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Cancer in ulcerative colitis, Crohn's and celiac disease

The latest European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology examines the risk of cancer in patients with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and celiac disease.

News image

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Dr Michael Goldacre and colleagues compared the risk of cancers in cohorts of patients with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, or celiac disease, with the risk in a control cohort.

The team analyzed a linked statistical database of hospital, and mortality data in an area in southern England.

In Crohn's disease, there was a high risk of cancer of the colon
European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

The researchers found that rate ratios for cancer, compared with the value of 1 in the control cohort, were 1.25 in patients with ulcerative colitis, 1.27 with Crohn's disease, and 1.16 with celiac disease.

The team found that in patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, there was a significantly high risk of cancer of the colon.

In patients with ulcerative colitis there was a significantly high risk of cancer of the rectum.

In patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, who did not undergo partial or total colectomy for it, the rate ratios for colon cancer were, respectively, 5.5, and 4.8.

The team found that in ulcerative colitis, there was an elevated risk of cancer of the rectum, liver and ovary.

The rate ratio for lung cancer was low, but of borderline significance.

In Crohn's disease, the rate ratio was high for cancer of the cervix.

The team noted that in patients with coeliac disease, the high-risk cancer was non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Dr Goldacres' team concluded, "All three diseases carry an increased risk of cancer overall when the first year cases are included, though fairly modest in scale."

"Also the increased risk seen in celiac disease reduces when first year cases are excluded."

"Each has a distinctive pattern of individual high-risk cancers."

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2008: 20(4): 297-304
18 March 2008

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