Northern Virginia Senior Home Care Blog

Does Crohn’s Disease Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer?

By Packy Poon

Crohn’s disease is a kind of inflammatory bowel condition that causes parts of the digestive tract to become inflamed. It causes belly pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and other symptoms. The disease has no cure and can be very uncomfortable to live with. Now, a new study shows that men with Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases may be at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer.

About the Study

The study took place over 18 years and involved over 1,000 men with some kind of inflammatory bowel disease and over 9,300 men who did not have the disease. This second group served as the control group.

Through the course of the study, the PSA levels of the men were examined. PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen. PSA is produced in the prostate gland. Higher levels of PSA can indicate the presence of prostate cancer. The men with inflammatory bowel disease had higher PSA levels than those in the control group. They were also up to 5 times more apt to get prostate cancer.

Though the study does not prove that having an inflammatory disease like Crohn’s causes prostate cancer, it does suggest that men who have the disease should be more carefully screened.

Prostate Cancer Symptoms

Prostate cancer starts in a small, walnut-sized gland that is responsible for producing seminal fluid. Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed kind of cancer in men. Most of the time, it is a slow growing cancer. However, it can sometimes grow quickly, too, and spread outside the prostate gland.

Knowing the symptoms of the disease can help to get it treated sooner, which may result in more successful treatment. Early stage prostate cancer is often caught only during screening because it may not cause any signs of symptoms. However, in its later stages, some of the symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Urinating more frequently than usual.
  • Less force in the urine stream.
  • An interrupted urine flow, which may result in the older adult having to strain to empty their bladder.
  • Painful urination or a feeling of discomfort in the pelvis.
  • Blood in urine or semen.
  • Pain that occurs when the senior sits down, caused by the prostate gland being enlarged.

If an older adult in your life is diagnosed with prostate cancer, senior care can help them during the treatment and recovery period. A senior care provider can offer transportation to and from medical appointments. If the treatment involves surgery, a senior care provider can stay with your loved one at home after their surgery, assisting them with whatever they need and making sure they stay comfortable and safe.

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/news/20181214/crohns-colitis-may-be-tied-to-prostate-cancer
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/prostate-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20353087
https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/prostate-cancer/symptoms-and-signs
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353304

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