Does diverticulosis cause cancer?

Last Update: April 20, 2022

This is a question our experts keep getting from time to time. Now, we have got the complete detailed explanation and answer for everyone, who is interested!

Asked by: Erling Bailey MD
Score: 5/5 (73 votes)

Fortunately, diverticulosis does not lead to cancer. Diverticulitis occurs when the pouches become infected or inflamed. This condition usually produces localized abdominal pain, tenderness to touch and fever.

Can diverticulosis be mistaken for cancer?

Diverticulitis Misdiagnosis

During diverticulitis, diverticula become infected or inflamed. This can lead to symptoms that are similar to colon cancer symptoms, such as severe abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and rectal bleeding.

Should I worry about diverticulosis?

Generally, it's not a cause for concern. Diverticulosis by itself typically doesn't trigger any symptoms. Rarely, diverticula may bleed, causing blood in the stool. As in your case, diverticulosis is often found during a routine colonoscopy or on an imaging exam, such as a CT scan, that's done for another reason.

Can diverticulitis cause bowel cancer?

Patients with complicated diverticulitis are six times more likely to develop colorectal cancer than patients with uncomplicated diverticulitis, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Does diverticulosis affect life expectancy?

support that that the recurrence rate after an initial episode of diverticulitis treated medically is about 1.5% per year. Also, the mean age of patients with the first episode of diverticulitis is approximately 65 years, and such patients have an average life expectancy of 14 years.

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Can diverticulosis cause death?

If you don't treat it, diverticulitis can lead to serious complications that require surgery: Abscesses, collections of pus from the infection, may form around the infected diverticula. If these go through the intestinal wall, you could get peritonitis. This infection can be fatal.

Is diverticular disease serious?

It's a group of conditions that can affect your digestive tract. The most serious type of diverticular disease is diverticulitis. It can cause uncomfortable symptoms and, in some cases, serious complications. If left untreated, these complications can cause long-term health problems.

How can you tell the difference between diverticulitis and colon cancer?

The findings most specific for diverticulitis were pericolonic inflammation and a length of segment longer than 10 cm. The presence of lymph nodes and a luminal mass were most specific for colon cancer.

What do stools look like with diverticulitis?

Effort: Stools may become more strained or painful. Shape: Diverticulitis stool shape is often thin and pellet-shaped, which is caused by distorted colon shape.

How do I know if I had colon cancer?

Blood in the stool that is either bright red, black or tarry. Unintentional weight loss. Stools that are narrower than usual. Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty completely.

What is the main cause of diverticulosis?

A high-fat, low-fiber diet is the main culprit in diverticulosis, or the formation and periodic inflammation of out-pouchings in the intestinal wall. Genetics and low physical activity levels may also play a role.

How do you keep diverticulosis under control?

Prevention. The best way to help prevent diverticulitis is to keep diverticulosis under control. That means eating a high fiber diet – which requires 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day. Fiber is found in grains, vegetables, and fruits.

What can I not eat with diverticulosis?

Foods to avoid with diverticulitis include high-fiber options such as:
  • Whole grains.
  • Fruits and vegetables with the skin and seeds.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Beans.
  • Popcorn.

Can diverticula be removed during colonoscopy?

A polyp found during colonoscopy in patients with colonic diverticular disease may be removed by endoscopic polypectomy with electrosurgical snare, a procedure associated with an incidence of perforation of less than 0.05%.

How do you poop with diverticulitis?

Treatment for diverticulitis
  1. Increase fiber to add bulk to the stool — Fiber can help to bulk up your stool. ...
  2. Take fiber supplements — You can take fiber supplements like Metamucil, Citrucel or Benefiber to bulk up your stool.

What triggers diverticulitis flare ups?

You're more likely to experience a diverticulitis flare-up if you are:
  • Over age 40.
  • Overweight or obese.
  • A smoker.
  • Physically inactive.
  • Someone whose diet is high in animal products and low in fiber (most Americans)
  • Someone who takes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), steroids or opioids.

What can be mistaken for diverticulitis?

Common alternative conditions that can clinically mimic diverticulitis include small bowel obstruction, primary epiploic appendagitis, acute cholecystitis, appendicitis, ileitis, ovarian cystic disease, and ureteral stone disease.

Would a CT scan show bowel cancer?

A CT colonography can help identify potentially cancerous areas in people who cannot have a colonoscopy because of other medical reasons. It's less invasive than a colonoscopy, but you may still need to have colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy at a later stage so any abnormal areas can be removed or biopsied.

Will abdominal CT scan show colon cancer?

Conclusion: Colon cancer is undetected in 20% of abdominal CT examinations in patients subsequently proven to have colon cancer at colonoscopy.

What does your poop look like if you have colon cancer?

Blood from in the bowel becomes dark red or black and can make poop stools look like tar. Such poop needs to be investigated further. Poop which is bright red may be a sign of colon cancer. Red poop may be seen in cancers of the lower intestine.

How do you know if diverticulitis is serious?

Diverticulitis may lead to health problems or complications, including:
  1. nausea.
  2. fever.
  3. severe abdominal pain.
  4. bloody bowel movements.
  5. an abscess, or an inflamed pocket of tissue.
  6. fistula.

Is coffee bad for diverticulosis?

During acute attacks of diverticulitis, eat a low-fiber diet. Avoid foods that may contribute to nausea or pain, such as caffeine, spicy foods, chocolate, and milk products. When symptoms of diverticulitis stop, gradually transition to a high- fiber diet.

Does diverticulosis affect bowel movements?

Most people who have diverticulosis are unaware that they have the condition because it usually does not cause symptoms. It is possible that some people with diverticulosis experience bloating, abdominal cramps, or constipation due to difficulty in stool passage through the affected region of the colon.

How common is diverticular disease?

Diverticulosis is very common and occurs in 10% of people over age 40 and in 50% of people over age 60. Most people will have no or few symptoms from diverticula. Complications can occur in about 20% of people with diverticulosis.

What organs are affected by diverticulitis?

Diverticulitis usually affects the large intestine (colon). Left lower abdominal pain, tenderness, and fever are the typical symptoms.