New research shows that patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at higher risk of melanoma. Mayo Clinic researchers found that IBD is associated with a 37 percent greater risk for the disease.
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. Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and study author Siddharth Singh, M.B.B.S., says, “Based on this data, we are suggesting that physicians appropriately counsel IBD patients about the risk of melanoma. Sun-protective measures are very effective in preventing this cancer.” The findings were presented at the Digestive Disease Week 2013 conference in Orlando, Fla.