Iron deficiency as an indicator of cancer

Ten percent of adults presenting with iron deficiency anaemia have underlying cancer of the stomach or bowel.  Observational data from a district general hospital were used and modelled to assess whether simple clinical parameters could predict this.  Sex, age, and haemoglobin concentration were found to be strong predictors of the risk of gastrointestinal cancer.  This information may assist with patient counselling and the prioritisation of investigational resources.

Castro Silva, A., Sheppard, Z.A., Surgenor, S.L., Williams, E.J., Thomas, P.W. and Snook, J.A., 2014. Clinical risk factors for underlying gastrointestinal malignancy in iron deficiency anaemia: the IDIOM study. Frontline Gastroenterology, 5, 237-242.