Colon Polyps

Colon Polyps services offered in Florence, MA

As many as 4 in 10 Americans have colon polyps — benign growths that can turn into colorectal cancer if not treated. At Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, LLC in Florence, Massachusetts, the team of renowned board-certified gastroenterologists offers diagnostic and treatment services through colonoscopy. Call the office to schedule a visit now.

What are colon polyps?

Polyps are abnormal growths that appear in the colon lining. Normally, colon polyps are noncancerous. However, they can grow and become cancerous if untreated. Colon cancer screening with a colonoscopy detects polyps and allows for early removal before they turn into cancer that risks your health. 

What symptoms do colon polyps cause?

Colon polyps don’t usually cause any symptoms, so you probably won’t know you have them until a colon cancer screening or a diagnostic colonoscopy. But colon polyps can cause symptoms as they grow or if they evolve into cancer. Some issues you might experience with symptomatic colon polyps include: 

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Black or maroon stool, possibly with red streaks
  • Bowel habit changes, like frequent diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

If you have colon polyps, you may also experience iron-deficiency anemia, which may cause fatigue and weakness. These symptoms can also occur with other gastrointestinal conditions, so schedule a visit to Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, LLC to find out the underlying issue. 

Who gets colon polyps?

Colon polyps are common, especially in people over 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer or polyps, you’re more likely to have them. Having an inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or microscopic colitis) raises your risk of colon polyps.

Extra weight, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, eating mainly processed foods, and excessive red meat can all contribute to colon polyp development. 

How are colon polyps diagnosed and treated?

Colonoscopy is the diagnostic and treatment method for colon polyps. During a colonoscopy, your provider views the inside of your colon through a tiny camera attached to a long flexible tube (a colonoscope). 

If your provider sees polyps during your colonoscopy, they can insert surgical tools through the colonoscope and remove the growths. The skilled providers at Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, LLC have extensive expertise in polyp removal to safely eliminate even larger or more complicated polyps during colonoscopy.

After your colonoscopy, lab testing checks for cancerous cells. Depending on your results, your provider recommends a colon cancer screening schedule for you going forward. Generally, most people need a colonoscopy anywhere from every couple of years to every 10 years, starting from age 45 (or earlier with colon cancer risk factors). 

Click on the online booking link or call Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, LLC.