EspaƱol
ABOUT US | CONTACT | VOLUNTEER | WAYS TO GIVE
MISSION & MINISTRY
Find a Physician
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+)

Colonoscopy
Colonoscopy


Digestive system
Digestive system


Digestive system organs
Digestive system organs


Definition:

A colorectal polyp is a growth that sticks out of the lining of the colon or rectum.



Alternative Names:

Intestinal polyps; Polyps - colorectal



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Polyps of the colon and rectum are usually benign . There may be single or many polyps, and they become more common as people age.

Over time, certain types of polyps, called adenomatous polyps, may develop into cancer. Another common type of polyp found in the colon is called a hyperplastic polyp, which usually does not develop into colon cancer.

Polyps bigger than 1 centimeter have a greater cancer risk than polyps under 1 centimeter. Risk factors include:

  • Age
  • Family history of colon cancer or polyps

Polyps may also be associated with some inherited disorders, including:

  • Familial adenomatous polyposis
  • Gardner's syndrome
  • Juvenile polyposis
  • Lynch syndrome (HNPCC)
  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome


Symptoms:

There are usually no symptoms. However, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Abdominal pain (rare)
  • Bloody stools
  • Fatigue associated with anemia
  • Rectal bleeding


Signs and tests:

A rectal examination may reveal a polyp that can be felt by the physician. However, the physical exam is usually normal.

Tests that show polyps:



Treatment:

Over time, adenomatous colorectal polyps can develop into cancer and should be removed. In most cases, the polyps may be removed at the same time a colonoscopy is performed. For patients with polyps, follow-up colonoscopy should be performed within 3 - 5 years to see if the polyps have returned.

Rarely, for polyps with a high potential of becoming cancerous, the health care provider may recommend a colectomy (removal of a part of the colon).



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

The outlook for patients with colorectal polyps is excellent, assuming the polyps are removed. Polyps that are left behind can develop into cancer over time.



Complications:

Polyps can cause bleeding, and over time, can develop into cancers.



Calling your health care provider:

Call your health care provider if rectal bleeding occurs.



Prevention:

The following is recommended to reduce the risk of developing polyps:

  • Eat a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake
  • Maintain a normal body weight

Colonoscopy prevents colon cancer by removing polyps before they can become cancer. People over age 50 should have a colonoscopy screening, which makes earlier diagnosis and treatment possible. This may reduce the odds of developing colon cancer, or at least help catch it in its most treatable stage. Those with a family history of colon cancer or colon polpys may need to be screened at an earlier age.

See physical exam frequency for further recommendations about having a screening test.



References: Smith RA, Cokkinides V, Eyre HJ. American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2006;56:11-25.


Review Date: 2/20/2008
Reviewed By: Christian Stone, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
adam.com


About Us



Emanuel Cancer Centers 2013 Annual Report
Joint Notice of Privacy Practices
Accreditation & Quality Measures
Board of Directors
CEO's Message
Community Crisis Information
Maps & Directions
Mission & Ministry
News & Publications
Volunteer

Care & Services



Emanuel Physician Finder

Employees & Physicians



Tenet Application Process
e-MC Physician Portal
Web Mail
Employment Services
Physician Verification
Living in Turlock
Contact Us

Emanuel Medical Center
825 Delbon Avenue
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-4200
Contact Us
© 2014 Emanuel Medical Center, Inc. All rights reserved
Home   |   Site Map   |   Joint Notice of Privacy Practices