Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis (inflammation and sores ulcers in the lining of the large intestine) and Crohn’s disease, is a condition in which the colon is inflamed over a long period of time. People who have had IBD for many years often develop dysplasia, which are cells in the lining of the colon or rectum that look abnormal and not like true cancer cells when viewed under a microscope. These cells can change into cancer over time.

If you have IBD, your risk of developing colorectal cancer is increased, and you may need to be screened for colorectal cancer by having colon cancer screening on a more frequent basis.

inflammatory-bowel-disease Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms:
A: Crohn’s Disease symptoms: Pain in the abdominal area, blood in the stool, distended abdomen and bloating, granulomas, decreased or loss of appetite, mucus in the stool, diarrhea that persists, digestive track ulceration

B: Ulcerative Colitis  Symptoms: Pain and cramping in abdomen, bloating and distended abdomen, blood in stool, loss  of appetite or decrease in appetite, mucus in stool, diarrhea which persists, digestive track ulceration, and and increase in the urge to use the restroom and move bowels.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is different from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) does not carry an increased risk for colorectal cancer.

African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups in the United States. The reasons for this are not yet understood.

Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi Jews) have one of the highest colorectal cancer risks of any ethnic group in the world. Several gene mutations leading to an increased risk of colorectal cancer have been found in this group. The most common of these DNA changes, called the I1307K APC mutation, is present in about 6% of American Jews.

Lifestyle-related factors have been linked to colorectal cancer. The links between diet, weight, and exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer.

Diets high in vegetables and fruits have been linked with decreased risk of colorectal cancer.

A diet that is high in red meats (beef, pork, lamb) and processed meats (hot dogs and some luncheon meats) can increase colorectal cancer risk. Also cooking meats at very high temperatures (frying, broiling, or grilling) create chemicals that might increase cancer risk, although it’s not clear how much this might contribute to an increase in colorectal cancer risks.  Although IBD is different than IBS some of the symptoms may be similar and you may find these tips for IBS treatment helpful IBS Treatment.

Obesity raises the risk of colon cancer in both men and women, but the link seems to be stronger in men. If you are very overweight, your risk of developing and dying from colorectal cancer is increased.

Long-term smokers are more likely than non-smokers to develop and die from colorectal cancer. Besides causing lung cancer, some of the cancer-causing substances are swallowed and can cause digestive system cancers, such as colorectal cancer. Smoking clearly increases the risk of colorectal cancer and aggressive adenomatous colon polyps, which are considered precursors to colon cancer. The connection is stronger for rectal cancer than for colon cancer. Cigarette smoking is also a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer, and has been established as a major behavioral risk factor for gastric cancer.

It would be wise to limit alcohol use to no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. Colorectal cancer has been linked to the heavy use of alcohol, due to the fact that alcohol users tend to have low levels of folic acid in the body.

Getting screened for colorectal cancer is important. Colorectal cancer has several screening exams from which to choose from.

In March 2008, the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology jointly recommended screening for colorectal cancer beginning at 50 years of age by :
(1) high-sensitivity Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) or Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) annually,
(2) flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years,
(3) double-contrast barium enema every 5 years,
(4) CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years,
(5) colonoscopy every 10 years,
(6) fecal DNA at an unspecified interval.

Regular colon cancer screening can often find colorectal cancer early, when it is most likely to be curable. In many cases, screening can also prevent colorectal cancer altogether. This is because some polyps, or growths, can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer.