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Colon polyps: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What are colon polyps?

A polyp is a growth in the large intestine or rectum. You may not experience any symptoms, but screening is necessary to help prevent a polyp from turning into colorectal cancer. Screening methods include colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, a stool test, or a CT scan.

A colon polyp is a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. There are different microscopic types of polyps, and they can have different shapes. The adenomas or sessile serrated polyps may eventually grow larger and form cancer. By undergoing screening for colon cancer and removing polyps, you may decrease your chance of developing this cancer.

are small growths usually found in the large intestine (colon) and rectum The most common symptom of a colon polyp is bleeding from the rectum which may be visible as bright red blood on toilet tissue or if more severe bright red blood in your stools or black stools Other symptoms include abdominal pain and cramping especially after meals.

Colon polyps are growths on the inner wall of the colon They are common in people who have a family history of colon cancer Sometimes they develop into cancer but most will not If you're 50 or older screening may include a test called virtual colonoscopy that can find these polyps while your doctor looks at images of your intestines on a computer screen instead of physically examining them with an endoscope It delivers the same results as traditional colonoscopy but it's less invasive and has fewer risks and side effects than doing a traditional exam.

 

What are colon polyps


Explanation of medical terms and concept Colon polyps

A colon polyp is a little clump of cells that forms on the liner of the colon. Most colon polyps are harmless. However, over time, some colon polyps will turn into colon cancer, which can be fatal once found in its later stages. Anyone can develop colon polyps. You're at higher risk if you're fifty or older, are overweight or a smoker, or have a private or case history of colon polyps or colon cancer. Colon polyps typically don't cause symptoms. It's vital to possess regular screening tests, akin to a colonoscopy, as a result of colon polyps found in the early stages will sometimes be removed safely and completely. The simplest bar for carcinoma is regular screening for and removal of polyps. A colon polyp may be a growth on the inner lining of the colon (large intestine) or rectum. A polyp can have a range of shapes and be flat, slightly raised (called sessile) or on a stalk (called pedunculated). There are totally different microscopic kinds of polyps (which need a magnifier to determine), and also the adenomas or sessile notched polyps can eventually grow over time and become cancerous. Undergoing large intestine cancer screening and removal of polyps can decrease the danger of developing large intestine cancer. 

Symptoms Colon polyps

Because the general public with colon polyps don't experience associate degree symptoms, you may not apprehend you have got a polyp till your doctor finds it through an examination of your colon.

However, some people with colon polyps may experience:

  • Rectal bleeding. This can be a sign of colon polyps or cancer or other conditions, such as hemorrhoids or minor tears of the anus.

  • Change in stool color. Blood will show up as red streaks in your stool or create stool that seems black. An amendment in color may additionally be caused by certain foods, medications or dietary supplements. 

  • Change in bowel habits. Constipation or diarrhoeas|symptom} that lasts longer than per week might indicate the presence of a bigger colon polyp or cancer. However, a variety of alternative conditions can also cause changes in bowel habits. 

  • Pain. A large colon polyp can partially obstruct your bowel, leading to crampy abdominal pain.

  • Iron deficiency anemia. Bleeding from polyps can occur slowly over time, while not visible blood in your stool. Chronic hurt robs your body of the iron required to provide the substance that enables red blood cells to hold gas to your body (hemoglobin). The result's iron deficiency anemia, which might cause you to feel tired and in need of breath. 

Some colon polyps and early-stage colorectal cancer do not have any symptoms, which is why screening is recommended. However, if symptoms do occur they may include:

  • There may be a noticeable discharge from the rectum, either seen with the naked eye or detected through a fecal blood test. This may be accompanied by a genetic stool test.

  • If you have unexplained iron deficiency anemia, or you are losing weight without trying, it may be due to this condition.

  • Change in normal bowel movement pattern.

  • Abdominal pain (rare).

To make sure that there are no polyps or colorectal cancer, the above symptoms should be evaluated.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you experience:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Blood in your stool

  • A change in your bowel habits that lasts longer than a week

You should be screened regularly for polyps if:

  • You're 50 or older.

  • You have risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer. Some high-risk individuals should begin regular screening much earlier than age 50.

