Risk Factors

The risk of developing colorectal cancer is increased in people with IBD, and is higher the more of the colon that is involved. Recent studies estimate that, although the occurrence of colon cancer in people with ulcerative colitis has decreased over the last 60 years to 1.2 in 1000 patients in any year, the risk increases the longer someone has IBD.1,4

It takes 8–10 years after Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis develops for the risk of CRC to become noticeable.1,2,5

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include: extensive colitis, young age at diagnosis, family history of CRC and persistent inflammation of the colon.6

In the persistent inflammation state, the chronically inflamed and ulcerated lining of the colon is constantly re-growing and re-healing, and so is more prone to cancer-causing mutations, putting the entire colon lining at risk for producing precancerous cells.7,8

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