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by Mahnke D

Definition

A stomach polyp is a growth in the lining of the stomach. There are many different types of polyps. The types are based on where they are and how they grow. Most of the polyps are not cancerous, but some can grow into cancer.

Common types of polyps:

  • Hyperplastic—most common
  • Fundic gland—found in the upper part of the stomach
  • Adenoma—most likely to later become stomach cancer (least common type)

Causes

Stomach polyps often start because of injury or irritation of the lining of the stomach. This may happen with:

  • Aging
  • Stomach acid levels that are too high or too low
  • Infections
  • Health conditions

Some stomach polyps may be caused by problems with your genes.

Risk Factors

Most stomach polyps are more likely to occur in older adults. Your chances of stomach polyps are also higher for:

Gastric Ulcer
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Symptoms

Most stomach polyps don't cause problems.

Larger polyps may cause:

  • Belly pain
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of hunger
  • Heartburn
  • Problems when you swallow

Diagnosis

Polyps are often found during images taken for other reasons. Your doctor may do more testing with:

Treatment

Most stomach polyps will not need to be treated. Small polyps that may have a risk of cancer will be watched. They may not need to be taken out.

Polyps that cause problems may need to be treated. This will depend on the size, number, and type of polyps.

They can be treated with:

Medication

Antibiotics may be used to help shrink the polyps.

Surgery

Large polyps or those with high risk of turning into cancer may be taken out. This can be done with:

Prevention

Not all polyps can be prevented. Follow your treatment plan if you have any conditions that increase your chances of stomach polyps.

RESOURCES

American College of Gastroenterology  http://patients.gi.org 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases  https://www.niddk.nih.gov 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Association of Gastroenterology  https://www.cag-acg.org 

Canadian Cancer Society  https://www.cancer.ca 

References

Non-cancerous tumours of the stomach. Canadian Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/stomach/stomach-cancer/non-cancerous-tumours/?region=on. Accessed August 15, 2018.

Shaib YH, Rugge M, Graham DY, Genta RM. Management of gastric polyps: an endoscopy approach. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11(11):1374-1384.

The stomach: stomach polyps. Chicago Endoscopy Center website. Available at: http://www.chicagoendoscopy.com/the-stomach.html#a4. Accessed August 15, 2018.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD
  • Review Date: 05/2018
  • Update Date: 08/15/2018