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---- CANCER FACT ----

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammation of the lining of the large bowel (colon). The cause of ulcerative colitis remains unknown. This entity increases the risk of developing cancer; therefore patients are followed carefully with repeated colonoscopy and biopsy.


  • Cramping - abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Bloating

Initial treatment of ulcerative colitis is medical, using antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications (drugs such as Alzulfidine, Prednisone, etc.). These are usually necessary on a long-term basis. Prednisone has significant side effects, and, therefore, it is usually used for short periods. "Flare-ups" of the disease can often be treated by increasing the dosage of medications or adding new medications, such as 6-Mercaptopurine. Hospitalization may be necessary to put the bowel to rest.

Surgery is indicated for patients who have life-threatening complications of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as massive bleeding, perforation, or infection. It may also be necessary for those who have the chronic form of the disease, which fails medical therapy. It is important the patient be comfortable that all reasonable medical therapy has been attempted prior to considering surgical therapy. Patients who have long-standing ulcerative colitis have increased risk of developing colon cancer. There are multiple surgical options available for this illness. Cases must be individualized; we recommend you visit one of our physicians to discuss options in detail.

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Disclaimer: Nothing found at this website should be construed as medical advice or treatment recommendations. For any symptoms you may have, you should see your family physician, gastroenterologist or colorectal surgeon.zz