Causes Colon polyps

Healthy cells grow associate degreed divide in an orderly way. Mutations in sure genes will cause cells to continue dividing even once new cells aren't needed. within the colon and rectum, this unregulated growth can cause polyps to form. Polyps can develop anywhere in your giant intestine. There are 2 main classes of polyps, nonneoplastic and neoplastic. Non Neoplastic polyps embrace hyperplastic polyps, inflammatory polyps and hamartomatous polyps. Non Neoplastic polyps generally don't become cancerous. growth polyps include adenomas and serrate types. These polyps have the potential to become cancer if given enough time to grow. Most of those colon polyps are referred to as adenomas. serrated polyps may additionally  become cancerous, betting on their size and site within the colon. In general, the larger a polyp, the bigger the chance of cancer, particularly with growth polyps. 

Colon polyps are found in around 30% of the population over the age of 45-50. Men and women from all ethnicities are at risk of colon cancer.

A polyp is the result of genetic changes in the cells of the colon that impair normal cell function. Many factors can increase the risk or rate of these changes. Factors are related to your diet, lifestyle, age, gender, and genetics or hereditary issues. Important lifestyle factors include diet, exercise, and stress management. Some things that may increase your risk for colorectal polyps and cancer include:

  • Smoking.

  • Drinking too much alcohol can have negative consequences.

  • Not exercising.

  • Being overweight.

  • Eating processed foods and too much meat (instead of a mostly plant-based food plan) can damage your body.

Other factors include:

  • Being of African American ethnicity.

  • Having a personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer means you are at an increased risk for developing these diseases.

  • Having a personal history of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis or primary sclerosis cholangitis increases your risk for developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or cholangitis.

Risk factors Colon polyps

Factors that will contribute to the formation of colon polyps or cancer include:

  • Age. Most people with colon polyps are 50 or older.

  • Having inflammatory intestinal conditions, such as malady} or Crohn' disease of the colon. Though the polyps themselves aren't a big threat, having ulcerative colitis or Crohn' disease of the colon will increase your overall risk of colon cancer. 

  • Family history. You're likely to develop colon polyps or cancer if you've got a parent, relation or kid with them. If several members of the family have them, your risk is even greater. In some people, this affiliation isn't hereditary. 

  • Smoking and excess alcohol use. An ANalysis of eight studies showed a magnified risk of developing colon polyps for those that consumed 3 or a lot of alcoholic drinks per day. Alcohol intake combined with smoking conjointly seems to extend the risk. 

  • Obesity, lack of exercise and fat intake. Studies show that every one of those factors will increase your risk of developing polyps. On the opposite hand, together with additional fiber in your diet and exercise frequently can scale back your risk. 

  • Race. Black Americans have a higher risk of developing colon cancer.

Hereditary polyp disorders

Rarely, individuals inherit genetic mutations that cause colon polyps to form. If you've got one in all these genetic mutations, you're at a higher risk of developing colon willcer. Screening and early detection can facilitate stopping the event or unfolding of those cancers.

Hereditary disorders that cause colon polyps include:

  • Lynch syndrome, also referred to as hereditary nonpolyposis body part willcer. individuals with kill syndrome tend to develop comparatively few colon polyps, however those polyps can quickly become malignant. Kill syndrome is the commonest sort of hereditary carcinoma and is additionally related to tumors within the breast, stomach, little intestine, tract and ovaries. 

  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), a rare disorder that causes tons of or maybe thousands of polyps to develop within the lining of your colon starting throughout your teen years. If the polyps aren't treated, your risk of developing willcer|carcinoma} is sort of 100%, typically before age 40. Genetic testing can facilitate verifying your risk of FAP. 

  • Gardner's syndrome, a variant of FAP that causes polyps to develop throughout your colon and tiny intestine. you will additionally develop noncancerous tumors in different components of your body, together with your skin, bones and abdomen. 

  • MUTYH-associated polyposis (MAP), a condition just like FAP that's caused by mutations within the MYH gene. individuals with MAP typically develop multiple adenomatous polyps and willcer|carcinoma} at a young age. Genetic testing can confirm your risk of MAP. 

  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, a condition thusmetimes|that typically} begins with freckles developing everywhere the body, as well as the lips, gums associated with feet. Then noncancerous polyps develop throughout the intestines. These polyps could become cancerous, so individuals with this condition do have an exaggerated risk of colon cancer. 

  • Serrated polyposis syndrome, a condition that leads to multiple serrated adenomatous polyps in the upper part (right side) of the colon. These polyps have the potential to become cancerous and require surveillance and removal.

Complications

Some colon polyps may become cancerous. The earlier polyps are removed, the less likely it is that they will become cancerous.

