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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
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation
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: http://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: http://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