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Definition

A stomach polyp is a growth in the lining of the stomach. Most polyps are not cancerous, but some can grow into cancer.

Common types are:

  • Hyperplastic—most common
  • Fundic gland—found in the upper part of the stomach
  • Adenoma—most likely to later become stomach cancer (least common)

Causes

Stomach polyps often start because of injury or irritation of the lining of the stomach. This may happen with:

  • Aging
  • Stomach acid levels that are too high or too low
  • Infections
  • Health problems

Some stomach polyps may also be caused by problems with genes.

Risk Factors

This problem is more common in older adults. Other things that may raise the risk are:

Gastric Ulcer

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Symptoms

Most stomach polyps do not cause problems.

Larger polyps may cause:

  • Belly pain
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of hunger
  • Heartburn
  • Problems swallowing

Diagnosis

Polyps are often found during images taken for other reasons. More tests may be done, such as:

Treatment

Most stomach polyps will not need to be treated. Small polyps that may have a risk of cancer will be watched. They may not need to be taken out.

Polyps that cause problems may need to be treated. This will depend on the size, number, and type of polyps. Antibiotics may be used to help shrink them.

Large polyps or those with a high risk of turning into cancer may be taken out. This can be done with:

Prevention

There are no known guidelines to prevent this health problem.

RESOURCES:

American College of Gastroenterology
http://patients.gi.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 Cancer Society
https://www.cancer.ca

REFERENCES:

Non-cancerous tumours of the stomach. Canadian Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/stomach/stomach-cancer/non-cancerous-tumours/?region=on. Accessed March 25, 2021.

Shaib YH, Rugge M, et al. Management of gastric polyps: an endoscopy approach. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11(11):1374-1384.

Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 3/25/2021