You may be worried about the connection between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer if you have IBD, which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It's important to understand that while IBD increases your risk of colon cancer, it doesn't necessarily lead to colon cancer.
There are several common colon cancer screening tests — including colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography), fecal occult blood test and flexible sigmoidoscopy. The best screening test for people with Crohn's disease that affects the lower part of the colon is colonoscopy. This screening test uses a long, flexible and slender tube attached to a video camera and monitor to view your entire colon and rectum. If any suspicious areas are found, your doctor can pass surgical tools through the tube to take tissue samples (biopsies) for analysis.
General colon cancer screening guidelines for people without IBD call for a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50. However, depending on how long you've had IBD and how much of your colon is involved, you may need a colonoscopy as often as every one to two years. Talk to your doctor about the best colon cancer screening schedule for your particular situation.
July 20, 2019
See more In-depth
- Ulcerative colitis. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/inflammatory-bowel-disease-ibd/ulcerative-colitis. Accessed June 4, 2019.
- Ulcerative colitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/ulcerative-colitis. Accessed June 4, 2019.
- Tests to detect colorectal cancer and polyps. National Cancer Institute. https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/screening-fact-sheet?redirect=true. Accessed June 4, 2019.
- Rex DK, et al. Colorectal cancer screening: Recommendations for physicians and patients from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. Gastroenterology. 2017;153:307.
- Abdominal pain
- Aerobic exercise
- Anal pain
- Arthritis pain: Do's and don'ts
- Barium enema
- Botox injections: Can they relieve arthritis pain?
- Can arthritis pain medications be harmful?
- Color Blue Detects Colon Cancer
- CT scan
- CT scans: Are they safe?
- Do you drink enough water?
- Exercising with arthritis
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy
- Frequent bowel movements
- Home enteral nutrition
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Lisa M. Epp, RDN, LD, discusses home enteral nutrition
- Lisa M. Epp, RDN, LD, discusses how to remove your feeding tube at home
- Lisa M. Epp, RDN, LD, discusses the new enteral connectors
- Low-fiber diet
- Manpreet S. Mundi, M.D., discusses tube feeding
- MSM for arthritis pain: Is it safe?
- Needle biopsy
- Prednisone risks, benefits
- Probiotics and prebiotics
- Quit-smoking strategies
- Seeing inside the heart with MRI
- Hand exercises for people with arthritis
- Joint protection
- Splitting doses for colonoscopy preparation
- Support groups
- Barium enema
- Water exercise
- Yucca: Can it relieve arthritis pain?