Crohn’s Disease and Your Risk for Colon Cancer

The next time you’re in a large group of people, look around. One in twenty of those people will develop colorectal cancer at some point in their lives. And, when you have Crohn’s disease, your lifetime risk is much higher.

“People with Crohn’s disease definitely have an increased risk of colorectal cancer,” says Stephen J. Bickston, MD, director of the inflammatory bowel disease center at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond. According to research, however, increased cancer risk in Crohn’s varies quite a bit, depending on a host of factors, from twice the risk to as high as 20 times the risk that the general public faces, Dr. Bickston said.

While most people with Crohn’s disease won’t develop colon cancer, the potential increased cancer risk makes it important for you to get screened for colon cancer more often than the general guidelines suggest, as well as be on guard for any colorectal cancer symptoms.

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