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)
Stomach polyps often start because of injury or irritation of the lining of the stomach. This may happen with:
- Stomach acid levels that are too high or too low
- Health conditions
Some stomach polyps may be caused by problems with your genes.
Most stomach polyps are more likely to occur in older adults. Your chances of stomach polyps are also higher for:
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- Pernicious anemia
- Gastric ulcers
- Prior stomach surgery
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD )
- Long term use of medicines that lower acid in the stomach
- Family history
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Most stomach polyps don't cause problems.
Larger polyps may cause:
- Belly pain
- Blood in vomit or stool
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of hunger
- Problems when you swallow
Polyps are often found during images taken for other reasons. Your doctor may do more testing with:
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:
Antibiotics may be used to help shrink the polyps.
Not all polyps can be prevented. Follow your treatment plan if you have any conditions that increase your chances of stomach polyps.
American College of Gastroenterology http://patients.gi.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 Cancer Society https://www.cancer.ca
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.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 05/2018
- Update Date: 08/15/2018