According to a recent population-based study, there is a 2-way association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), particularly Crohn’s disease, and neoplastic lesions of the uterine cervix. The findings also showed that these associations are not explained by differences in screening activity. The study is published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
“Our research shows that patients with IBD, specifically Crohn’s disease, are at increased risk for developing cervical cancer, even when undergoing the recommended screening,” said study author Professor Tine Jess, MD, from Statens Serum Institut in Denmark in a recent news release. “These findings provide an important reminder for IBD patients, and their physicians, to follow the recommended screening guidelines for cervical cancer,” he added.
In the study titled “Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Cervical Neoplasia: A Population-Based Nationwide Cohort Study,” Tine Jess, MD and co-workers examined the risk of cervical neoplasia (dysplasia or cancer) in women with ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD). They examined the risk for cervical neoplasia diagnosis before inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
A total of 27,408 women with IBD (UC, n = 18,691; CD, n = 8717) from Denmark took part the study for 35 years. The researchers compared the results with women from the general population (n = 1,508,334).
Results revealed that women with CD were screened for cervical cancer as often as women in the control group, while screening frequency was higher in women with UC. During a median period of 7.8 years of follow-up, a total of 561 patients with UC were diagnosed with dysplasia, and 28 patients with UC developed cervical cancer, compared with 1918 controls. During a median period of 8.3 years of follow-up, a total of 407 patients with CD were diagnosed with dysplasia and 26 patients with CD developed cervical cancer, compared with 940 controls. This result was more pronounced for those CD patients diagnosed at a young age and in those treated with azathioprine. Treatment with TNF-α antagonists and hormonal contraceptive devices may also influence risk of cervical neoplasia in Crohn’s disease.
Based on the results, the researchers indicate that their discovery of a two-way association between IDB, particularly Crohn’s disease and neoplastic lesions of the uterine cervix warrants further investigation, which could possibly lead to the development of improved treatments for both conditions.