Colon polyps are a common gastrointestinal problem. Polyps are small groups of abnormal cells that form into clumps in your body. While you can get polyps in many different parts of your body, polyps in the colon (or large intestine) are especially common. While polyps are small and usually harmless, they can cause more serious health problems over time.
Colon Polyp Symptoms
While anyone can develop a colon polyp, these growths are most commonly found in people over the age of 50 or individuals with a family history of colon polyps. At first, these polyps usually present without symptoms. But as the polyps grow, you might experience rectal bleeding, abdominal pain, and changes in your bowel movements.
Colon Polyp Treatment
The only way to get rid of polyps is to remove them. For colon polyps, your doctor will do this during a colonoscopy. During this procedure, your doctor will insert a thin tool called a colonoscope into your rectum. You will be sedated during this procedure so you won’t feel pain. A doctor will usually recommend removal if they suspect the polyps might turn into colon cancer. While this is not common, it is a possibility for individuals with certain risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer.
When to See a Professional
If you have symptoms of a colon polyp or a family history of colon cancer, see a gastroenterologist. This specialist will be able to evaluate your symptoms and health history to create a customized treatment plan.