Diagnosis and Treatment of Colon Polyps

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An Overview Of Colon Polyps

Colon polyps have gained popularity as a disorder of the colon within the last two years; however, their exact etiology, or cause, is still not fully known. It is thought that colon polyps occur from genetic mutations that cause the wall of the colon to bulge out. Some scientists believe that polyps of the colon might also be caused by a toxic chemical that first causes the body’s defenses to become weakened, and then a mutation to the DNA of the cells during replication.

The cells with the mutation will replicate at double to triple the speed of normal cells, and, as they replicate, there is a pouch formed that bulges out from the surface of the colon. This is called a colon polyp. This is one of the reasons why polyps of the colon have received so much attention lately. If they occur due to a genetic mutation and involve cells that replicate and divide quickly, then these two characteristics are similar to the situation that forms cancer within the body.

Most colon polyps are considered to be benign, and the person who has them will hardly complain about any symptoms associated with them. They are usually found by routine examination using an instrument called a colonoscope.

Some polyps of the colon can cause hemorrhaging from the rectum if they are torn or pulled off of the wall of the colon. If polyps of the colon form in areas that are responsible for absorption, then diarrhea can result as the body’s reabsorption process becomes faulty due to the polyp’s location.

How Colon Polyps Are Diagnosed

Aside from using a colonoscope, polyps of the colon can also be discovered by a radiographic test called a barium enema. A barium solution is used as an enema, and placed into the person’s colon. As the enema travels through the colon, radiographic photographs are taken to view any abnormalities with the wall of the colon. Therefore, colonoscopy and barium enema are the main methods of detection.

How Are Polyps Of The Colon Treated

Treatment of polyps of the colon involves a procedure referred to as a polypectomy. The polyp is taken out by catherizing it to control bleeding. In cases where there are numerous polyps, such as in the condition of Adenomatous polyposis, or the polyps of the colon are quite large and numerous, surgery is needed to remove them.


Web Source: National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.“What I Need To Know About Polyps.” April 2003. Available: https://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/colonpolyps_ez/