Healthy Living

The Real Risk: How Celiac Disease May Trigger Lymphoma in Some Patients

Should there be a cause for worry?

Nonetheless, Benjamin Lebwohl, M.D. of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University cautions against taking an attitude of worry or panic. He also mentions some factors that need to be considered in regard to the research at the center, which are:

  • Each patient presented with different issues that makes his or her set of risks distinct from others
  • There is much confusion that’s derived from the different types of cancer, while each type needs to be evaluated in its own right
  • Likewise, there might be a higher risk for a few types of cancer than others
  • One needs to consider the method for each study, like one that was conducted in Scandinavia, which was population based

Thus, as Lebwohl observes, all participants in the Scandinavian study are celiac patients from a big population sample as opposed to a smaller group with special circumstances. To be exact, 32,439 patients were monitored between 2002 and 2011. Although it’s one of the most expansive studies in recent years, it reflected a rate that was lower than previous studies.

In other words, there might be a higher risk than the general population, but the chance is still slight. He even cites another study whose results showed that over a span of 10 years only one percent developed lymphoma. This still reflects a very rare chance even if one has celiac.