Women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Have Increased Cancer Risk

Crohn's disease specifically carries greater risk for developing cervical cancer.

Crohn’s disease specifically carries greater risk for developing cervical cancer.

Female inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients may face an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer, a recent study finds.

The study, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, indicated that women with IBD may carry a greater risk of cervical dysplasia and cancer.

"Our research shows that patients with IBD, specifically Crohn's disease, are at increased risk for developing cervical cancer, even when undergoing the recommended screening," study author Professor Tine Jess, MD, said in a press release. "These findings provide an important reminder for IBD patients, and their physicians, to follow the recommended screening guidelines for cervical cancer."

For the study, researchers conducted a population-based, case-controlled evaluation that included 27,408 women with IBD in Denmark, over a 35-year period. The results revealed a 2-way association between IBD, specifically Crohn's disease, and neoplastic lesions of the uterine cervix.

The study noted that these lesions were not explained by screening activity differences.

While patients with both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease faced higher odds of a cervical cancer diagnosis prior to IBD, only Crohn's disease patients experienced an increased risk for developing cervical cancer following the IBD diagnosis.

In Crohn's disease patients, a significantly higher risk of cervical neoplasia was noted in patients diagnosed with the condition at a young age and in patients treated with azathioprine. The results indicated that the treatment of Crohn’s disease with TNF-α antagonists and hormonal contraceptive devices may also influence the risk of cervical neoplasia.