A colon polyp is a mass of cells that grows on the colon mucosa. Most colon polyps are harmless, but over time they can become colon cancer, which can be fatal if diagnosed late.
Anyone can develop colon polyps, but colon polyps are more common in people over age 5, overweight, smokers, and those with a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps.
Usually, the colon polyp has no symptoms and is diagnosed during screenings such as colonoscopy. Colon polyps can be removed during colonoscopy.
Symptoms of Colon Polyp
As mentioned, colon polyps are usually asymptomatic, but in some people the following symptoms may occur:
Change in stool color
Changes in bowel habits in the form of diarrhea or constipation
Pain: Large polyps can cause pain due to obstruction.
Iron deficiency anemia: Prolonged bleeding from the polyp can lead to iron deficiency anemia.
When to see a doctor?
Blood in the stool
Changes in temperament that take more than a week.
You should be regularly screened for colon polyps if:
You are over 50 years old
The following risk factors may be present: Family history of colon cancer that needs to be screened earlier than 50 years.
Colon Polyp Risk Factors:
Age (over 50 years)
Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
Smoking and alcohol
Obesity and inactivity
Diabetes with poor control
Prevention of colon polyps:
Healthy habit of living
Consume fruits and vegetables
Reduce fat intake
Reduce alcohol and cigarette consumption
Sufficient exercise mobility