Polyps are common as we age. An estimated 90% of polyp cases happen after the age of 50. The experts at Colorado Gastroenterology in Denver, Aurora, and Golden recommend regular screenings to ensure the polyps don’t develop into problems. If it’s time for your colonoscopy, click or call to schedule the screening at one of the practice’s dedicated testing centers.
Polyps are abnormal cell growths that commonly form in the stomach or colon. Most polyps are benign, but some contain cancerous or precancerous cells. They usually don’t cause any symptoms, so that’s why screening is essential.
Two common types of colon polyps include hyperplastic polyps and adenomas. Hyperplastic polyps aren’t at risk for turning into cancer, but adenomas could potentially lead to colon cancer, though most never do.
Researchers aren’t sure what the exact cause of polyps is, but they have uncovered certain risk factors that potentially predispose you to polyps, including:
Because polyps are common in people over the age of 50 and don’t cause symptoms, Colorado Gastroenterology recommends regular colonoscopies for those at risk.
Many polyps are discovered during routine colonoscopies. However, discovering polyps with other methods is possible as well:
A colonoscopy is the most trusted method of detecting and treating colon polyps while endoscopy is the preferred method for gastric polyps. Your doctor may also send tissue retrieved during a colonoscopy or endoscopy for biopsy to rule out cancer.
Small polyps and non-adenomas may not require any treatment, but your Colorado Gastroenterology doctor may suggest occasionally monitoring them.
During a colonoscopy or endoscopy, your doctor may remove larger polyps and adenomas with one of the following methods.
If you’ve had polyps before or are at higher risk for polyps, your doctor may recommend more frequent testing.
To find out if you’re at risk for colon or gastric polyps, contact Colorado Gastroenterology for an evaluation.