What are bowel polyps and what are its symptoms?
For those with bowel polyps, they experience tiny growths that form on the inside of the large intestine. This is an extremely common condition, with roughly one-third to half of all adults experiencing it.
Polyps usually present no symptoms. However, given that some polyps can become cancerous, doctors prefer to remove them.
What tests and treatment do I need to undergo?
Colon polyps are usually found when a patient is being screened for some other medical condition. Here, tests used to screen for colon and rectal cancers are used. These include colonoscopies, stool tests, and CT colonography.
How are bowel polyps treated?
The most effective way to treat polyps is to remove them completely.
Polyps are generally removed by cutting them off or by catching them in a noose. Often, these can be removed during a colonoscopy. However, it may not be possible to remove large polyps this way, and these will need to be removed at a later time.
Colonoscopies such as this may be required every few years to check for further growth. For some, polyps tend to come back. If these are cancerous, they will need to be removed.
How do you prevent colon polyps from coming back?
You can reduce your chances of getting colon polyps again by:
- Limiting alcohol and smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Maintaining a diet low in fat and high in fibrous fruits and vegetables
How long does it take for a polyp to become cancerous?
It would take about ten years for a colon polyp to become cancerous, though only 1% of small colon polyps have the potential to cause cancer.
Is it common to find polyps during colonoscopy?
It’s estimated that 40% of colonoscopies find polyps and there is a 30% chance that more will be found in future colonoscopies performed on the same person.
What causes colon polyps to grow?
The main cause of colon polyps is mutant genes. These genes make cells in parts of the colon multiply rapidly, despite new cells not being needed.
Eventually, this uncontrolled multiplication of cells leads to polyps forming.
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