Ulcerative colitis (UC) carries a significant, progressive disease burden that is often underestimated or misinterpreted by healthcare providers. Adverse outcomes have a major impact on patient quality of life, with a significant burden of symptoms both during and between inflammation flares. Chronic, uncontrolled disease leads to epithelial fibrosis and ‘lead pipe’ colon, dysplasia, and potential colonic cancer. Healthcare providers and patients share similar treatment goals, even if these are not verbalised in the same way, and clinicians need to fully understand the issues most important to patients. Understanding and collaboration can improve identification of meaningful treatment goals and overall disease management. In real-world practice, patients should be categorised according to disease characteristics and prognosis, and managed with appropriate, optimised therapies. Early, top-down management should be implemented in high-risk patients and all patient-centric therapeutic decisions made within the context of a full benefit/risk assessment.
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