Polyps are small tissue growths that usually appear in the lining of the colon (large intestine), but can also develop in other parts of the body, as well. While polyps are usually benign (non-cancerous), they can also be an early warning sign of colon cancer if detected during an endoscopic procedure known as a colonoscopy. Read on to learn more, and contact Dr. Glenn Madokoro, your gastroenterologist in Newport Beach, CA, if it's time for you to schedule a colonoscopy
Colonoscopy and Polyp Detection in Newport Beach, CA
Polyps don't cause symptoms, so you will not be able to tell if you have them without an exam. In general, the American Cancer Society recommends that people begin screenings for colon cancer at age 50, as the risk for colorectal cancers tends to increase with age. However, some people may have to begin screenings earlier than that depending on their personal/family history and risky lifestyle factors such as obesity and smoking.
How GI Doctors Screen for Polyps
There are several tests available depending on your situation and medical history. For instance, a sample of your stool may be tested for blood, or diagnostic imaging test may be administered. Some of these include:
- CT scan
Polyps are usually small and asymptomatic, but you should let your doctor know right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Unexplained changes in bowel movements
- Blood in your stool
- Abdominal cramping (larger polyps can create blocks in the colon)
- Unexplained weight loss or anemia
Other factors that may increase the risk of colon polyps include underlying health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel syndrome.
Find a Gastroenterologist in Newport Beach, CA
For more information about polyps and to discuss your colon cancer risk and screening needs, contact our office today by dialing (949) 548-8800 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Madokoro.