Complications of Ulcerative colitis


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About complications: Complications of Ulcerative colitis are secondary conditions, symptoms, or other disorders that are caused by Ulcerative colitis. In many cases the distinction between symptoms of Ulcerative colitis and complications of Ulcerative colitis is unclear or arbitrary.

Complications list for Ulcerative colitis: The list of complications that have been mentioned in various sources for Ulcerative colitis includes:

Complications of Ulcerative colitis: About 5 percent of people with ulcerative colitis develop colon cancer. The risk of cancer increases with the duration and the extent of involvement of the colon. For example, if only the lower colon and rectum are involved, the risk of cancer is not higher than normal. However, if the entire colon is involved, the risk of cancer may be as great as 32 times the normal rate.

Sometimes precancerous changes occur in the cells lining the colon. These changes are called "dysplasia." People who have dysplasia are more likely to develop cancer than those who do not. (Doctors look for signs of dysplasia when doing a colonoscopy and when examining tissue removed during the test.)

According to 1997 guidelines on screening for colon cancer, people who have had IBD throughout their colon for at least 8 years and those who have had IBD in only the left colon for at least 15 years should have a colonoscopy every 1 to 2 years to check for dysplasia. Such screening has not been proven to reduce the risk of colon cancer, but it may help identify cancer early should it develop. (These guidelines were produced by an independent expert panel and endorsed by numerous organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American College of Gastroenterology, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America Inc., among others.) 1

Ulcerative colitis is a condition in which the lining of the colon becomes inflamed. Having this condition increases a person's chance of developing colorectal cancer.2

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Ulcerative Colitis: NIDDK
2. excerpt from What You Need To Know About Cancer of the Colon and Rectum: NCI

Last revision: June 23, 2003

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