Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to ulcerative colitis.
- Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects part or all of the large intestine (colon). Ulcerative colitis is characterized by periods of active
inflammation, called flare-ups, and periods of reduced or no symptoms, called remission.
- Ulcerative colitis has a genetic component, with a higher probability of incidence in families in which another member has ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease, an inflammatory condition that can appear anywhere in the digestive tract.
- Together, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are known as
inflammatory bowel disease.
- For individuals with refractory disease (disease that is not responsive to medical treatment or management) removal of the entire colon (total colectomy) will cure the condition.
- Ulcerative colitis has been shown to correlate with a higher incidence of colon cancer. The amount of colon involved in the colitis is not related to the increased incidence of cancer; the length of time since colitis was diagnosed does relate.