IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, is a disorder that affects the large intestine (colon) and is fairly common. IBS is usually found to cause cramping, pain in the abdominal area, bloating gas, constipation and diarrhea. Through the years, IBS has been called by many names, among them colitis, mucous colitis, spastic colon, or spastic bowel. However, no link has been established between IBS and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. As distressful as these symptoms may be, permanent damage to your large intestine is not caused by IBS.
Most people with IBS eventually find that their symptoms improve as they learn what to do and not do to control their symptoms. Only a small fraction of people with IBS have severe signs and symptoms. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome believe that since their IBS symptoms are so severe, it is a foregone conclusion that it must be doing some permanent or long-term damage to their bodies, or placing them at risk for cancer. These people are misinformed as, presently, there is no evidence that IBS leads to cancer or any other more serious health problems. There is also no evidence to support the notion that IBS will decrease one’s overall health or life expectancy.
Unlike more-serious intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, IBS does not cause inflammation or changes in bowel tissue or increase the risk of colon cancer. Again, in most cases, one can control IBS by managing the quality of diet, quality of lifestyle and the amount of stress.
In conclusion, while the symptoms of IBS can be severe and very distressing, IBS does not lead to colon cancer. People who have IBS have no greater chance of developing colon cancer as those people with average risk of developing colon cancer.