Does celiac disease cause cancer?
The heading is like a puzzle because the two’s reaction is entirely different within our bodies. Although we need to address the mystery that many people ask: Does Celiac Disease cause Cancer?
If you look at it closely:
Celiac Disease: is the immune system of your body, attacking your gut lining.
Cancer is when your cells grow abnormally and taking over other parts of your body.
In summary, the two are attacking your body and immune system oppositely. The end goal for both is to either one taking over or controlling your body and immune system at the same time.
Let’s look again into the main question. The answer to this question is YES. It is possible for certain Cancers. We will get deeper into understanding, exceptionally, how and when you may be at higher risk for these certain cancers and a lower risk for other particular cancer forms.
When diagnosed with Celiac Disease, your body has an extreme issue with Gluten. We are sitting with a dilemma that scientists don’t understand completely Gluten, which makes it challenging to track and cure it.
A certain number of people with celiac disease don’t heal entirely from Celiac Disease even after gluten-free. Celiac Disease causes severe damage and problems that can go beyond your digestive system. Healing is not universal to everyone with celiac disease, adults, or people diagnosed with Celiac Disease; they don’t heal their intestine for almost two years since the start of the gluten-free diet.
The potential reasons for not healing or slow the healing:
It might the diet having a low-level of gluten condition or traces.
People who had Celiac Disease for an extended period or not diagnosed earlier.
Slow or reluctant healing in your intestine.
NIH’s study shows an overall increase in risk for malignancy if people don’t treat Celiac Disease. A recent survey by the association between Celiac Disease and Malignancies is evident. In Finland, the prevalence of clinically diagnosed adult Celiac Disease is 0.6%. In this large, population-based cohort, Aimed at a reasonable projection of the Cancer risk.
Table of Contents
Does celiac disease cause cancer?
Many studies conducted, and only now, a few types of cancer are associated with Celiac Disease. There are four types of cancer associated with Celiac Disease. Compared with the average population, people with celiac disease usually have an increased risk of developing the following cancers:
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the small bowel, which is a rare type called enteropathy associated T cell lymphoma (EATL)
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Adenocarcinoma of the small intestine is sometimes called cancer of the small bowel.
- and lastly, other types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Yet, countless people with celiac disease do not develop lymphoma or other types of cancers that we mention above to be associated with celiac disease.
A recent research study shows that the higher risk in people with celiac disease of developing these particular types of cancer is getting much less than previously thought.
Thanks to following a gluten-free diet, which allows your gut to heal itself. All that too reduces the already low risk of developing the above mentioned specific types of cancer.
A study or research from the UK suggests that the risk of developing these specific types of cancer decreases with time from diagnosis of celiac disease to nearly the same as occurs in the general population.
It is crucial to remember that developing cancer due to celiac disease is rare. The large majority of those with celiac disease will never develop these related cancers.
Currently, no US (FDA) approved treatments drug. The only thing we have is to follow a gluten-free diet, which is extremely difficult to maintain too many people.
Celiac disease’s signs and symptoms can change in a big way and differ between adults and children. Here we include the digestive signs and symptoms for adults and not limited to the following; it has:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Bloating and gas
The risk of these cancers differs in those with celiac disease. People who have had more intestinal healing appear to be at lower risk than those who are continuously having persistent damage.
It’s very important to take note that the Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract are within the most common and deadliest affecting many Americans. Other factors are environmental, which is thought to play an important role in the development of gastrointestinal cancers. For more information on this, click here.
Here is an example from the World Health Organization (WHO), which recently placed red meats and processed meats into the highest category of carcinogens based on studies that link them to colorectal cancer.
Nevertheless, in aggregate, the studies have shown uniformly that the risk of small intestinal cancers is increased in people with celiac disease.
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is part of a group of blood cancers that originates in your lymphatic system except Hodgkin lymphomas. The disease-fighting connection spread throughout your body. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes. It is a specific type of white blood cell. Some forms are slow-growing, while others are fast-growing.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the most common than the other generic type of lymphoma, i.e., Hodgkin lymphoma.
Advances in the diagnosis and treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have helped improve the prognosis for people with this disease.
Hodgkin lymphoma: is a particular type of lymphoma in which cancer arises from a specific type of white blood cells, and is called lymphocytes, which is part of your immune system. Often, there will be non-painful enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, under the arm, or in the groin.
