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What Exactly Is a Polyp?
By Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease, LLC
March 24, 2020
Category: Gastroenterology
Tags: Polyp  

Polyps are tiny cell clumps that develop inside the body. They could appear in different places, from the nose and ears down to the colon and stomach. It’s also immensely crucial to note that while polyps could develop into cancer, others don’t. In general, the difference is the polyp’s location, size, and the exact tissue that the polyp is made of. With this in mind, in this blog post, we’re focusing on colon polyps, which are growths that form within the colon. They can either be benign or noncancerous, or malignant or cancerous.

Here at the Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease, LLC, our gastroenterologists can examine your colon polyps through a colonoscopy. During a consultation at either one of our offices in Eagle River or Anchorage, AK, Dr. Daryl McClendon, Dr. Jeffrey Molloy, or Dr. Austin Nelson can evaluate your case and recommend the best treatment options available to you.

Understanding Colon Polyps

Colon polyps are small cell clumps that grow inside the colon’s lining. In most cases, these polyps are benign or noncancerous. Over time, however, certain colon polyps could progress into malignant or cancerous polyps that are usually life-threatening when not detected and treated early. Colon polyps can either be neoplastic or non-neoplastic.

Neoplastic colon polyps include the serrated types and adenomas, which could be cancerous. Non-neoplastic colon polyps, on the other hand, include hamartomatous, inflammatory polyps, and hyperplastic polyps, and these usually don’t become cancerous. The thing you need to remember about colon polyps is that the larger they are, the higher the risk of colon cancer, particularly with neoplastic types.

Polyps in the colon don’t always cause obvious symptoms. This is why it’s crucial to be regularly screened, as colon polyps can be removed completely and safely if they’re found while still in their earliest stages. Anyone could get colon polyps, so prevention via regular screenings and early diagnosis and treatment is extremely important.

When to Visit Your Gastroenterologist

Because colon polyps usually don’t cause easily detectable warning signs, you may not be aware that you have them until they’re detected during a checkup with your gastroenterologist. Visit your gastroenterologist either in out Eagle River or Anchorage, AK, office for a colonoscopy if you:

  • See blood in your stools
  • Are having abdominal pain
  • Experience changes in your bowel habits that persist for more than one week

Additionally, you should receive regular screenings for colon polyps if you are over 50 years old and/or have a history of colon cancer in the family. Likewise, if you’re considered a high-risk individual, you should start getting regular screenings much earlier.

Take Control of Your Colon Health Now.

Schedule a colonoscopy with one of our gastroenterologists, Dr. Daryl McClendon, Dr. Jeffrey Molloy, or Dr. Austin Nelson, either in our Eagle River or Anchorage, AK, office. You can reach Alaska Digestive and Liver Disease, LLC, by calling (907) 569-1333.