Prevention

You can greatly scale back your risk of colon polyps and large intestine cancer by having regular screenings. sure life-style changes can also help:

  • Adopt healthy habits. Include many fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet and cut back your fat intake. Limit alcohol consumption and quit all tobacco use. keep physically active and maintain a healthy body weight. 

  • Talk to your doctor about calcium and vitamin D. Studies have shown that increasing your consumption of atomic number 20 might facilitate stop repeat of colon adenomas. however it isn't clear whether or not calcium has any protecting edges against colon cancer. Alternative studies have shown that ergocalciferol may have a protective result against body part cancer. 

  • Consider your options if you're at high risk. If you've got a case history of colon polyps, contemplate having genetic counseling. If you've been diagnosed with a hereditary disorder that causes colon polyps, you'll want regular colonoscopies beginning in young adulthood. 

If you want to reduce your risk of developing polyps, you can do the following:

  • Do not drink too much alcohol or smoke tobacco.

  • To normalize your body mass index, you should lose any extra weight.

  • Physical activity—including at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and two sessions of muscle strengthening per week—is recommended.

  • Make sure to eat at least 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

  • Eat foods that are not fatty or processed, and avoid red meat in excessive amounts.

  • Taking low doses of aspirin every day has been shown to decrease colorectal polyps and cancer. However, taking aspirin can have side effects. The risks and benefits of aspirin should be discussed with your doctor.

Get helpful health and wellness information that is relevant to you. 

Diagnosis Colon polyps

A doctor can find colon polyps in several ways, including: -Looking for them on a physical exam -Using a scan or X-ray -Testing for the presence of markers associated with the polyps

  • Colonoscopy: A procedure in which a long, thin tube is inserted through the rectum and into the large intestine. The tube has a camera that can show images on a screen and allow polyps to be removed.

  • Sigmoidoscopy is a procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube to examine the last third of the large intestine (sigmoid colon).

  • A CT scan uses radiation to create pictures of the large intestine.

  • A stool sample will be tested for blood or genetic changes that suggest polyps or cancer. If the test is positive, a colonoscopy will be needed.

If any of the last tests are abnormal, a colonoscopy should be done to check for polyps and remove them.

Screening tests play a key role in detective work polyps before they become cancerous. These tests may facilitate large intestine cancer in its early stages, after you have an honest probability of recovery.

Screening methods include:

  • Colonoscopy, the most sensitive, takes a look at for large intestine polyps and cancer. If polyps are found, your doctor might take them away like a shot or take tissue samples (biopsies) for analysis.

  • Virtual colonoscopy (CT colonography), a minimally invasive take a look at that uses a CT scan to look at your colon. Virtual endoscopy needs identical intestine preparation as a colonoscopy. If a polyp is found throughout the CT scan, you'll have to repeat the bowel preparation for a colonoscopy to have the polyp examined and removed.

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy, in which a slender tube with a lightweight camera is inserted into your body part to look at the last third of your colon (sigmoid) and rectum. The bulk of the colon isn't examined with this screening test, therefore some polyps and cancers might not be discovered.

  • Stool-based tests. This type of test works by checking for the presence of blood within the stool or assessing your stool DNA for proof of a colon polyp or cancer. If your fecal occult test is positive you may like an endoscopy shortly afterward.

Treatment Colon polyps

If a colon polyp is found during a checkup, your doctor will remove it and test it in the laboratory to determine its type. Based on this information, your doctor may recommend a repeat screening test at a later time.

Your doctor is likely to remove all polyps discovered during a bowel examination. The options for removal include:

  • Removal with forceps or a wire loop (polypectomy). If a polyp is simply too massive to get rid of with this method, a liquid could also be injected under that to raise and isolate the polyp from close tissue so it is removed.

  • Minimally invasive surgery. Polyps that are overly large or that can't be removed safely throughout screening are usually removed surgically, which is commonly performed by inserting an Associate in Nursing instrument known as an endoscope into the abdomen to get rid of the pathological portion of the bowel.

Colon and rectum removal (total proctocolectomy). If you've got a rare transmissible syndrome, reminiscent of FAP, you'll} want surgery to get rid of your colon and body part to safeguard you from developing a dangerous cancer.

  • Some sorts of colon polyps are more doubtless to become cancerous than others. A doctor who specializes in analyzing tissue samples (pathologist) will examine your polyp tissue underneath a magnifier to see whether or not it's probably cancerous.

Follow-up care

If you have an associate degree polyp or a toothed polyp, you're at increased risk of colon cancer. The amount of risk depends on the size, variety and characteristics of the adenomatous polyps that were removed.


You'll want follow-up screenings for polyps. Your doctor is probably going to advocate a colonoscopy:

  • In 5 to 10 years if you had only one or two small adenomas

  • In 3 to 5 years if you had three or four adenomas

  • In three years if you had 5 to 10 adenomas, adenomas larger than 10 millimeters, or certain types of adenomas

  • Within six months if you had multiple adenomas, a very large adenoma or an adenoma that had to be removed in pieces

Preparing for your colonoscopy

It's vital to totally prepare (clean out) your colon before an endoscopy. If stool remains within the colon and obstructs your doctor' read of the colon wall, you may possibly want a follow-up colonoscopy prior to usual to confirm that everyone polyps are discovered.

During an honest colon preparation, intestine movements should seem as clear liquid, which can be slightly yellow or green-tinged, counting on the color of any liquids consumed throughout the preparation. If you experience hassle together with your colon preparation, or feel that you simply haven't been cleaned out by the preparation, you ought to discuss this together with your doctor before starting your colonoscopy, as some individuals need further steps in preparation before trying colonoscopy.

Preparing for your appointment

You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in digestive diseases (gastroenterologist).

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions, such as not intake solid food on the day before your appointment.

  • Write down your symptoms, including any which will appear unrelated to the rationale why you scheduled the appointment.

  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins and supplements.

  • Write down your key medical information, including other conditions.

  • Write down key personal information, including any recent changes or stressors in your life.

  • Ask a relative or friend to accompany you to help you remember what the doctor says.

  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?

  • What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?

  • What treatments are available?

  • What are the chances these polyps are malignant?

  • Is it possible that I have a genetic condition leading to colon polyps?

  • What kind of follow-up testing do I need?

  • Should I remove or add any foods to my diet?

  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?

In addition to the queries that you've ready to raise your doctor, don't hesitate to ask different questions throughout your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is probably going to raise you a variety of questions. Being able to answer them may leave time to travel over points you would like to pay longer on. you will be asked:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms, and how severe are they?

  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?

  • Have you or has anyone in your family had colon cancer or colon polyps?

  • Has anyone in your family had other cancers of the digestive tract, the uterus, ovaries or the bladder?

  • How much do you smoke and drink?

General summary

Depending on the circumstances there are many options to consider in terms of treatment for colon polyps Treating colon polyps usually involves surgical excision as well as a combination of medications and dietary changes.

Is colon polyps curable?

The different types of colon polyps can be treated individually but the overall best treatment involves surgery When removing the polyps surgeons may also have to remove part of the affected section of the colon The remaining tissue will then be stitched together by a surgeon and recovery time during this procedure is usually less than a week.

What foods cause polyps in the colon?

Polyps are small growths that can develop in the colon and rectum Some polyps are benign but others may contain cancer cells Risk factors for polyps include eating a low-fiber diet smoking being overweight or obese and having a family history of polyposis coli (a genetic condition that causes many polyps to grow in the colon).

Are colon polyps serious?

Colon polyps are small growths or tumors that form on the inside lining of the colon Sometimes the cause of these lesions is unknown; however they can be a sign of other health problems such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) Colon polyps vary in size and shape and have been classified according to their appearance into three groups: hyperplastic sessile and pedunculated.

Can a doctor tell if a polyp is cancerous by looking at it?

Yes If a polyp looks abnormal under the microscope and if it is growing in an area where cancer is likely to form the doctor may remove it and test the cells for cancerous changes If the polyp contains precancerous or cancer cells the doctor will recommend further evaluation with additional tests and/or surgery to treat (or possibly prevent) colon cancer If there are no signs of disease your doctor may recommend that you return every three years for a follow-up colonoscopy and check for polyps again.

Is a 5 mm polyp considered large?

5 mm is considered to be a very small polyp size The larger sizes of polyps can produce symptoms that can be seen while smaller ones tend not to produce any noticeable symptoms People with colon cancer usually develop much bigger (greater than 10mm) and more numerous changes in the lining of the colon which are called dysplasia 5 mm is also an indicator for someone with a family history of these diseases -- although such family history does not necessarily mean that they will get colorectal cancer themselves.

Do polyps grow back?

Although polyps can come back after being removed there is a good chance that they won't Most polyps are benign and do not become cancerous But once you have one polyp in your colon doctors believe you are at increased risk for others to form as well To protect yourself from getting more polyps and developing colorectal cancer your doctor may recommend regular screenings and possibly surgery.

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Colon polyps: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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