There is a range of factors that can potentially lead to the development of colon or rectal cancer. Of the possible causes, one of the most common is polyps. Polyps are classified as a small lump of cells that can develop anywhere throughout the lining of the large intestine. While the majority of polyps are noncancerous, larger masses could eventually become malignant if the polyp is not treated or removed. Polyps can develop in anyone, but those who are older, overweight, and have a history of smoking can be at an increased risk to experience this condition. If polyps are detected during a routine colonoscopy or rectal examination, our specialists at Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery will remove them promptly to reduce your future chances of developing colon cancer. Our North Houston and West Houston, TX offices take every precaution necessary to ensure that your total health is preserved and your intestinal tract is in its best condition.
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Signs and Symptoms
Polyps are often caused by mutations in cells that result in continual cell division even when they don't need to be replenished and aren't needed. These small clumps throughout the colon can occur in anyone, but patients may be at a higher risk to develop polyps if they are over 50 years old, overweight, smoke, or have a history of either polyps or colon cancer. In addition to these potential factors, there are also some hereditary disorders that can lead women and men to develop these lumps. While many patients with polyps won't notice any signs or symptoms of the disease, some may experience:
- Rectal bleeding
- Change in stool color
- Excess mucus discharge
- Abdominal pain, although it's rare
- Anemia or iron deficiency
- A change in one's frequency of bowel movements
What to Expect
Often, polyps are detected during a routine colonoscopy. Because many patients with polyps will not experience any noticeable signs and symptoms, you could have these lumps while being completely unaware that anything is wrong. When polyps or tumors are found, a second colonoscopy may be performed to take a biopsy and remove the lumps. Other tests may also be performed for a comprehensive assessment, such as a digital rectal exam, sigmoidoscopy, a CT (computerized tomography) scan, barium enema, or fecal occult testing, to look for blood in the stool.
Our team of board-certified surgeons always recommends the immediate removal of polyps so the cells can be screened and to prevent any of the lumps from becoming cancerous. In most cases, polyps can be removed during a follow-up colonoscopy. While some larger masses may require more than one treatment, surgery is rarely needed. Depending on your unique situation, our surgeons will develop a personalized treatment plan to eradicate your intestinal polyps and restore your overall wellness. Even though most patients will not experience a recurrence, some individuals may develop polyps once again in the future. For this reason, our office will likely schedule follow-up visits to Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery so we can monitor your health and ensure that your colon tract is clear.
LEARN MORE ABOUT POLYPS
Our team at Houston Colon and Rectal Surgery prioritize your intestinal and overall health above all else. To ensure that you're always in your best physical condition, we take notice of any and all potential abnormalities and use our technical eyes to detect a range of issues, from the obvious to the less noticeable. If polyps are detected anywhere along your large intestinal tract, we will remove them promptly and have a biopsy taken to ensure that you are cancer-free. To schedule your routine colonoscopy, contact one of our North Houston or West Houston, TX offices.