New study links inflammatory bowel disease to a man’s risk of prostate cancer

Men with inflammatory bowel disease may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer according to new research. ― AFP pic
Men with inflammatory bowel disease may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer according to new research. ― AFP pic

NEW YORK, Dec 11 ― New US research has found a link between inflammatory bowel disease and an increased risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Carried out by researchers at Northwestern University, the study looked at 1,033 men with inflammatory bowel disease and 9,306 men without the disease who acted as a control group.

After following the group of men over an 18-year period, the researchers found that those with inflammatory bowel disease had a four to five times higher risk of prostate cancer and higher PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels. PSA is a protein produced by both normal and malignant prostate gland cells, with levels often higher in men with prostate cancer.

The findings, published in the journal European Urology, are also the first to show that men with inflammatory bowel disease have a higher-than-average level of PSA and an increased risk of this type of cancer.

“Many doctors think their PSA is elevated just because they have an inflammatory condition,” said lead study author Dr Shilajit Kundu. “There is no data to guide how we should treat these men.”

“These patients may need to be screened more carefully than a man without inflammatory bowel disease,” added Dr Kundu. “If a man with inflammatory bowel disease has an elevated PSA, it may be an indicator of prostate cancer.”

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic condition which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and is characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Symptoms include persistent diarrhoea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, bloody stools, weight loss and fatigue.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 3 million US adults reported having IBD in 2015. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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