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Need Help With This Statistic
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On the opening page of this web site is the following statement "If a person with the disorder continues to eat gluten, studies have shown that he or she will increase their chances of gastrointestinal cancer by a factor of 40 to 100 times that of the normal population."

I wonder if someone could explain this to me because I am not sure I am reading it right. Does it mean that if the chances of a "normal" individual getting gi cancer are 1 in 100, by increaing their chances up to100 times, does that mean chances are now 100 in 100 if they continue to eat gluten?

Please tell me I am not reading this right! :angry: I'm concerned. I now suspect I've had gluten problems my entire life but didn't stop eating it until the age of 56 (ish). Feel like I am doomed.

Jane

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Hmmm...I read this to mean that, during your lifetime, if you continue to eat gluten and if, say, a person would normally have a 1% chance of developing gastrointestinal cancer, then you would have a 40%-100% chance of developing it. However, since you've stopped eating gluten, your chances should now return to those of the general population. I would assume that you have little to worry about now that you eat gluten free--take care!

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100% of 1 is one. So 100% increase in risk means double the chance. If you have a 1% lifetime risk of getting a cancer, and you engage in a behaviour that increase the risk 40 to 100 fold, you have increased your lifetime risk to 1.4% to 2%.

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Jestgar has that right. :) It's an increased risk but not a scary one.

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100% of 1 is one. So 100% increase in risk means double the chance. If you have a 1% lifetime risk of cetting a cancer, and you engage in a behaviour that increase the risk 40 to 100 fold, you have increased your lifetime risk to 1.4% to 2%.

Jess took a statistics class last year :rolleyes:

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It is scarey but do keep in mind that by the time you have been gluten free for 5 years your chances, from what I understand, go down to the same as the non-celiac population.

If you are very concerned and you haven't had your over 50 colonoscopy scheduling one soon with your GI doctor could set your mind at ease.

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Jestgar - thank you for setting me straight! Your way sounds so much better than my way.

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    • Hi Beachgrl, It won't hurt anything to go gluten-free now, except the possibility of getting a diagnosis of celiac disease.  When i went gluten-free, it seemed like the initial changes were spread over about 6 weeks.  I had gut spasms for that time.  And other changes, all for the better.  Initial recovery from celiac damage can take up to 18 months, so it can be a slow thing.  Some people get better much faster of course, because we are all individuals and not identical. Going gluten-free for celiac disease is a lifetime commitment though, and some people have a hard time doing that without a diagnosis.  Even minor amounts of gluten can cause us to react, so it is best to eat a very simple diet of whole foods at first.  Avoid dairy and processed foods.  I hope it works out for you.  I know some people with Crohns disease eat gluten-free and find it helps them.  Gluten is a tough thing to digest for all people, but most don't have an immune reaction to it like celiacs do.  
    • Honestly, I would not trust the school to provide a gluten-free meal except for fruit, salads, veggies, etc. I sub in a school cafeteria and I swear everything is breaded or on bread. Utensils are shared. They're very clean but unless you have a very knowledgeable person in there, I just wouldn't chance it. I found a slim Jim type snack that says gluten-free on it. If you want to give me your email or FB account, I can send you some very valuable info on 504's though. They carry the student right through college. I kept a copy of what a friend wrote about her daughter being in a sorority and just how the 504 helped immensely. But, I would definitely get one and still be prepared to pack a lunch. All our meals are delivered frozen and we just hear them up. If your school actually fixes food, that's different. 
    • Oh, I would suggest providing gluten-free goodies (e.g. Candy) or even a frozen cupcake (kept in the teacher's freezer) in the event of a party.  My daughter's classmate is severely allergic to peanuts.  Her mom did that and Abby was never left out!  😊
    • Hi Nobody, Welcome to the forum!  I noticed you said you have been avoiding wheat products.  That's good, but are you avoiding rye and barley also?  Wheat, rye, and barley are the 3 grains that cause reactions in celiac patients.  About 10% also react to oats. If you haven't had the full celiac antibodies test panel, it might be worthwhile getting that done now.  The ttg is just a basic test and is generally followed up by an endoscopy or the full celiac panel. I wouldn't worry a lot about getting cancer.  That doesn't happen often. It is possible some of the other grains you might be eating are contaminated.  A group did a test on several off the shelf products a few years ago that would not normally be thought of as having gluten and found some actually did have low levels of gluten.  Things like corn meal for example.    
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