Study links inflammatory bowel disease to prostate cancer

Washington: Inflammatory bowel disease increases the risk of prostate cancer by four-to-five times, according to a study.

The findings appear in the journal European Urology.

The 20-year study from Northwestern Medicine is the first report to show men with inflammatory bowel disease have higher than average PSA (prostate-specific antigen) values, and this group also has a significantly higher risk of potentially dangerous prostate cancer.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a common chronic condition that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. “These patients may need to be screened more carefully than a man without inflammatory bowel disease,” said lead study author Dr. Shilajit Kundu. “If a man with inflammatory bowel disease has an elevated PSA, it may be an indicator of prostate cancer.”

In his practice, Kundu sees many men with inflammatory bowel disease who have elevated PSA tests.
“Many doctors think their PSA is elevated just because they have an inflammatory condition,” Kundu added. “There is no data to guide how we should treat these men.”

For the extensive study, researchers looked at 1,033 men with inflammatory bowel disease and a control group of 9,306 men without the disease. They followed the two groups of men for 18 years and found those with inflammatory bowel disease were much more likely to have prostate cancer and higher PSA levels.