Colon Polyps

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Definition & Facts

Colon polyps are growths on the lining of your colon or rectum. Over time, some polyps can become cancerous, and removing polyps can help prevent cancer of the colon and rectum.

Symptoms & Causes

Most people with colon polyps don’t have symptoms, so you can’t tell that you don’t have polyps because you feel well. When colon polyps do cause symptoms, you may have bleeding from your rectum, have blood in your stool, or feel tired because of anemia.

Diagnosis

Your doctor can only find colon polyps by using certain tests or procedures.

Treatment

Doctors treat colon polyps by removing them. Doctors can remove almost all polyps without surgery. In most cases, doctors remove colon polyps during colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy.

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition

You may lower your chances of developing polyps by eating more fruits and vegetables and eating less fatty food, red meat, and processed meat. Talk with your doctor about getting more calcium and vitamin D.

Clinical Trials

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support basic and clinical research into many digestive disorders.

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.