At Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville, we know that finding polyps in the colon or rectum often raises alarms for our patients. They want to know what caused it, how we can remove it, and if it’s cancerous. To understand colon polyps a bit better, consider the following points.
Colon Polyps are common
According to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, polyps are benign growths involving the lining of the bowel. They can occur in several locations in the gastrointestinal tract but are most common in the colon. Polyps vary in size from less than a quarter of an inch to several inches in diameter. Most colon polyps are harmless. Anyone can develop colon polyps, but you’re at higher risk if you are over 50, are obese or a smoker, or have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colon cancer. Most polyps cause no symptoms, although larger ones can cause blood in the stools. Talk with your physician about when and how frequently you should be screened for polyps.
Not all polyps will become cancer
Colorectal cancer often begins as a polyp, but it’s important to note that there are different types of polyps. Some types of polyps (called adenomas) are generally benign, but have the potential to become cancerous, while others (hyperplastic or inflammatory polyps) have very little chance of becoming cancerous. It may take years for a polyp to become cancerous, so finding and removing polyps early can prevent colorectal cancer.
Polyps can be safely removed
The medical term for removing colorectal polyps is colonic polypectomy. The best course of action when polyps are found depends upon the number, type, size, and location of the polyps. In many cases gastrointestinal polyps can be removed endoscopically during a colonoscopy. If the polyp is too large to be removed endoscopically, it may be removed surgically. People who have a polyp removed will require follow-up examinations as new polyps may develop over time that need to be removed.
Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville has the most advanced techniques for the treatment of colon polyps and colorectal cancer. To learn more about the board certified physicians of Premier Surgical Associates visit our website at www.premiersurgical.com.