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, which are parts of the digestive system.The 2 most common kinds of polyps are:
  • Adenomatous polyps—which are pre-cancerous and can become larger over time and may develop into cancer
  • Hyperplastic polyps—do not increase in size and only rarely become cancerous
Colon Polyp
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Causes

The cause of most colon polyps is unknown. It may be partly due to hereditary factors. There are certain genetic conditions, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and Peutz–Jeghers syndrome, which cause many polyps to form.

Risk Factors

Colon polyps are more common in people over 50 years old. Other factors that may increase your chance of colon polyps include:

Symptoms

Symptoms are often not present. Polyps are often found during an endoscopy/colonscopy or x-ray. If symptoms are present, they can include:
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Diarrhea, constipation, and/or bloating that lasts over a period of time
  • Abdominal pain or cramping, rarely

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