People suffering with inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or colitis, could be at risk of non-melnoma skin cancer – particularly if they are taking immune-suppressing medications.Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main major types of bowel disease.Ulcerative colitis involves inflammation of the lining of the large intestine, and Crohn’s disease involves inflammation of the lining and wall of the small or large intestine.However, experts have said certain treatments for In Inflammatory Bowel Disease – such as thiopurines – act by suppressing the immune system, which could increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

Two studies, previously published in the journal Gastroenterology, looked at the risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer among people with In Inflammatory Bowel Disease.The first study involved more than 9,600 IBD patients.Risk of skin cancer in these patients was compared with the risk in a similar group of people without IBD. Experts found people with IBD were 20 per cent more likely to develop a form of skin cancer than those without the disease.The second study was conducted in France and involved more than 19,000 people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.Experts found current and past users of thiopurines had an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, which was even seen among patients under the age of 50.

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