Colon Polyp FAQ’s - Houston Colon – Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery

Colon Polyp FAQ’s

April 25, 2011

What is a colon polyp?

A colon polyp is a growth on the lining of the colon. Polyps are very common and occur in over 50% of people over the age of 60. The likelihood of having colon polyps increases with age. If you are over the age of 50, visit your Houston colorectal surgeon for an initial screening.

Are colon polyps cancerous?

Most colon polyps are not cancerous, though when certain types of polyps grow large enough they can become cancerous. These types of polyps are called adenomatous polyps or adenomas. These polyps come in three different forms: tubular (least likely to evolve into cancer), villous (most likely to evolve into cancer) and tubulo-villous. The risk of a polyp becoming cancerous increases as it grows in size. It is vitally important to be screened regularly by your colorectal surgeon in Houston to prevent colon polyp growth.

What happens once a colon polyp is found?

If the polyp found is not an adenoma then a follow-up colonoscopy can be done around ten years later. If one or more polyps are found that are adenomas, then follow-ups in one to three years are usually recommended.

What can I do to prevent colon polyps?

Having a healthy diet low in fat and high in fiber help prevent polyp growth. Vegetables including broccoli and cauliflower protect against colon cancer, while vitamins C and E can also help in cancer prevention.

Am I at higher risk if a family member has polyps?

If a close blood relative such as a parent, sibling or child has colon polyps then the likelihood of developing colon polyps goes up 50% higher than a person who does not have a relative with polyps.

What kind of testing should I have done to detect colon polyps?

Starting at the age of 50, individuals are recommended to have a Houston colonoscopy every ten years to detect and remove polyps. If polyps run in the family, then genetic counseling and testing may be considered. Genetic counseling and testing help identify people who have inherited colon cancer genomes so that they can begin screening early.
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The Houston colorectal surgeons at Colorectal Surgical Associates use the latest technologies to diagnose and remove colon polyps, as well as many other colorectal disorders and diseases.  The use of advanced techniques in laparoscopic surgery enables these colorectal surgeons in Houston to provide optimum results and minimum side-effects when performing colon cancer surgery.