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Colon Cancer

Crohn`s Fistula and Colon Cancer Risk

04/07/2011

Question:

I have had Crohn`s Disease for 31 years (I am 47 years old) and have had two small bowel resections in `86 and `96 due to intestinal blockages. My last colonscopy was in 2006 and one polyp was removed from the rectum which was benign.

In 2007 I developed a perianal abscess which turned into a perianal fistula that I have been living with since which constantly hurts, drains pus, and bleeds. My right buttocks "cheek" is always red and sometimes turns various shades of purple when it is really painful. I gave up on doctors a while ago because I was told nothing could be done for the fistula other than to reinsert the setons which I do not want to do. I also tried four infusions of Remicade which did not help.

My question is can a Crohn`s perianal fistula ever turn into colon cancer?

Thank you.

Answer:

Yes, it can. Chronically inflamed intestinal tissue has a significant risk of degenerating into a malignancy as time goes on. Please don't give up on the doctors who are treating your chronic medical condition. Crohn's can be very challenging and frustrating, for both doctor and patient.

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Response by:

Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD Janice Frederick Rafferty, MD
Professor of Surgery
Chief of Colorectal Surgery Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati