Colon polyps are growths on the lining of the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine, which are parts of the digestive system.
The 2 most common kinds of polyps are:
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The cause of most colon polyps is unknown. It may be partly due to hereditary factors.
There are certain genetic conditions, such as
Colon polyps are more common in people over 50 years old. Other factors that may increase your chance of colon polyps include:
Symptoms are often not present. Polyps are often found during an
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
Images of your internal body structures may be done with a
Depending on the size of the polyp, it may be removed. Large polyps are at high risk for becoming cancerous. They should be removed. Usually, polyps can be removed during colonoscopy.
If the polyps are very large, you may need to have surgery to have them removed. Your doctor may send the tissue from the removed polyps to be tested for cancer.
It’s not clear how polyps can be prevented. However, the following guidelines can help you stay healthy and may help prevent not only polyps, but also colon cancer: