Clinical Topics & News

IBD and the Risk of Oral Cancer

Patients experiencing inflammatory bowel disease may be at a higher risk for oral cancer.


Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may have a higher risk of oral cancer, according to a study at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Researchers collected data on 7,294 patients from 2000 through 2011. The results were published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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In the study, the expected incidence of oral cancer was calculated for the patients who were stratified by gender and age using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) 18 registry data. Seven men and 4 women had biopsy-proven oral cancer. Six had cancer of the tongue, 2 had cancer of the hard palate, and 3 had tonsillar, buccal, or mandibular sarcoma. Seven patients had been treated for IBD before the cancer diagnosis.

Women had a higher risk of oral cancer. Adjusted for age and sex, the incidence ratio for oral cancer in patients with IBD was 9.77:12.07 for women12.07 and 9.77:8.49 for men. The age-adjusted incidence ratio for tongue cancer was 18.91: 17.06 for men, 22.10 for women.

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The authors concluded that, “we found patients with IBD to be at increased risk for oral cancers, especially tongue cancer. Women are at higher risk than men.”

Katsanos KH, Roda G, McBride RB, Cohen B, Colombel JF. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;14(3):413-420
doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2015.09.041.

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