It may attack people of any age, but it is most common in people from 20 to 40 years old and mostly those over 55 years of age.
In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, your cells in the lymphatic system may spread beyond it and grow abnormally. Cancer usually starts when the cells begin to grow out of control.
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of two common types of cancers, itself and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the lymphatic system.
Adenocarcinoma is a certain type of cancer that can starts in several parts of the body. Many organs in our body have mucus-producing glands, where adenocarcinoma most likely to begin its way to start the spread.
Adenocarcinoma can start to happen in many different places or parts of your body, like your Lungs, colon, esophagus, breast, prostate, and pancreas.
Adenocarcinomas are part of the enormous group of carcinomas. If these cancers get removed at an early stage, the survival and prognosis are better than those who have celiac disease.
Not every patient diagnosed with celiac disease develop cancer. As stated, most people will not develop cancer if diagnosed with celiac disease at an early stage. Most cancer signs and symptoms are fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, and gastrointestinal upset. Many factors play a crucial role in gastrointestinal cancers; environmental factors and diet have as much influence as genetic factors.
If you like more information on Celiac Disease Risk Factors, click here.
Diet: It is evident that the food we consume has a significant effect on gastrointestinal cancer development. Gluten, which is present on rye, wheat, and barley, is an essential component for disease pathophysiology and complications.
The advice to celiac disease patients is to avoid any food containing gluten altogether. In a significant number of studies, if patients cut gluten completely in their diet, the risk of disease severity and malignant complications are cut drastically.
For more information about Celiac Disease Risk Factors, click here.
Early diagnosis: There is a bigger chance of developing cancer if the disease is diagnosed very late in the course. It is clear from many studies that two significant factors of developing cancer from celiac disease are:
- Delay in diagnosis
- No adherence to a gluten-free diet
Celiac disease and Cancer treatment
The first and foremost is to consult your doctor if you notice any symptoms. Consult your child’s doctor for any signs your child’s experiences, i.e., irritable, is pale, has a potbelly, is failing to grow, foul-smelling, and bulky stools.
Always bear in mind that in these scenarios, you are dealing with two issues instead of one. You are dealing with celiac disease and cancer at the same time. Make sure to consult your doctor first before trying any gluten-free diet or cancer treatment.
If you stop or even reduce the gluten consumption before going for celiac disease tests, the test results might change significantly.
Celiac disease mostly tends to run in families (genetic). If, for any reason, anyone in your family has the symptoms, inform your doctor. We are advising you to ask your doctor about getting tested if you or any family member has a risk factor or being diagnosed with celiac disease.
Currently, there is no approved treatment plan; that is why your doctor will be advising you on your treatment journey. Adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy are under consideration, and other options are being explored based on available data on colon carcinoma.
How to prevent complications
Mostly celiac disease does not show a typical premalignant mucosal dysplasia or other defects. Therefore it mainly presents at an advanced stage where it has already progressed to a higher level. Diagnosis at an initial stage helps in a big way in the treatable by primary resection (surgery), and a large number of complications don’t occur. The earlier diagnosis has a better prognosis and advantages.
The other aspect is the duration and disease severity. Currently, no medication is available to prevent celiac disease complications. Only a Gluten-free diet is a significant element in the management option that is presently available. A gluten-free diet for those patients with celiac disease is the first step. You also need to consult the dietician to properly optimize your diet and not hurting your body in the long run. Non-adherence to dietary precautions mostly leads to a prolonged inflammatory and autoimmune response, which eventually develops the few types of cancers mentioned above.
Celiac disease is an immunogenic disease. Delay in diagnosis and non-adherence to a gluten-free diet makes celiac disease patients predisposed to a few types of cancers.
These cancers are diagnosed at late stages with poor outcomes. As there is no cure available, so the crucial of urgent diagnosis and strict adherence to a gluten-free diet is the top priority. Only early stages of carcinomas associated with celiac disease are possible further studies are required to manage these conditions.
Celiac disease is a well-established risk factor for small intestinal adenocarcinoma and lymphoma, according to researches.
Delayed diagnosis and prolonged course of the celiac disease are associated with the development of small intestine cancer in celiac patents, so it is imperative to diagnose it early and take precautionary measures to prevent complications.