What Are Colon Polyps?

By amara
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. They found colon polyps: Now what? (2019, September 10). Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/they-found-colon-polyps-now-what
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When the body is functioning properly, cells grow and divide to keep various systems in check. However, there are times when these cells mutate or divide too quickly. A genetic mutation may spur cells to grow in areas that do not need them.

While every part of the body is susceptible to this type of irregular activity, small masses called polyps may form when it happens in the colon or rectum. What happens to the body when polyps form? These masses may cause issues with the way the body processes waste and, in some cases, they may become malignant.

1. Signs and Symptoms of Polyps

Colon polyps develop over time. As cells build up in the rectum or colon, the masses that result become larger. A person with polyps usually does not know they have them because they do not cause definitive symptoms.

However, people with polyps may experience some signs of gastrointestinal distress. If the polyp is large enough, it may cause a blockage in the large intestine, causing cramping. A change in bathroom and bowel habits may alert the doctor to the possibility of polyps. Blood in the stool or toilet after a bowel movement is another symptom that may point to polyps.

Colon Polyps

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