An estimated 30% of adults over the age of 45 have colon polyps. At Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute in Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Huntington Beach, California, Tahmina Haq, MD, performs a colonoscopy to find and remove colon polyps, reducing your risk of colon cancer. Call the office closest to you today or schedule a consultation online to learn more about colon polyps and how they affect your health.
Colon polyps are growths found on the inner lining of the large intestine. They vary in size, number, and shape. There are different types of colon polyps and most are noncancerous. However, some types may turn cancerous.
Anyone can have colon polyps. Researchers theorize that the growths develop from genetic changes in the cells that line the colon, causing the abnormality. Your lifestyle, age, and genes may increase your risk of colon polyps.
Though some people have abdominal pain with colon polyps, most people have no symptoms at all, especially during the early stages.
When left untreated, colon polyps may bleed, causing blood to show up in your stool. You may also have a change in bowel habits, an unexplained iron deficiency, or unexpected weight loss.
You should get checked for colon polyps if you have rectal bleeding or blood in your stools or you’re losing weight without trying. Because colon polyps can turn cancerous, it’s recommended that all adults get screened for colon cancer starting at age 45.
Finding and removing colon polyps reduces your risk of colon cancer. The gastroenterologist at Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute is well-known for her high adenoma detection rate. This means she performs a careful colonoscopy to find and remove potentially cancerous polyps.
You should also get checked for polyps if colon cancer runs in your family.
A polypectomy is the best way to remove colon polyps. Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute performs most polypectomies during a colonoscopy.
For the procedure, the gastroenterologist inserts a surgical tool through the colonoscope (the thin tube with a light and camera) to remove the polyp. If you have several colon polyps, you may need more than one colonoscopy to remove them all.
Though rare, some people need open surgery to remove colon polyps. After your polypectomy, you need regular colonoscopy screenings to monitor for recurring polyps. The frequency of your colonoscopies depends on the types of polyps found.
For hyperplastic polyps (benign), follow-up screenings are done every 10 years. For adenomatous polyps (benign, but more likely to turn cancerous), screenings are done every 1-3 years.
Call Advanced Gastroenterology & Liver Institute today or schedule your colon polyp consultation using the online booking button.