefore, it is recommended that you get a colonoscopy every 1-2 years beginning 8 years after your IBD symptoms initially appeared. The colonoscopy allows your doctor to find and remove pre-cancerous tissue.

Colorectal cancer can have symptoms but can also be completely without symptoms. However, if your IBD is under control, and you experience weight loss, or rectal bleeding, or persistent abdominal pain, you should speak to your healthcare team.

For further information, please check out www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/what-is-ibd/colorectal-cancer

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