Saanichton, BC

Dr. Miguel A. Lipka

Colon Polyps

This is categorized under:

A colon polyp is a growth on the surface of the colon, also called the large intestine. Sometimes, a person can have more than one colon polyp. Colon polyps can be raised or flat.

Some colon polyps are benign, which means they are not cancer. But some types of polyps may already be cancer or can become cancer. Flat polyps can be smaller and harder to see and are more likely to be cancer than raised polyps.

You may have a greater chance of getting polyps if:

  • You’re 50 years of age or older
  • You’ve had polyps before
  • Someone in your family has had polyps
  • Someone in your family has had cancer of the large intestine, also called colon cancer
  • You’ve had uterine or ovarian cancer before age 50
  • You eat a lot of fatty foods
  • You smoke
  • You drink alcohol
  • You don’t exercise
  • You weigh too much

Most people with colon polyps do not have symptoms. However, those that do experience:

  • Bleeding from the anus
  • Constipation or diarrhea that lasts more than a week
  • Blood in the stool. Blood can make stool look black, or it can show up as red streaks in the stool

The doctor can use one or more tests to check for colon polyps.

  • Barium enema
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Stool test

Talk with your doctor about getting tested for colon polyps if you’re 50 years of age or older, or earlier if you have symptoms or someone in your family has had polyps or colon cancer.

In most cases, the doctor removes colon polyps during sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. The polyps are then tested for cancer.