What Are Polyps ?
Colon polyps are benign protrusions of the intestinal mucosa. After years , it can turn to malignant transformation: Cancer mainly develops from polyps in the colon. Therefore, it is important to remove polyps in time.
Polyps can reach a size of a few millimeters to several centimeters. Based on the tissue which they are distinguished different types of polyps in the colon.
Most colon polyps are adenomas: These adenomas start to grow from the glandular tissue of the mucosa. Adenomas grow slowly, about a millimeter per year. Therefore, usually it takes a few years for a polyp in the intestine to a malignancy.
Intestinal polyps can have various causes. For one, the own way of life can promote the occurrence of polyps in the bowel – particularly the following factors contribute to the growths :
- Poor diet (too much animal fat, too little fiber)
Secondly polyps can occur more frequently in the context of various rare hereditary diseases which typically arise many polyps in the colon include, for example:
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
- Gardner’s syndrome
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
Mostly, polyps do not cause symptoms in the intestine. Larger polyps can be noticed by irregular bowel movements, abdominal pain or blood and mucus in the stool. It is mostly found by doctor as incidental findings in a colonoscopy. Microscopic examination of the removed tissue certainly shows whether the polyp is benign or malignant.
Colon polyps are protrusions of the intestinal mucosa which they protrude into the intestine. Polyps in the intestine can:
- Vary in shape and size
- Sessile or stalked
- Single or in large numbers
Causes of Polyps
Polyps havemany various causes.Outside and inner factors may be involved to develop polyps in the colon.
An important role play in the formation of colon polyps is diet. This also explains why polyps are widely appeared in the intestine only in the Western industrialized countries. It can be assumed that the frequent consumption of undercooked red meat, bacon or sausage and a low fiber content in the diet promote the development of colon polyps. In addition, lack of exercise is responsible to grow polyps in intestine. People who move little often have polyps adenomas and a significantly higher risk of developing colon cancer than physically active people. Other factors that may favor the occurrence of colon polyps, are:
In rare cases, polyps can also have hereditary causes:
- Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP),
- Gardner’s syndrome,
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome,
- Cowden syndrome and
- Turcot syndrome
What are the Symptoms of Polyps ?
A doctor should be consulted for gastroenterology. In most cases, it is recommended to “empty stomach” when you are going to the doctor, which abdominal organs can be better assessed.
The doctor will first ask a few questions in order to obtain evidence of the intestinal health of the patients:
- Do you suffer from constipation, diarrhea or irregular bowel movements?
- Did you notice that your stool is bloody or slimy?
- Is there bowel disease in your family?
- Have you lost in the last few weeks and months weight unintentionally?
This is followed by the physical examination. Bowel sounds can be heard with the stethoscope by doctor. Then doctor scans the abdomen for possible lumps. With an ultrasound device polyps can be represented in the rectum.
Colonoscopy :It is possible to see a very small portion of the intestine with an ultrasound examination.That is why, colonoscopy is usually performed. The day before the examination a laxative must be taken as a rule. In this case, a flexible hose with a camera (colonoscope) is inserted and advanced into the intestine. If a polyp is found in the intestine, it can be removed directly.Then removed part is examined in the laboratory.
Abdominal MRI: Polyps in the small intestine can be made visible with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In an MRI, many individual sectional images are produced by the intestine.
Capsule Endoscopy: Capsule endoscopy is a small capsule with camera which is swallowed. While it passes through the digestive tract, it takes pictures of the intestinal mucosa. The capsule passes through the entire colon and it is excreted in the feces. These can then be evaluated on the computer. Since this study is very time consuming and expensive, it is not performed with any typical polyps.
Basically all treatments for polyps is to remove the consisting adenoids and to investigate it.
The reason: The growths are indeed initially benign but can transform into a malignant tumor during growth. This is particularly applied to polyps in the colon that are greater than five millimeters.
Your doctor can already remove polyps during the diagnostic colonoscopy : Up to five millimeters large polyps are removed with pliers and larger polyps are removed with a noose by doctor. Mostly, these endoscopic removal of polyps dont cause pain.
If polyps in the intestine are very large (more than 3-5 cm in diameter) or occur in large numbers because of genetic disease, it is not always possible to remove endoscopically.In this case, an operation is a must for removing the polyps.
How to Prevent Polyps
If you want to prevent colon polyps, tips are recommended on following.You can decrease your risk of developing polyps in your intestine.Thus , you can reduce your risk of bowel cancer, at least:
- Eat a balanced diet: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and plenty of fiber,little cooked red meat.
- To stop smoking and excessive drinking.
- A half or one hour of moderate physical activity is enough to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Avoid becoming overweight.
It is advisable to get health checkups . It is also helpful to check complaints as irregular bowel movements, blood or mucus in the stool.
If you have already removed polyps before, more colonoscopies are recommended to check periodically.