Digestive Disease Specialists
Gastroenterology Practice located in Moline, IL & Davenport, IA
The presence of small growths in your small intestine, or colon polyps, is a risk factor for colorectal cancer. The gastroenterologists at Digestive Disease Specialists with offices in Moline, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa, provide colonoscopies to detect the presence of these polyps and remove them when necessary. Patients older than 45 or who have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colorectal cancer need a screening. Call today to set up your screening or use the online tool to book.
Colon Polyps Q&A
What are colon polyps?
Colon polyps are small clumps of cells that develop on your colon or large intestine lining. Usually, these polyps are benign and cause no problems. But, over time, certain types of polyps experience DNA changes that develop into colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer can be fatal if not detected early and treated.
Should I worry about colon polyps?
While anyone can develop colon polyps, certain risk factors make their development more likely. Some of these factors are controllable, but some aren’t:
- Being older than 50
- Overweight or obesity
- Inactivity and high fat intake
- Excessive alcohol use
- Personal or family history of polyps or colon cancer
You probably won’t notice you have colon polyps. They don’t cause symptoms. This is why regular screening tests are essential in making sure your colon is clear.
Do colon polyps ever cause symptoms?
While most people don’t experience symptoms due to colon polyps, you definitely should consult with Digestive Disease Specialists if you have:
- Rectal bleeding
- Changes in your bowel habits (such as chronic constipation or diarrhea) that last longer than 1 week
- Pain and cramps in your abdomen
- Iron-deficient anemia
These symptoms can have other causes, so your specialist does a thorough physical exam and screening tests to determine the exact cause.
How are colon polyps treated?
Polyps can be safely and completely removed when found in the early stages. Certain types of polyps are more likely to become cancerous.
Your specialist may take a biopsy (tissue sample) during your colonoscopy to send off to a lab to be analyzed. This extra step can help determine if your polyps are potentially cancer-causing.
Removal of small colon polyps may be done with forceps or a wire loop. You are sedated for these procedures.
Large polyps may need to be removed with minimally invasive surgery. In rare instances of certain inherited polyp syndromes, you may need surgery to remove your colon and rectum to protect you from developing potentially fatal forms of cancer.
To schedule your screening for polyps and colon cancer, call Digestive Disease Specialists today or use the website to book your appointment online.
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