But because polyps are caused by abnormal cell growth and, like cancer, grow through rapidly dividing cells, they can become malignant. A doctor can determine whether a polyp is malignant or benign by performing a biopsy (sending a tissue sample for examination by a pathologist).
At USF Health, we remove all polyps during colonoscopy as a precaution, as there is no way of definitively knowing whether they are benign, pre-cancerous, or contain a cancer until we are able to look at them under a microscope after removal
- Rectal bleeding. This can be a sign of colon polyps or cancer or other conditions, such as hemorrhoids or minor tears of the anus.
- Change in stool color. Blood can show up as red streaks in your stool or make stool appear black. ...
- Change in bowel habits. ...
- Pain. ...
- Iron deficiency anemia.
Polyps of the colon and rectum are most often benign. This means they are not a cancer. You may have one or many polyps. They become more common with age.
A gastroenterologist, the specialist who usually performs a colonoscopy, can't tell for certain if a colon polyp is precancerous or cancerous until it's removed and examined under a microscope .
Most aren't cancerous (benign), but a polyp contains abnormal cells or cells that may become abnormal (malignant). A polyp is usually a flat bump or shaped like a mushroom . Cancerous polyps can develop in many places in your body, such as your colon or uterus.
The size of the polyp correlates with the development of cancer . Polyps less than 1 centimeter in size have a slightly greater than a 1% chance of becoming cancer, but those 2 centimeters or greater have a 40% chance of transforming into cancer. Overall, the incidence is about 5%.
Most polyps are protrusions from the lining of the intestine: Polypoid polyps look like a mushroom, but flop around inside the intestine because they are attached to the lining of the colon by a thin stalk. Sessile polyps do not have a stalk, and are attached to the lining by a broad base .
Symptoms of bowel polyps
Bowel polyps do not usually cause any symptoms , so most people with polyps will not know they have them. They're often picked up during screening for bowel cancer. But some larger polyps can cause: a small amount of slime (mucus) or blood in your poo (rectal bleeding)
Generally, it's about a 10- to 15-year process, which explains why getting a colonoscopy screening once every 10 years is sufficient for most people.
A gastroenterologist, the specialist who usually performs a colonoscopy, can't tell for certain if a colon polyp is precancerous or cancerous until it's removed and examined under a microscope . "In the future," Dr.