Crohn’s disease and colorectal (intestinal) cancer are both diseases of the intestines, although Crohn’s disease affects a larger area of the gastrointestinal tract than colorectal cancer.
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease that can affect any portion of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus.
Colorectal cancer, on the other hand, involves cancerous growths in the lower portion of the digestive tract, which contain the colon, rectum and appendix.
Both Crohn’s disease and colorectal cancer are characterized by abdominal pain and cramping, persistent diarrhea, incidences of blood in the stool, and unexplained weight loss.
Genetics can also determine a person’s predisposition to both diseases. People with family histories of one or the other are also at risk of having Crohn’s disease or colorectal cancer themselves.
Colorectal cancer is also more probable in patients who’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or other chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases.
There is currently no known course of treatment that could cure Crohn’s disease. Remission could possibly occur, but may not be sustained; the symptoms can only be controlled with medication when in remission.
Colorectal cancer can be cured with surgery, if it is caught in the early stages; radiotherapy and – or chemotherapy may be used as follow-up treatments depending on the patient’s staging and other factors.
Changes in lifestyle, such as focusing on low fiber diets, maintaining proper body weight, and pursuing physical activities can be beneficial for people predisposed to or already with these diseases.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease would be properly managed and even reduced; the risk of colorectal cancer would also be decreased significantly.