Younger people with bowel cancer

Forum user

Link between Accutane and Bowel Conditions

Hi everyone,

I'm not a regular poster but do read the forum a lot.......I lost my husband to bowel cancer in August 2013 after a long hard battle. Since it happened I have been searching for answers as to why this could happen to such a young healthy man (I'm sure a lot of people do the same when thinking of their own situation). One of the things I have noticed is that over in America, there seems to be a lot of class action suits against a drug called accutane/roaccutane as this drug seems to have caused a lot of bowel problems in people. My husband took this for acne when he was a teenager, and it has got me thinking could this have had something to do with him developing cancer.

Has anyone else ever used this medication in the past and also developed bowel cancer at a young age? I know cancer develops for all sorts of reasons but I just wanted to see if anyone on the forum had heard of this or taken the medication in the past.

Thanks all.:x::x::x:


I would also be interested n any further info. I think Roacutane caused my BC.

Forum user

My daughter Hannah took Roaccutane for approach 8 months in 2012 she was 15. It really did work on her cystic acne which she had been plagued with for 2 years. She had some digestive problems about 6 months later, doctor said it was an inflamed gut, it cleared up with a short course of ant-acid medication. Hannah visited her GP a few times over the next few years, with back ache & constipation, she was given IBS medication. In 2013 her sister was diagnosed with Leukemia & another sister had previously survived Thyroid cancer so obviously I asked was there a screening Hannh could have in case it was genetic, the GP said there was no connection with the 2 cancers so there was no point. Hannah was dianognosed with bowel cancer May 16 2016 at just 19 years at stage iv, she had 1 Tumour in her bowel & 4 tumours in her liver. She started a blog called Hannahs bowel cancer journey on FB & to raise awareness. Our beautiful Hannah passed away January 28 2017 aged 20 years. I have had my suspicions since diagnosis about Roaccutane, I even asked one of the consultants whose answer was maybe, but of course no-one knows for sure & drug companies are slippery! All I know is Hannah was a very healthy child before Roaccutane & I would urge anyone thinking of taking Roaccutane to understand the effects it can have. My wish would be for anyone who has taken this drug to be screened regularly every year for changes to their bowel. Too many people are fobbed off by GPs & then it is too late in many cases when they are referred to a specialist. Hannah campaigned so hard to raise awareness whilst she was fighting herself, we will continue the campaign.


How sad for you to lose your beautiful Hannah and how brave of you to post so soon. I am so sorry.

Forum user

@Lyo6HAN I've read some of Hannahs blog, she had a rough ride, things were missed, you must be devastated, the fact you are brave enough to keep going raising awareness is fantastic xx wishing you all the very best :x::x::x:


@Lyo6HAN. Just wanted to say that I was so sorry to read about your beautiful daughter. This disease can be so cruel and the link between this an roaccutane is a very interesting one. Thinking of you and your family through this very difficult time. Love from, Tiffany :x:

springer michelle

I'm so sorry to read this @Lyo6HAN, its so damn cruel. I think this should be looked into properly! Xx best wishes and hugs to you :x:


So sorry to hear you have lost your beautiful daughter @Lyo6HAN. Much love to all your family, such heartbreaking news :x::x::x:


@Lyo6HAN I'm so sorry to read of your loss. My sincere condolences. Hugs, B :x:


dear @Lyo6HAN very sorry to hear of the loss of your daughter. Sending you strength and love, Christine.

Forum user

@Lyo6HAN, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter, we just lost my grandpa last night to bowel cancer as well! I like your daughter took Roaccutane when I was 17 for really bad acne! And since then I have had problems with my bowels but was always fobbed off by GP's! I am now 34 and have my colonoscopy scheduled for a week on Wednesday! I'm nervous but preparing for the worst but hoping for the best x it's funny you should mention Roaccutane because my mum said the same thing that my problems with my bowels never started til after I started taking it! We were only told
About the side affects it could have on your liver :x::x:


@Mum23monkeys My sincere condolences on the loss of your grandpa. Hugs, B :x:


Just occured to me, i took an acne treatment for a long period of time, 13-16 i think. Called Acnisil(shelf name), its isotretinoin. Another name for... yep, Accutane.

@Lyo6HAN Really sorry to hear about your daughter Hannah. It's no age. And you @Mum23monkeys All the best for the colonscopy, let us know how it goes. :x:

Forum user

@Sean thank you for the best wishes...the only thing I am dreading is the KlenPrep, I boke at things I don't like the taste of so should be fun...not lol hope your keeping well :x::x:


@Mum23monkeys its no fun, that's for sure! I done moviprep (i tink) when i had mine. I ballsed up the measurements, used a pint of water, rather than a litre to mix the sachet - yes it was quite rank. But it done the job! Just read the instructions properly and you will be grand.
Im doing just fine thanks! ;)

Forum user

@Sean I will defo keep that in mind lol :x::x:
Good to hear, sounds like you have been through the wars :x:


Hello all. I'm so sorry about you losing your loved ones and being diagnosed with this terrible cancer. I also took accutane for 3 months about 10 years ago, and now at 38 I have pretty much all the symptoms of colorectal cancer there are in the book, after struggling with IBS-like issues for all this time. Not been diagnosed or even had a colonoscopy referral, but doing a round of blood tests tomorrow, and it's really worrying. We'll see how it goes from here.


V best of luck with investigations :x:


I had a topical acne drug I used. Very interesting link. Annie :x:


Hello. Complete newbie here. I have not been diagnosed with BC but fearful that I may be. I can across your post I also take roaccutane, I have another 6-7 weeks left until I have completed the 6 month course, and I have also taken roaccutane in the past but perhaps not that religiously. I started suffering with bad constipation over the past year or so and occasionally diarrhoea but always put the random diarrhoea down to a bug as I was usually sick with it too, this happened on a handful occasions over the last 3 or so months. I have been having blood and extreme pain when passing bowel movements which I was told my gp it was an anal fissure and that he could see it. However since then I have always had blood and not necessarily any pain and as of recently struggled with cramping and bloating and loss of appetite over the past month or so. I have sought private medical advice and blood test came back with slightly raised inflammation markers and stool sample had a level of 83? I am booked in for an endoscopy and a colonoscopy next Wednesday but guess what I am trying to say is that I am so scared. I have a 15 month old and I keep thinking he will have to live without me :x: