“Crohn’s is the inflammation of the intestine, from mouth to anus, usually in the small or large bowel - or both,” says gastroenterologist Sander R. Binderow, MD, FACS, FASCRS of Atlanta Colon & Rectal Surgery.
“Some patients have anal Crohn’s or Crohn’s of the stomach; however, that is very rare,” adds Dr. Binderow.
This disorder is an inflammatory bowel disease that is actually associated with an increased risk for colon cancer. Microscopic colitis is also an inflammatory bowel disease, but is not associated with an increased risk of any kind of cancer. Microscopic colitis is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome.
“Crohn’s presents as a diarrheal-type illness, where the large intestine lining is inflamed, and with Crohn’s, there is not as much blood,” says Dr. Binderow. “Patients tend to be ill, where they lose a significant amount of weight, do not eat and have a loss of appetite.” If you think these symptoms sound like those of colon cancer, you are correct.
Long-term Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
“Long-term symptoms can include a stricture, which causes abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, narrowing of the colon and fistulas,” says Dr. Binderow.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you should be vigilant about colon cancer screening. You can begin this with Cologuard, a non-invasive way to screen for colon cancer. It’s a test that you take at home. Using the latest in DNA technology, Cologuard identifies precancerous cells. If your test result comes out positive for this, your next step should be a colonoscopy.