Tags: colon polyps | symptoms | colonoscopy | bowel | cancer

Colon Polyps: Are They Harmful?

Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:22 AM

Colon polyps are the noncancerous benign growths on the surface of the colon or large intestine. Though they are not necessarily cancerous, in later stages, some of them can develop into cancers. The colon (bowel) is a hollow tube at the end of the digestive tract and a polyp is an extra tissue like a small bump that can grow in size later. Small-sized polyps are usually harmless but larger ones can be dangerous and lead to cancer.
People older than 50 have increased chances of developing polyps. There are many other factors responsible for causing colon polyps — history of polyps, family history of polyps, and family history of cancer in the large intestine. Other factors such as consuming alcohol, eating a lot of fatty food, smoking, extra weight, or not exercising are among the lifestyle factors that can cause colon polyps.
Gastroenterologists remove colon polyps during a colonoscopy. They test the tissue for the presence of any kind of cancer. On removal of colon polyps in a colonoscopy, the risk of colon polyps developing into a cancer is reduced. Removing the polyps is important to prevent the development of cancer later.
Even if the polyps do not develop into cancer, they can cause other symptoms necessitating their removal. The patient is more likely to suffer from painful symptoms if polyps are closer to the end of the bowel. Regular examination through a colonoscopy is required to detect any new formation of polyps that may lead to cancer. 
Symptoms of Colon Polyps  
Colon polyps are very common and usually do not cause significant symptoms. They are usually benign or noncancerous. Nevertheless, in several conditions, some polyps can develop into cancers. Doctors can diagnose whether a polyp is likely to be affected by any other disease. Some patients experience symptoms such as diarrhea or constipation that may last for more than one week. Some patients may have symptoms of blood spots after bowel movement. The color of the stool appearing black or the presence of red streaks in the stool can also be among the likely symptoms. Colon cancer screening is recommended for all people above the age of 50.

Some of the symptoms of colon polyps are listed as follows:
  • Blood in stool
  • Anal bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Anemia
Doctor can conduct diagnostic tests to examine the symptoms of colon polyps. Colonoscopy is one such diagnostic test. The colonoscopy procedure is performed under sedation. Especially in the cases where blood is detected, colonoscopy is preferred. A colonoscopy test is similar to sigmoidoscopy. Colonic polyps can be directly seen during a colonoscopy. Colonoscopy allows the doctor to examine the large intestine using an endoscope. Other diagnostic tests used to examine the symptoms include digital rectal exam, sigmoidoscopy, and barium enema.

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Colon polyps are noncancerous, benign growths on the surface of the colon. Symptoms of colon polyps include anal bleeding, diarrhea, and constipation. Colonoscopy is used to diagnose the presence of colon polyps. These polyps are not harmful but need to be removed as some can develop into cancer.
colon polyps, symptoms, colonoscopy, bowel, cancer
Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:22 AM
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