A colon polyp
is a growth or tumor, usually benign, which appears along the wall of the colon, also called the large intestine. A polyp may be single or in the form of polyposis, when a set of polyps is grouped as a cluster. However, one must be very careful, because a colon polyp can develop into cancer. Colon polyps can be flattened in shape, in which case they are called "sessile polyps." If they are raised, they are called "pedunculated polyps." The appearance of polyps in the colon is due to several factors such as age or a family history of polyps or colorectal cancer
. Some diseases, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or juvenile polyposis among others, are associated with large amounts of polyps and require close monitoring.
Colon polyps are often asymptomatic, but they are some warning signs that signal their presence:
- bleeding, appearing often mixed in with stools;
- pain in the abdomen;
- constipation or diarrhea or an alternating of the two;
- the presence of mucus in the stool.
Polyps located at the terminal part of the rectum can rarely be diagnosed with a digital rectal examination, but a colonoscopy
following the discovery of blood in the stool or signs mentioned above allow for a diagnosis. The patient must, for this test, stick to a special diet without bread or fruit or vegetables and continue fasting. He must also drink a lot of liquid to allow for the complete emptying of the bowels. A fiberscope, flexible tube with a micro-camera, will be introduced into the body to locate polyps. During the colonoscopy, the doctor will take samples for analysis and to determine the benign or malignant nature.
The choice of treatment is based on the location and nature of the polyps. The doctor may perform a removal during colonoscopy if the polyps are benign and easily removed: this is called polypectomy. The removal of part of the colon where the polyp is considered is an option in the case of a presence of many polyps that will be analyzed by a pathologist.
Adopting a healthy life special can help prevent a colon polyp. You need to stop smoking, opt for moderate alcohol consumption, a diet rich in fiber and low in fat, and practice regular physical activity to manage your weight.
Original article published by
. Translated by Jeff