Colon Polyps Treatment – Colonoscopy, How to Prevent Colon Polyps

Colon polyps are the fleshy outgrowths that form on the inner lining of large intestine also known as colon. These are harmless but sometimes may lead to cancers developing a risk. Colon polyps are common in adults and children. The risk of the developing the disease is more if you are above 50, eat a low fiber, high fat diet, or a smoker, or obese or have a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps.

Colon polyps usually do not cause any symptoms. Hence, doctors suggest for screening tests. This helps in going for early treatment and thus preventing cancers.

Causes of Colon Polyps

Colon polyps are formed as a result of abnormal cell growth. Cells naturally grow and divide in an orderly manner and controlled by genes. When these genes are disturbed due to any activity, mutations arise and cells divide abnormally. This results in uncontrolled growth of cells in colon and rectum leading to colon polyps.

Colon polyps may be small or large. Small polyps are harmless and cannot lead to cancers but large polyps are harmful and cause colon cancers.

Colon polyps are of three main types. They are:

  • Inflammatory – These colon polyps succeed the disease conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. They also increase the risk of colon cancers.
  • Hyperplastic – These polyps most often occur in left colon and rectum. They are about 0.5 centimeters in size and have a reduced risk of developing cancers.
  • Adenomatous – Almost all colon polyps that are malignant come under this type of polyps. A small percent of these can only develop cancers.

Risk Factors of Colon Polyps

The following factors increase the risk of colon polyps and colon cancers:

  • Race – If you are an origin from Ashkenazi Jew or a Black from Eastern European race, you are at a greater risk of developing colon cancer.
  • Weight – Being obese is can cause many cancers including, colon cancer.
  • Sedentary lifestyle – If you are lazy enough and inactive, the waste may stay for a longer time in your colon. This increases the risk of colon polyps hence.
  • Alcohol and smoking – Consuming alcohol, especially beer poses a greater risk of colon polyps. Smoking also increases the risk of colon polyps and hence cancer.
  • Family history – The condition is considered to be hereditary. You have a greater risk of developing colon polyps if any member of your family has the disease condition.
  • Inflammatory intestinal diseases – Inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis increase the risk.
  • Age – Your risk of developing the condition is more if you are above the age 50.

Symptoms of Colon Polyps

Smaller polyps do not cause any problems. But polyps as they grow larger cause serious symptoms. The signs and symptoms of colon polyps include:

  • Bowel obstruction and pain in the bowel movements
  • Narrowing of stools
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Blood in the stools
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pains and cramps

When to seek a medical professional

Consult a medical professional if you experience symptoms like change in bowel movements, blood in your stools and abdominal pain. Also go for regular screening tests for polyps after you reach age of 50’s.


Removal of polyp is the only way to treat the polyp. In most cases, the specialist removes the polyp during sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. The removed polyps are then tested for cancer. In this article, we shall discuss the removal procedure of colon polyp and steps to prevent colon polyps.

Colonoscopy Procedure:

A colonoscope is a long, flexible tube with a camera that shows images on a TV screen.

Colonoscopy is the procedure of using colonoscope for diagnosis of colon disorders. The colonoscope is inserted into the anus for visualization of the entire colon.

Patient Preparation:

Before taking up colonoscopy, the patient is prepared physically and emotionally. The doctor counsels the patient taking family history of the patient. He dose a thorough physical examination of the patient.

A day before the colonoscopy, the patient is given laxative preparations and large quantities of fluid. The bowel is cleaned before taking up the procedure so that the specialist can clearly see the colon. Just before the procedure, the doctor gives medicines/sedatives to sedate the patient.

Colon polyp treatment

The Procedure: The doctor inserts the colonoscope into the rectum and advances through the large intestine. The exact location and texture of the polyp is identified using lightings and camera provided. Using accessory tools the polyp is caught and removed entirely. Thus, colonoscopy allows to treat the polyp without the need for a major operation. It is a simple procedure that is generally done on an outpatient basis.

How to prevent colon polyps ?

Actually there is no sure shot way to prevent colon polyp. Doctors say that one might lower the risk of getting colon polyp by:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Eating less fatty food
  • Avoid smoking
  • Taking more exercise
  • Maintaining ideal weight
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Eating more calcium rich foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese and broccoli
  • Taking a low dose of aspirin

You can get more information on predisposing factors, symptoms and diagnosis of colon polyps in related articles on this site.

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