A colon polyp is a growth of tissue that forms on the inner walls of the colon 1. Unless there’s a family history or a hereditary condition, it’s unclear as to why some people get polyps and some do not. Essentially, in a healthy colon, the lining is in a constant state of replacing older cells with newer cells. Then, the older cells are shed in the stool and all is good to go! However, if something interferes with this process, the older cells can clump together and create a polyp.
All are considered to be benign colon polyps, but it’s crucial to note that cancer can start in certain types of polyps, which is why it’s crucial to monitor your body and take care of it with regular screenings. In some cases, colon polyps can serve as one of the symptoms of colon cancer. At Immunity Therapy Center, we believe that equipping yourself with the proper knowledge will help you choose a colon cancer natural treatment plan should you ever be faced with colon cancer. For now, let’s take a closer look at the different types of polyps and the options for screenings that will help keep you healthy and cancer-free.
Types of Colon Polyps
The two types of polyps that are the most commonly found in the colon and rectum include hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps and Adenomas or adenomatous polyps. Although there seem to be a lot of details regarding these different types of colon polyps (especially after you see a doctor’s report), the key is to remember that hyperplastic polyps usually are nothing to worry about and adenomas are what you’ll want to get removed.
Hyperplastic and Inflammatory Polyps
Hyperplastic and inflammatory, as we mentioned, usually refer to benign colon polyps that don’t run the risk of developing into cancer. These polyps are caused by gene mutations, which cause cells to divide, and the colon polyps to form.
Adenomas or Adenomatous polyps
If left untreated, these benign growths are the types of colon polyps that could potentially turn into colon cancer — which is why adenomas or adenomatous polyps are often referred to as precancerous. These consist of tissue that appears much like the typical lining of the colon, but under a microscope, they have different growth patterns. These patterns, tubular and villous, help determine when you’ll need your next colonoscopy. The small adenomas, less than a half an inch, have a tubular growth pattern, whereas the larger ones have a villous growth pattern (and are often more likely to have cancers growing within them). If the adenomas have both types of growth patterns, they are referred to as tubulovillous adenomas. Doctors might use the term sessile, which refers to polyps that grow slightly flat and broad. There are also serrated adenomas, which under the microscope, have a saw-tooth appearance (and can be broken into sessile serrated adenomas and traditional serrated adenomas).
Regular Screening for Colon Cancer
If you have colon polyps, it’s important to get regular colonoscopies to keep an eye on them. By monitoring and getting polyps removed, you decrease the risk of colon cancer. With all cancer, especially colon cancer, prevention is key. Through regular screening tests and removing polyps before they become cancerous, you will be taking the necessary steps towards colon cancer prevention.
The American Cancer Society 2 suggests that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start screening regularly by the age of 45. Individuals are considered to be at average risk if they don’t have an individual history of colorectal cancer or specific types of polyps, a history of colon cancer in the family, a distinctive history of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), a confirmed or presumed hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome (familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome), or a previous history of receiving radiation to the pelvic area or abdomen for treatment of a previous cancer.
Screening tests can be done in one of two ways: a stool-based test or a visual exam. Both of which observe the rectum and colon.
- Highly sensitive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
- Highly sensitive guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) every year
- Multi-targeted stool DNA test (MT-sDNA) every 3 years
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
- CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG) every 5 years
Additionally, the American Cancer Society states that for people ages 76 through 85, the decision to be screened depends on personal choice, life expectancy, overall health, and prior screening history. They also state that people over the age of 85 should no longer get colorectal cancer screening.
From all of us at Immunity Therapy Center, thanks for reading. Remember that benign colon polyps can be harmless, though it’s good to stay on top of things and get regularly screened. And if you are a victim of any of the risk factors, regular screening is absolutely crucial. If you do find that you have cancerous polyps, rest assured that there are plenty of treatments for colon cancer available.
At Immunity Therapy Center, we offer alternative cancer treatments with a focus on natural healing. We work to strengthen the body and ensure that every one of our patients is taken care of in a way that lifts them up and helps them maintain a happy, healthy life ahead.