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Colon Polyps

Colon Polyps are fleshy growths inside the large intestine or colon. Most of the time, these are benign growths. Select polyps may develop into malignant cancerous tumors, known as colon cancer–  typically over a period of many years. The cause of colon polyps is not known. What we do know is that the incidence of occurrence is greater for people over 50 and/or if a person has a family history of colon polyps.

Symptoms of Colon Polyps

Normally, colon polyps do not display symptoms until the situation worsens or they grow really large in size. Typically, polyps are detected during bowel examinations performed at time of health screenings or for completely different reasons. In the worst circumstances, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Blood in stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Pain in the region
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Your Physician Consultation

Since adults over the age of 50 are at an increased risk for colon polyps, routine tests or tests for colon cancer may result in the diagnosis of a colon polyp and timely treatment. For example, if a polyp is detected during a preventative Colonoscopy exam, your physician may remove the polyp at that time. Other diagnostic tools include:

Blood Tests

Stool tests

Sigmoidoscopy that has a shorter tube examine areas of the colon that a colonoscopy cannot reach, at polyps may be removed if detected.  

CTC (computed tomographic colonography) may be performed to image the colon and the regions surrounding the without inserting a tube. Though the colonoscopy is usually preferred because the procedure offers more detailed insight into the colon, including:  the extent of the problem and the opportunity to actually remove the polyps at this time.

Conditions That May Be Associated with Polyps

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Colon cancer
  • Crohn’s disease

Colon Polyps Treatment

Colon Polyps may be easily removed during a colonoscopy exam, depending upon the size.  The individual will be sedated while the polyps are removed. This procedure is called Polypectomy. It is a painless procedure. The technique used in the procedure depends upon the type and structure of the polyp. For extremely large polyps, surgery is performed by creating an incision in the abdomen to remove the polyps.

Colon Polyps Outcome

The polyps that are completely removed typically fully heal. The only precaution has to be the continuous checkup for future formations of the polyps as advised by your physician.

Next Visit, Q and A for Your Doctor

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.