Colon Polyps – All You Need To Know About Them
Polyps that show up in the colon could be the first signs of carcinoma in the region. Read on to learn more.
A colon polyp is a growth on the inside of the colon. Thankfully, not all of them are malignant. In fact, most of them are non-cancerous and it is possible to completely extract them. Colonoscopy results often reveal such growths in men over the age of 40 and physicians usually remove them during the process so that they can be analyzed for precancerous characteristics. If left intact, some of these masses may eventually turn cancerous. Therefore, detection and extraction of polyps is an effective way of preventing possible future malignancies.
Types Of Polyps:
Colonic masses fall into three broad categories:
- Sessile – Shaped like a dome, without a stalk. Usually harmless but are taken out anyway.
- Hyperplastic – Non-precancerous, yet physicians pull them out to avoid any risk
- Adenomas – Lesions that slowly progress to cancer. Removing them is almost always the course taken by physicians.
While most colonic growths do not perpetrate any signs at first, here are some warning signs that one should be aware of:
- Consistent bowel trouble such as diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal distress
- Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool.
- Constant tiredness
Treatment And Prevention:
If your physician finds polyps during a routine colonoscopy, they will likely recommend extraction and frequent follow-ups post removal. The reason behind the follow-ups is that there is a high possibility of recurrence in such cases.
- If you have one or two tiny polyps which are not over 5mm in diameter, your cancer risk is lower, and your doctor may only require another colonoscopy after 5-10 years.
- With more significant growths, the frequency of recurrence is higher. Your physician may recommend another colonoscopy after three years.
- For those with no polyps, once every ten years is typically sufficient as a screening measure.
Some lifestyle modifications can help you lower your cancer risk considerably, such as:
- Minimize Red Meat Consumption – Cured red meat, as well as meat that has been cooked at very high temperatures, can lead to a higher susceptibility to colonic carcinoma. Try increasing the intake of fruits, fresh veggies, nuts, and fatty fish instead.
- Get Moving – Working out for 30-minutes every day can help reduce your risk immensely.
- Consider Vitamin D Supplements – Sufficient levels of Vitamin D have been shown to lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer. A vitamin D supplement can ensure an adequate supply of this essential nutrient.
- Get Rid Of The Cigarettes – Aside from all the other terrible side-effects of smoking, it also makes you much more vulnerable to colorectal carcinoma.
In summary, not all polyps in the colon are cause for worry. However, it is vital to catch them in time and seek treatment to negate the possibility of them to develop into cancer.
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