A colon polyp is a small growth found on the intestinal lining. While most polyps are not dangerous, over time some can develop into cancer. Polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy, a procedure allowing the doctor to examine the inside of the large intestine. The removal of polyps is painless and can be accomplished at the time of a colon cancer screening.
Colon polyps usually don’t cause symptoms in the early stages. Larger ones occasionally cause blood in the stool. Consequently having a screening colonoscopy is important for all individuals over 50, whether or not they have experienced symptoms
Who should be checked for polyps?
While all adults have a chance of developing colon polyps, they are more prevalent in some individuals. Those mostly likely to develop polyps are those who
- Are aged 50 and older
- Have a family history of colon cancer or polyps
- Have inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis
- Smoke or drink alcohol
- Are overweight, or don’t exercise
The American Cancer Society, the American College of Gastroenterology and a host of other health organizations are united in their recommendation that all adults undergo a screen colonoscopy starting at age 50. Individuals at an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer should discuss the need an earlier test.
Polyps are removed with a special tool during a screening colonoscopy and are sent to a pathologist for testing to see if cancer is present.
We want you to live a long healthy life, especially without a preventable disease like colon cancer. If you are age 50 or older or have a family history of colon cancer, you should urgently discuss colon cancer screening with your primary care physician or call our office at (706) 868-0104 for more information.
The content on our website is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.