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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Colon Polyps-A Brief Primer

It is not Colonoscopy Chronicles’ intention to provide specific medical advice to users of its blog, instead we provide users with information to help them better understand their health, diagnosed conditions, and the current approaches related to treatment, prevention, screening, and supportive care. Colonoscopy Chronicles urges users to consult with a qualified health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their personal medical questions.

As a practicing Gastroenterologist, one of the most common situations that arises relates to the question of colon polyps. Polyps of the colon are extremely important! Therefore my mission today is to try to debunk some of the misconceptions regarding colon polyps, and give a clear understanding of this common condition.

First off, what exactly is a polyp? A colorectal polyp is a fleshy growth lining the wall of the colon or rectum. There are a variety of types of polyps, but I will confine my discussion to the two major types. Adenomatous polyps are the most important type, because they are the principal precursor of colorectal cancer. The other type of polyps are hyperplastic polyps. The vast majority of those are small and insignificant, although as I will discuss later there is a small subset of hyperplastic polyps that do have the potential to become cancerous.

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