A colon polyp is an abnormal growth that develops in the lining of the colon or rectum. They are commonly identified during routine colon examinations. While the majority of colon polyps will not develop into cancer, some are precancerous, and having them removed can lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Because anyone can develop colon polyps, it is important to be aware of the symptoms associated with the condition. The team of experts at Piedmont Colorectal are respected leaders in their communities and are committed to providing outstanding patient care. Continue ahead as they explain indicators of colon polyps that you should not ignore.
Colon Polyp Warning Signs
Colon polyps, especially small ones, often do not come with many symptoms, which is why colon screening is so important. When warning signs do occur, they may include the following:
Bleeding: Rectal bleeding may occur in the presence of colon polyps. The rectum aids in the elimination of stool from the body, meaning blood in stool can be observed with the naked eye; sometimes, bleeding can occur gradually and may not be visible after a trip to the bathroom. Special tests, such as fecal blood tests or genetic stool tests can detect the presence of blood.
Iron deficiency: In some cases, anemia or iron deficiency may accompany color polyps. This is due to chronic bleeding that can occur if you have colon polyps. Anemia can make you feel fatigued and short of breath.
Changes in bowel habits: If you experience a change in the frequency of your bathroom trips, or if you have constipation or diarrhea that does not resolve in a week, it is time to see a doctor. These things could mean you have a large colon polyp or even cancer. Many things can also influence bowel habits, such as certain medications or supplements, so it is best to head in for a screening to rule out other factors.
Pain: Sometimes, colon polyps are so large they may block a portion of the bowel. This can lead to pain in the abdomen.
Although anyone can develop colon polyps, certain things may increase your risk. Keep the following risk factors in mind:
- Other inflammatory intestinal issues
- Family history of colon polyps
- Excessive alcohol use
- Tobacco use
- Sedentary lifestyle
There are also several hereditary disorders that may lead to the formation of colon polyps, such as Gardner syndrome.
Colon Polyp Treatment
Regular screenings can significantly reduce your risk of colon polyps and colon cancer. To schedule your next screening at Piedmont Colorectal, contact our office or request an appointment online.