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Link between Colon cancer and IBS


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#1 tonyinhampshire

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:09 AM

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There seems to be conflicting information about the Link between Colon cancer and IBS. Some research links the slow passage time and stagnation effect with increased potential of malignancy. Other research indicates no change assocation. what do you think ?tony


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#2 em_t

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:33 AM

I don't reckon there is a link because if current estimates are correct 1 in 5 people have IBS whereas the number that go onto get colon cancer is much less. My GP said having IBS is almost a good thing because sufferers tend to notice changes in their bowel habit much more so than normal people. There are conflicting reports that people who ate a high fibre diet had less incidences of cancer, but this report has since been disputed and others think your risk is lower if you are not constipated on a regular basis. There are some people that are at increased risk of colon cancer including those with Crohn's disease, ulcerative Colitis, Coeliac disease and an inherited disorder called FAP. For Crohn's, Colitis and Coeliac disease the link increases with how young you were when you were diagnosed and with severity of the disease. In saying that I know many people who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer that have never had any problems with their bowels, so its much more to do with a sudden change in bowel habit from my understanding, not with an ongoing problem such as IBS. With IBS if you are having any new symptoms, especially if you are over 50 it is important to go back to the doctor about any changes in bowel habit.

#3 tonyinhampshire

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 06:09 AM

I don't reckon there is a link because if current estimates are correct 1 in 5 people have IBS whereas the number that go onto get colon cancer is much less. My GP said having IBS is almost a good thing because sufferers tend to notice changes in their bowel habit much more so than normal people. There are conflicting reports that people who ate a high fibre diet had less incidences of cancer, but this report has since been disputed and others think your risk is lower if you are not constipated on a regular basis. There are some people that are at increased risk of colon cancer including those with Crohn's disease, ulcerative Colitis, Coeliac disease and an inherited disorder called FAP. For Crohn's, Colitis and Coeliac disease the link increases with how young you were when you were diagnosed and with severity of the disease. In saying that I know many people who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer that have never had any problems with their bowels, so its much more to do with a sudden change in bowel habit from my understanding, not with an ongoing problem such as IBS. With IBS if you are having any new symptoms, especially if you are over 50 it is important to go back to the doctor about any changes in bowel habit.

Yes interesting perspective. Also I read that Though Vegitarians have decreased risk of cancer ganerally, they have noted colon cancer is increased in this grouptony

#4 em_t

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 07:06 AM

Yes I've read that too. From what I understand colon cancer has been attributed to over consumption of red meat and obviously if you are a vegetarian you are not eating these kind of foods. I also remember an article a while ago linking brassica style vegetables so things like broccoli to a reduced risk of bowel cancer. To be honest I think its more linked to not being constipated over very long periods of time - which is something I have to worry about because I have severe chronic constipation and have to take laxatives everyday in order to go. However, doctors do not seem to be very concerned. I know polyps can be a precursor to cancer which is why the remove them during a colonoscopy if they find any.

#5 enoughalready!

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:39 PM

Family history is also a strong factor. My father was dead by his mid 50s with colon cancer so my chances of having it are increased. I had a colonoscopy about 8 years ago and am having another one soon. I'm told I should have one every 5 years now that I am over 50. I have a faecal occult blood test every year as a screening test. I have had IBS all my life, never been regular, despite always eating all the "right" fibre etc and had years of constipation despite being a healthy-eating vegetarian/vegan most of my adult life. My father also had chronic constipation. I don't know why he got colon cancer so early. He did eat meat daily and he did drink alcohol, but I don't know how relevant those things are. Maybe he would have got the cancer anyhow no matter what. I like to think that my healthy lifestyle and diet over many years will protect me but this may be a futile hope. Maybe there is a bowel cancer gene and I am doomed to get it anyhow. My husband does not have IBS, has never been constipated in his life, and always had completely normal bowel activity. He has been a non-smoking/non-drinking vegetarian for many years. This year he saw blood in his stool and has now been diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer (he had a cancerous polyp). It has been removed and the docs say they think they "got it all". But he has to have regular tests from now on. Anyhow, I think there are just so many factors and unknowns, we can only do our best and hope. My constipation IBS has got suddenly worse since January so of course I am worrying about cancer. Just waiting for colonoscopy, hope I don't have to wait too long.





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