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Colon PolypsConditions

Colon polyps are growths found on the inner lining of the bowel that may grow slowly over time and potentially turn cancerous if left untreated. These polyps are detectable via exams such as colonoscopies.

There are different types of polyps. Adenomas are the most common precancerous polyps, looking like bumps or hanging off stalks. Some polyps, called "SSAs," are flat and harder to spot. Others, termed "hyperplastic," generally do not have cancer potential. Polyps vary in size from tiny (a few millimeters) to over five centimeters.


Colon polyps typically don't produce any symptoms on their own. This is why regular screenings are so important as they help catch polyps before they become problematic. Symptoms, if present, might indicate a more advanced stage and could include changes in bowel habits, blood in stool, or abdominal discomfort.


Detecting and removing polyps early is crucial. Regular colon cancer screenings are recommended starting at age 45. These can identify polyps before symptoms arise and allow your doctor to remove them, thereby preventing progression.


Polyps are removed from the colon to prevent potential risks. Polyp removal during a colonoscopy is generally safe. There might be a small risk of bleeding or injury to the colon wall, particularly with larger polyps. However, patients usually don't experience significant after-effects. Advances in techniques have minimized the need for traditional surgical approaches.

Polyps that are removed are sent to a pathology lab for analysis. Based on the results, your doctor will recommend appropriate follow-up. This might involve future colonoscopies at specific intervals or additional testing, like imaging studies or blood tests, to ensure complete removal.