What do you do if you have precancerous polyps?

How serious is a precancerous polyp?

These types of polyps are not cancer, but they are pre-cancerous (meaning that they can turn into cancers). Someone who has had one of these types of polyps has an increased risk of later developing cancer of the colon. Most patients with these polyps, however, never develop colon cancer.

Should precancerous polyps be removed?

Colorectal polyps don’t always become cancers. But the bigger ones are the most dangerous — and the most difficult to remove. “All colorectal cancers arise from benign, precancerous polyps, so it is important to remove them,” says colorectal surgeon James Church, MD.

What does it mean if you have a precancerous polyp?

Polyps are not cancerous, but they can be precancerous. This means they will eventually develop into cancer. This process is usually very slow, occurring over 10 to 15 years. The most common form of colon cancer—adenocarcinoma—begins as a precancerous or adenomatous polyp.

How often should you have a colonoscopy if precancerous polyps are found?

If your doctor finds one or two polyps less than 0.4 inch (1 centimeter) in diameter, he or she may recommend a repeat colonoscopy in five to 10 years, depending on your other risk factors for colon cancer. Your doctor will recommend another colonoscopy sooner if you have: More than two polyps.

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Do precancerous polyps grow back?

Once a colorectal polyp is completely removed, it rarely comes back. However, at least 30% of patients will develop new polyps after removal. For this reason, your physician will advise follow-up testing to look for new polyps. This is usually done 3 to 5 years after polyp removal.

How long does it take to heal after colon polyp removal?

Recovery from a polypectomy usually takes about 2 weeks. Patients may feel pain following the procedure, particularly immediately after the procedure.

Can stress cause colon polyps?

This study suggests that patients who experienced total life events may be at higher risk of having colon polyps and adenomas which indicates an association between stress and the development of colorectal polyps.

Is 5 polyps a lot in a colonoscopy?

When to return for follow-up

If the colonoscopy finds one or two small polyps (5 mm in diameter or smaller), you are considered at relatively low risk. Most people will not have to return for a follow-up colonoscopy for at least five years, and possibly longer.

How do you treat precancerous cells?

Treatments for precancerous lesions include excision (surgical removal of the abnormal area, also referred to as a cone biopsy or conization, or loop electrosurgical excision procedure [LEEP]), cryosurgery (freezing), and laser (high-energy light).

How serious are precancerous skin cells?

Some actinic keratoses can turn into squamous cell skin cancer. Because of this, the lesions are often called precancer. They are not life-threatening. But if they are found and treated early, they do not have the chance to develop into skin cancer.

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Is a 5 mm polyp considered large?

Why a polyp’s size matters

Polyps range from the less-than-5-millimeter “diminutive” size to the over-30-millimeter “giant” size. “A diminutive polyp is only about the size of a match head,” he says. “A large polyp can be almost as big as the average person’s thumb.”