Colon and Rectal polyps

Occur in 20%-30% of the adults. Arise from the inner lining of the colon and rectum. More common in left colon and rectum. Removal of polyps during colonoscopy reduces the risk of developing colon and rectum cancer. Majority of polyps will not become cancers.

Symptoms: Most don’t cause any symptoms. In some patients may cause blood in the stool. Therefore screening is very important.

Diagnosis: Colonoscopy is the best. Virtual (CT) colonoscopy, barium enema, and sigmoidoscopy are other methods.

Treatment: Removal of polyps is advised. New polyps may develop in 30% of patients. Therefore, 3-5 years of follow-up intervals are recommended.

(Simplified from Patient Eduction Brochures of The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons)