Ulcerative colitis causes the large intestine and rectum to be inflamed which can lead to damaged cells. The inflammation can also cause other major issues including cancer. It is important for people with UC to treat their symptoms in order to prevent flare ups and reduce the risk of cancer.
People with UC are at a greater risk for certain cancers including colorectal cancer. This means that people with UC could be 5 times more likely to develop colorectal cancer compared to someone who does not have UC. There are other risk factors for people with UC that can possibly increase their risk of colorectal cancer. These factors include, when the person was diagnosed with UC, if they are a male, if they have diabetes, and their family history.
It is hard to detect symptoms of colorectal cancer since the symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms of colorectal cancer can include diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, weight loss, blood in the stool, constant bloating or cramps. Making some diet changes could help someone with UC reduce their risk of colorectal cancer. People can reduce the risk by eating healthy, managing stress levels, staying dehydrated, and exercise regularly.
Read more on colorectal cancer and ulcerative colitis.