Today’s topic is colorectal polyps. A colorectal polyp is a growth or (small clump of cells) occurring on the lining of the colon, which is a part of the digestive tract.
Polyps are common, and most colorectal polyps are not harmful. Colorectal polyps increase in prevalence as people age.
By age 60, about 30% of people will have at least one polyp. Colorectal polyps are important because they may develop into colorectal cancer or (colon cancer), which is deadly in nature, polyps grow in two different shapes:
Sessile – with no stalk but attached to the lining of the colon by a broad-base, sessile polyp seems to lie flat against the wall of the colon and can blend with the lining of the organ, making them sometimes tricky to find and treat.
Pedunculated – are shaped like a mushroom and attached to the lining of the colon by a long, thin stalk, both sessile and pedunculated polyps can turn into pre-cancerous and cancerous polyps.
Cancer risk increases with the size of the colorectal polyps, for example, the smaller the polyps, the less likely it is to turn cancerous.
There are different types of colorectal polyps, and the most common types are:
Adenomatous polyps are the most common type of colorectal polyp and the most common cause of colorectal cancer. Nearly all malignant polyps began as an Adenomatous.
The likelihood Adenomatous is polyp developing into cancer is dependent on the size, number ( single polyp or multiple polyps), and growth pattern (tubular, villous, tubulovillous, or serrated).
Tubular adenomas less (than half an inch) are less likely to become cancerous than villus adenomas (are usually larger)
Hyperplastic polyps are the second most common type of colorectal polyps and have little or no potential to become cancerous
in some cases, hyperplastic polyps may coexist with Idina modest polyps, another less common colorectal polyp is the inflammatory polyps that occur in people with inflammatory bowel disease or (IBD).
The exact cause of the condition is not known, But it is believed that polyps develop when cells grow and divide abnormally. People either develop colorectal polyps during their lifetime or are born with it.
Risk factors may include obesity, age, people that are 50 years and older smoking, a history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
Uncontrolled type-2 diabetes inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, some genetic conditions, such as:
Lynch syndrome, Familial adenomatous polyposis, Gardner’s syndrome, Poots Jagger syndrome, MYH Associated polyposis,
Most colorectal polyps don’t cause symptoms. However, if symptoms exist, they may include: Abdominal pain, iron deficiency anemia, anemia can cause lightheadedness, weakness, fainting, pale skin, or rapid heart rate.
Black stools, bloody stools, rectal bleeding, increased mucus production, a change in bowel habits that last longer than a week, including constipation or diarrhea.
To make a diagnosis, the doctor will review your medical history, assess risk factors, and carry out a physical examination. If a colorectal polyp is suspected, the doctor may recommend further tests.
This may include colonoscopy to examine the colon, flexible sigmoidoscopy to examine a limited portion of the colon, stool exam to check for blood virtual colonoscopy which uses x-rays and a computer to make pictures of the colon from outside of the body
The goal of treatment options is the removal of the polyps. Polyps can be removed of: using colonoscopy, laparoscopy, partial or total proctocolectomy; this procedure involves removing the colon and rectum and is only necessary for the severe condition or cancer.
Healthy habits that can help prevent the development of colorectal polyps include:
consuming diets with a lot of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods like beans, peas, high-fiber cereal. Keeping a normal body weight, limiting red meat, processed meats, and food that are rich in fats, avoiding or quitting smoking.