Treatment for Colon Polyps

How do doctors treat colon polyps?

Doctors treat colon polyps by removing them.

In most cases, doctors use special tools during a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy to remove colon polyps. After doctors remove the polyp, they send it for testing to check for cancer. A pathologist will review the test results and send a report to your doctor. Doctors can remove almost all polyps without surgery.

If you have colon polyps, your doctor will ask you to get tested regularly in the future because you have a higher chance of developing more polyps.

Seek Care Right Away

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms after he or she removes a colon polyp:

  • severe pain in your abdomen
  • fever
  • bloody bowel movements that do not get better
  • bleeding from your anus that does not stop
  • dizziness
  • weakness

How can I prevent colon polyps?

Researchers don’t know a sure way to prevent colon polyps. However, you can take steps to lower your chances of developing colon polyps.

Eating, diet, and nutrition

Eating, diet, and nutrition changes—such as eating less red meat and more fruits and vegetables—may lower your chances of developing colon polyps.

Healthy lifestyle choices

You can make the following healthy lifestyle choices to help lower your chances of developing colon polyps:

Woman walking a dog outdoors
Being physically active and losing weight if you’re overweight may lower your chances of developing colon polyps.

Aspirin

Taking a low dose of aspirin every day for a long period of time may help prevent polyps from developing into colorectal cancer in some people.5 However, taking aspirin daily may cause side effects such as bleeding in your stomach or intestines. Talk with your doctor before you start taking aspirin daily.

References

September 2017
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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.