People who have severe ulcerative colitis are at increased Colon Cancer Risk. But having a higher risk doesn’t mean you will absolutely get Colon Cancer. Only about 5 percent of people with severe uc end up with colorectal cancer. Plus, there are steps you can take to reduce your Colorectal Cancer Risk.
Ulcerative Colitis: Colon Cancer Risk Factors
Ulcerative colitis is a disease in which the colon becomes inflamed. Nobody is quite sure how it starts, but it’s believed that people with UC have problems with their immune system that likely contribute to its development. In addition, this chronic disease often runs in families, as does Colon Cancer. Nearly 20 percent of people withColon Cancer have a family member affected by the disease.About 500,000 people in the United States have UC, while approximately 108,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year.The following factors increase the odds that you’ll develop Colon Cancer if you have severe ulcerative colitis:
- The more damage the inflammation of severe UC inflicts, the higher your Colorectal Cancer Risk . In addition, sustained inflammation of the colon over time makes you more vulnerable to colorectal cancer.
- If only your lower colon and rectum are affected by ulcerative colitis, your chances of getting colorectal cancer are similar to the risks of people without ulcerative colitis; however, your risk can rise to 32 times that if your entire colon is affected. Those who get colorectal cancer usually have more of their colon affected by the ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative Colitis: Tests for Detecting Colon Cancer:If you have Colorectal Cancer Risk, your doctor may order several tests to see if colorectal cancer has developed. They include:
- Fecal occult blood test (hemoccult): This is a simple test you can do at home that detects whether blood is present in your stool. However, since people with ulcerative colitis often have blood in the stool because of inflammation — not cancer — hemoccult testing is used in conjunction with other tests to properly diagnose colorectal cancer
- Colonoscopy: This is a more thorough way to check for Colon Cancer in people with ulcerative colitis. During a colonoscopy, a thin, flexible tube with an attached camera is inserted up through the rectum. Your doctor is then able to visually examine your colon for any inflammation and signs of cancer, take a biopsy, or a sample of colon tissue, and remove any suspicious lesions, if necessary.
- Sigmoidoscopy: During a sigmoidoscopy the doctor uses the same methods used in colonoscopy, but only the lower part of the colon is examined. source