In most cases, polyps don’t cause symptoms and are usually found on routine colon cancer screening exams.
However, if you do experience symptoms, they may include: blood in the stool or rectal bleeding.
pain, diarrhea, or constipation that lasts longer than one week.
What causes polyps?
Healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way. Mutations in certain genes can cause cells to continue dividing even when new cells aren’t needed. In the colon and rectum, this unregulated growth can cause polyps to form. Polyps can develop anywhere in your large intestine.
What does a polyp look like?
Most polyps are protrusions from the lining of the intestine. Polypoid polyps look like a mushroom, but flop around inside the intestine because they are attached to the lining of the colon by a thin stalk. Sessile polyps do not have a stalk, and are attached to the lining by a broad base.
What are the symptoms of polyps in the bowel?
When colon polyps do cause symptoms, people may notice the following:
- Bleeding from the rectum.
- Abdominal pain.
- A change in the color of stools.
- Iron deficiency anemia.
- A change in bowel habits that lasts longer than a week, including constipation or diarrhea.
How long does it take for a polyp to turn into cancer?
How long does it take a polyp to turn into a cancer? Generally, it’s about a 10- to 15-year process, which explains why getting a colonoscopy screening once every 10 years is sufficient for most people. However, this chain of events may occur faster in people with hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes.