symbolic medical illustration of the effects of colon polyp

With Colon Cancer having the highest mortality rate in the US for both men and women, it is known to be a serious condition. A colorectal polyp is a general term used for a growth of cells in the lining of the rectum. While the polyp itself is harmless, it should be noted that nearly all cases of colon cancer arise from polyps in the intestine and rectum. The good news is that when caught and treated at the right time, colon cancer is fully preventable.

Colon Polyps are difficult to treat and diagnose because they cause no noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Screening is the only way to learn about the status of the disease. In later stages, there are some symptoms which are as follows:

  • Bloody Stools
  • Constipation, narrow stool, or diarrhea
  • Pain or Obstruction
  • Rectal Bleeding

While these symptoms may happen to everybody occasionally, they are most significant when they occur for one week or longer and should be reported to your local Gastrointestinal Specialist in Arlington. Arlington Gastroentorology Services specializes in the screening and treatment of all types of cancers, diseases, and discomforts of the stomach and intestines.

Colorectal polyps come in three forms. The first and most dangerous being adenomatous polyps, which have a small chance of turning into malignant polyps, but nearly all cancerous tumors start as adenomatous polyps. The second type is a hyperplastic polyp. These very rarely turn into cancerous tumors. Finally there are inflammatory polyps; which are associated with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease. While this type of polyp is not significantly a threat, the diseases that are entailed by this symptom point to a greater risk for colon cancer and suggest further screening.

If you or someone in your family has a history of colon cancer or any cancer, you should visit your Gastrointestinal specialist for a screening and possible treatment.

You should also consider a visit if you are age 50 or older, smoke or drink, have a diet high in fat and low in fiber, have increased weight and living a sedentary lifestyle. All of these are risk factors, which are associated with colon cancer. Carrying two or more of these risk factors along with experiencing the previously mentioned symptoms are a sign that you are at very high risk for colon cancer and that you should be screened immediately.