Colon Polyps

Definition

Colon polyps are growths on the lining of the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine.

The 2 most common types are:

  • Adenomatous—Precancerous and can become larger over time. They may or may not turn cancerous.
  • Hyperplastic—Don't get bigger and rarely turn into cancer.

Colon Polyp

Nuclus factsheet image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes    TOP

The cause of most colon polyps is unknown. It may be partly linked to your genes.

There are certain inherited conditions may cause polyps to form such as:

Risk Factors    TOP

Your chances of colon polyps are higher for:

Symptoms    TOP

Polyps don't cause problems in most people. They're often found during testing.

In those that have them, polyps may cause:

Diagnosis    TOP

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:

Treatment    TOP

A polyp may be taken out if it's big enough. Large polyps have the highest chance for growing into cancer. Usually, they can be removed when you're getting a scope.

Very large polyps may need to be taken out with surgery.

Prevention    TOP

To help lower your chances of colon polyps:

  • Eat a high fiber diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Lower your intake fats found in meats and dairy (full fat).
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you smoke, ask your doctor how to quit.
  • See your doctor for regular screenings after the age of 50.

RESOURCES:

American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
https://www.fascrs.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
https://www.niddk.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
https://www.cag-acg.org
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
http://www.cdhf.ca

References:

Colon polyps. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/colon-polyps. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Colonoscopy. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114112/Colonoscopy. Updated July 30, 2018. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Eating, diet, & nutrition for colon polyps. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/colon-polyps/eating-diet-nutrition. Updated September 2017. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Endoscopic removal of large colon polyps. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated May 30, 2018. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Polyps of the colon and rectum. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.fascrs.org/patients/disease-condition/polyps-colon-and-rectum. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD
Last Updated: 8/15/2018

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.