Colon polyps are growths on the lining of the colon or rectum. The colon and the rectum are parts of the large intestine.
The 2 most common types are:
- Adenomatous—Precancerous and can become larger over time. They may or may not turn cancerous.
- Hyperplastic—Don't get bigger and rarely turn into cancer.
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The cause of most colon polyps is unknown. It may be partly linked to your genes.
There are certain inherited conditions may cause polyps to form such as:
- Familial adenomatous polyposis
- Peutz–Jeghers syndrome
Your chances of colon polyps are higher for:
Polyps don't cause problems in most people. They're often found during testing.
In those that have them, polyps may cause:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
A polyp may be taken out if it's big enough. Large polyps have the highest chance for growing into cancer. Usually, they can be removed when you're getting a scope.
Very large polyps may need to be taken out with surgery.
To help lower your chances of colon polyps:
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons https://www.fascrs.org
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases https://www.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology https://www.cag-acg.org
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca
Colon polyps. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/colon-polyps. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Colonoscopy. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114112/Colonoscopy . Updated July 30, 2018. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Eating, diet, & nutrition for colon polyps. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/colon-polyps/eating-diet-nutrition. Updated September 2017. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Endoscopic removal of large colon polyps. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T921374/Endoscopic-removal-of-large-colon-polyps . Updated May 30, 2018. Accessed August 15, 2018.
Polyps of the colon and rectum. American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website. Available at: https://www.fascrs.org/patients/disease-condition/polyps-colon-and-rectum. Accessed August 15, 2018.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 05/2018
- Update Date: 08/15/2018