4 Warning Symptoms Of Colon Polyps, Growths That May Lead To Cancer

Date April 10, 2018 13:31

Have you heard about colon polyps? These are formations that appear on the wall of the colon and rectum. Colon polyps are very widespread: It’s estimated that 15 to 40 percent of adults in the United States have them. Colon polyps rarely cause symptoms, unless they grow large. Most polyps are benign, but it’s possible for them to become cancerous over time. If a screening test shows the presence of polyps in the colon or rectum, they are usually removed right away.

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Symptoms that colon polyps may cause

Colon polyps don’t always cause symptoms. But if symptoms are present, they may include the following:

  • bleeding from the rectum;
  • red or black stools, which indicates the presence of blood;
  • persistent constipation or diarrhea;
  • abdominal pain and cramps.

Colon polyps may bleed slowly and lead to anemia, which can manifest in shortness of breath, weakness, and tiredness.

Factors that make you more likely to develop colon polyps

Colon polyps are more common in certain groups of people. Factors that are known to increase the risk of colon polyps include the following:

  • being older than 50;
  • a family history of colon polyps;
  • smoking;
  • being obese;
  • poorly treated diabetes;
  • being physically inactive;
  • inflammatory bowel disease (IBD);
  • excessive alcohol consumption;
  • inherited disorders that cause polyps to form, such as Lynch syndrome and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).

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Is there a way to avoid developing colon polyps?

It’s not always possible to prevent colon polyps from growing, but you can take steps to make them less likely to develop. These measures include the following:

  • avoid smoking and other uses of tobacco;
  • drink less alcohol;
  • if you are overweight or obese, lose weight through regular exercise and healthy diet;
  • eat plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains;
  • avoid processed foods, especially processed meat products;
  • avoid fried foods and foods high in fat;
  • increase your intake of vitamin D and calcium by eating more cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and dairy products;
  • if you have a family history of colon polyps and/or a condition that causes them to grow, ask your doctor about getting screening tests, such as colonoscopy, more often.

Even though colon polyps are often benign and may not cause symptoms if they are small, they should still be taken seriously. Regular colonoscopies or other tests can help detect and remove them early to prevent serious complications, such as colon cancer.

Source: Mayo Clinic, WebMD, HealthLine

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.