Polyps are linked to colorectal cancer. However, their presence in your colon doesn’t always mean cancer. So how do we know the seriousness of their presence? What are they? And is there a way to avoid their growth? This article will explore the relationship between polyps and colorectal cancer.
What are Polyps?
Polyps are small growths that can form on the lining of the colon. Polyps can develop for many reasons, including infection, inflammation, or injury. They are often seen as small, round bumps on the surface of the colon. While most polyps are not cancerous, it is important to have them checked.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the colon and rectum. The colon is the large intestine, while the rectum is the end of the intestine that connects to the anus. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States and is responsible for more than 50,000 deaths each year.
The cause of colorectal cancer is not fully understood, but some risk factors increase your chances of developing the disease. These include:
- Age: Colorectal cancer is most common in people over 55.
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than women.
- Race: African Americans are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than whites.
- Genetics: Some people may be at higher risk for colorectal cancer if they have a family history of the disease.
- Diet: A diet high in red or processed meat can increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
- Obesity: People who are obese are more likely to develop colorectal cancer due to increased insulin production.
- Smoking: Increases your risk of developing many types of cancers, including colorectal cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends that all adults over 45 get screened for colorectal cancer. Several ways to do this include a colonoscopy, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, or a stool test. Talk to your doctor about which screening option is right for you.
How do Colonoscopies Detect Polyps?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to look inside your rectum and colon. During a colonoscopy, the doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope into your rectum. The colonoscope will be passed through your entire colon. The doctor will use the colonoscope to check for polyps and other problems.
If the doctor finds any polyps, they will be removed and sent to a laboratory for further testing. The results of these tests will help the doctor determine if the polyp is cancerous or not.
What are the Treatments for Detected Polyps?
If the polyp is cancerous, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the tumor. Surgery may not be an option if the cancer is large or has spread to other body parts. In these cases, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be recommended.
Ways to Avoid Polyp Growth within the Colon
There are some ways that you can reduce your chances of polyp growth within the colon. These include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight: Losing weight can help reduce your risk.
- Eating a healthy diet: A diet high in fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of polyps.
- Avoiding red meat
- Getting regular screenings
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for polyp growth and what you can do to reduce your risk.
Gastro Florida Can Help Screen For Polyps
Gastro Florida’s team of certified professionals is here to help with your gastrointestinal issues. Set up an appointment to be seen, diagnosed, and treated; our goal is to serve and help you continue on a gut health and wellness path.