Colorectal Polyp: Risk factors, Symptoms & Treatment

What are Colorectal Polyp

Colorectal polyp or colonic polyp are growth or mass that appear on the inner surface of the colon. Most of them are benign or harmless.Usually these does not cause any symptom.Two main types of polyps, One is non-neoplastic which is most common in which chances of conversion to cancer is negligible and other is neoplastic polyp which have a chance to convert to cancer

Non-neoplastic polyps are of three types: Hyperplastic polyps most common, inflammatory polyps and hamartomatous polyps
Neoplastic are of two types:Adenomas and serrated polyps.

Symptoms of Colorectal Polyp

Most colorectal polyp do not cause any symptom, but some people with large polyps may have such as change in bowel habits, Rectal bleeding, Pain, Iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss, mucus discharge

Risk Factors

Age: It is the most common risk factor. Chances of developing colonic polyp are more in older age
Inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
Family history and Genetic disorders such as Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
Other rare cause: tobacco and alcohol use, obesity, type 2 diabetes

Diagnosis

Colonoscopy is the most common test for detection of the colorectal polyp. It is an OPD base procedure in which gastroenterologist examine mucosa or the inner lining of the colon and rectum using a long, thin flexible tube with a camera and a light on the end. If polyp size is large they take a biopsy, otherwise small polyps can be removed at the same time
CT colonography also called as virtual colonoscopy can also be used to examine the colon indirectly but no biopsy or polypectomy can be done

Treatment

Polypectomy is advised for colorectal polyps as no test can predict which polyp will turn into cancer. most polyps can be removed during colonoscopy, rarely patients may require surgery for removal of large polyps

Prognosis

After polypectomy prognosis depends on the histopathology report. Polypectomy is sufficient for non-neoplastic and non-invasive cancer. Bowel resection may be required in invasive cancer. Follow up colonoscopy is required as the patient may again develop polyps. Daily Aspirin or NSAIDs may reduce the risk of new polyps forming

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