US researchers carried out research at the Northwestern University and found out that men with inflammatory bowel have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer later. The study was carried out between 1,033 men who had inflammatory bowel disease and another group of 9,306 men who did not have IBD and acted as the control group. These two groups of men were kept at observation for 18 years and the result after 18 years showed that men who had inflammatory bowel disease were at a 5 times more risk of having prostate cancer with high levels of PSA (prostate-specific antigen). This is a protein that is produced by normal and malignant prostate glands but the levels are higher in those with prostate cancer.
Dr. Shilajit Kundu, the lead study author clarifies that there is no data to guide how to treat these men as many doctors think their PSA is elevated just because they have an inflammatory condition. "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."
What is inflammatory bowel disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease or IBD as it is commonly called is the inflammation of a part or the whole of the digestive tract. It is a chronic condition and also involves Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. If not detected and treated at the right age, it can lead to prostate cancer, but will a healthy lifestyle and proper treatment, cancer can be averted.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also stated that prostate cancer is the leading cause of death among men in the leading cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, and Pune and, third in cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai.
Dr. Hardeep Singh, a gastroenterologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Southern California said that there is a worldwide rise in IBD for unknown reasons. But IBD weakens the immune system that leads to the growth of cancer cells.
Symptoms of IBD
Symptoms experienced due to IBD vary from one person to another depending on how severe the inflammation is and where it occurs. Here are some signs and symptoms of IBD that are also common to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- Fever and fatigue
- Bloody stools
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- Low appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
If these symptoms are persistent and you notice a prolonged change in your bowel habits, you must visit a doctor. Though IBD isn’t fatal untreated IBD can lead to further complications in the form of prostate cancer.