Colorectal polyp is one of the digestive system disorders that you need to be aware of. If treated too late, polyps can develop into cancer.
What is colorectal polyps?
Colorectal polyps are abnormal tissue growths on the intestinal wall, precisely more common in the large intestine (rectum). Polyp tissue is usually shaped like a fungal stalk.
Polyp sizes can vary, from small to large. The larger the polyp, the greater the risk of colorectal polyps developing into cancer or precancerous.
Polyps can grow with or without stems. In most cases, stemless polyps are more at risk for developing cancerous than those with stems.
Colorectal polyp types
The number and shape of colorectal polyps in a person’s intestines can vary. The three types of colorectal polyps are:
1. Hyperplastic polyps
This type of colorectal polyp tends to be harmless. In addition, there is no risk of hyperplastic polyps developing into cancer.
2. Adenomatous polyps
These polyps are among the most common. Most of these types of polyps will not develop into cancer. However, there is still the potential to develop more and trigger bowel cancer.
3. Malignant polyps
This third type of colorectal polyp means it has cancer cells in it. This detection is known after microscopic examination.
Colorectal polyp symptoms
Although it is possible that colorectal polyps do not cause symptoms, some of the following can be an indication of a person experiencing them, such as:
- Blood appears during bowel movements
- Constipation or diarrhea that lasts more than a week
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
The presence of blood during bowel movements may indicate intestinal bleeding and needs a thorough evaluation from a doctor. In addition, nausea and vomiting usually occur in people who have colorectal polyps with a large enough size.
Colorectal polyp causes
Although this digestive disease is not known for sure the cause, there are a number of risk factors that can trigger the growth of polyps in the colon and rectum.
Experts argue colorectal polyps can result from genetic mutations that cause cells to keep renewing themselves, even when your body doesn’t need new cells.
This mutation, then causes abnormal tissue growth in the colon or rectum.
Neoplastic polyps, including hyperplastic polyps, usually won’t develop into cancer. Meanwhile, non-neoplastic polyps, including adenomatous polyps, have the potential to become cancerous when they have enough time to grow.
Considering that some cases of colorectal polyps do not show any symptoms, the doctor can do a series of examinations to detect them, such as:
The procedure inserts a flexible thin hose that has a small camera in front of it through the anus to see if there are polyps growing in the large intestine. If polyps are detected, the doctor can remove them or take a tissue sample for analysis.
The method is similar to colonoscopy, but it cannot take tissue samples. If polyps are detected, the doctor can ask for a colonoscopy to remove them.
The doctor injects liquid barium and uses an X-ray to scan the intestine. The barium will make the intestine appear white and if there are polyps will be contrasting or dark compared to the surroundings.
CT scan procedure to see the condition of the colon and rectum. After the scan is performed, the computer will combine the images to view them in 2 and 3 dimensions. From this, it can be seen whether there are wounds, tissues, or polyps growing in the intestines.
The doctor will take a sample of the stool to see microscopically if there is bleeding. If this happens, it could indicate the growth of colorectal polyps in the intestines.