Inflammatory Bowel Disease Raises Risk of Melanoma


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Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at higher risk of melanoma, reported researchers at Mayo Clinic. Researchers found that inflammatory bowel disease is associated with a 37% greater risk for the disease. The findings were presented at the Digestive Disease Week 2013 conference in Orlando, Florida.

Researchers determined this increased risk by performing a comprehensive search of all published studies on inflammatory bowel disease over the past 7 decades. They analyzed 172,837 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (92,208 with Crohn’s disease; 79,360 with ulcerative colitis) to find the 179 cases of melanoma after an inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis.

Counsel Patients about Risks

“Based on this data, we are suggesting that physicians appropriately counsel patients with inflammatory bowel disease about the risk of melanoma. Sun-protective measures are very effective in preventing this cancer,” said study author Siddharth Singh, MBBS, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.

More than 1.5 million Americans have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Both conditions inflame the lining of the intestine, leading to bouts of watery diarrhea, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps and pain, fever, and weight loss. ■


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SIDEBAR: IBD and Melanoma

Inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) is associated with a 37% greater risk for melanoma.

Given the new data, physicians should appropriately counsel patients with inflammatory bowel disease about the risk of melanoma.


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