Colon Polyps : What You Need to Know

Colon Polyps   What You Need to Know

On this page

  • What are colon polyps?
  • Who gets colon polyps?
  • How will I know if I have colon polyps?
  • Should I be tested for colon polyps?
  • How are colon polyps treated?
  • Where can I get more information about colon polyps?

Did you know you can prevent colon cancer by having your doctor check for and remove colon polyps?

What are colon polyps?

Colon polyps are small clumps of extra tissue that grow inside the large intestine, also called the colon. Most polyps are benign, which means they are not cancer. But over time, some large polyps can become cancerous.

Who gets colon polyps?

Anyone can get polyps, but you may be more likely to get them if

  • you are over 50
  • you have had polyps before
  • someone in your family has had polyps or colon cancer
  • you eat a lot of fatty foods
  • you smoke or drink alcohol
  • you don’t exercise
  • you are overweight

How will I know if I have colon polyps?

Most small polyps don’t cause symptoms. You may not know you have polyps until your doctor checks for them.

But some people do have symptoms, like

  • bleeding from the anus, which can leave blood on underwear or toilet paper
  • constipation or diarrhea that lasts more than a week
  • blood in the stool

Should I be tested for colon polyps?

Talk with your doctor about getting tested for polyps if

  • you have symptoms
  • you are 50 years old or older
  • someone in your family has had polyps or colon cancer

How are colon polyps treated?

Doctors can usually remove polyps during a colonoscopy—the procedure used to check for colon polyps. Sometimes, polyps are removed through an operation.

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