What Are the Symptoms of Colon Polyps?

Article Details
  • Written By: Christy Bowles
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Colon polyps are small growths of cells that occur on the tissue that lines the colon. These growths can cause serious symptoms and develop into cancer over time. Symptoms of colon polyps often include rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, pain during bowel movements, and diarrhea or constipation. Experts also note that colon polyps can occur without symptoms, so routine screening is essential.

A person will develop colon polyps when cells mutate and produce unregulated tissue growth. These growths occur in several forms and are usually classified by size, location, and shape. Their symptoms may differ according to the location and size of the polyp. Smaller polyps tend to cause fewer symptoms, while larger polyps can produce discomfort, bleeding, and problems with bowel movements.

Rectal bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of colon polyps. This usually occurs as bright red discharge during a bowel movement, and it indicates that broken tissue is bleeding. Colon polyps are often irritated during bowel movements, and the irritated tissue can become inflamed and bloody. Rectal bleeding can also be a symptom of other medical problems, so patients should consult a medical professional for a formal diagnosis.

Ad

Blood in the stool can also be a symptom of this problem. Similar to rectal bleeding, bloody stools are produced when the tissue in the large intestine is inflamed and torn. Bloody stools can have red streaks or they may appear black. A patient who has concerns about bloody stools should consult a medical professional and request a laboratory analysis of a stool sample. When blood is present in the stool, a healthcare provider will often request additional medical tests, such as a colonoscopy, to rule out various conditions such as polyps or hemorrhoids.

Constipation and diarrhea are also common symptoms of colon polyps. These changes in the consistency and frequency of bowel movements can result from large polyps that obstruct the intestine, leading to constipation, or bleeding polyps that cause diarrhea. The symptoms can mimic those of many other intestinal infections and diseases, so it is critical for patients to track the onset, severity, and frequency of diarrhea and constipation.

While experts note that it isn't always the case, some colon polyps can become cancerous growths on the intestine wall. It is important for individuals to properly identify and treat colon polyps, especially in individuals over 50 years old, as this will help reduce the risk of developing colon or intestinal cancers. In addition, proper nutrition with a diet rich in vegetables and low in fat will help reduce risk of developing polyps.

Ad

Discuss this Article

AllysaB
Post 5

I had a colonoscopy yesterday and the doctor found six white spots in my rectum. He said he didn't know what it was. Anyone have a clue?

julies
Post 4

It seems like there has been a lot more awareness of possible colon cancer signs than there used to be. I think popular shows like Dr Oz and The Doctors have made a difference.

Even though most people don't like to talk about this, when you see it being discussed on TV, you realize you are not the only one who may be having bowel problems.

It sounds like the signs and symptoms of colon polyps would be kind of easy to spot. Between changes in your bowel movements and seeing blood in the stool, I think those would be pretty clear signs that something was wrong.

John57
Post 3

@andee - When I had a colonoscopy done, I didn't think it was as bad as some people said it would be. Just make sure you don't plan anything the afternoon and evening before the procedure.

I have a co-worker who has had polyps and colon cancer. He said one of the first symptoms of polyps in his colon was major changes in his bowels.

This isn't always a pleasant subject to talk about, but he is never shy talking about it. He is the only person I have ever known who does not take any anesthetic when he was a colonoscopy done.

He says he wants to watch what they are doing on the screen and wants to be totally awake during the test. I can't imagine having this done without being knocked out. He has had many of these done, and he will always drive himself to the appointment and drive back home the same day.

andee
Post 2

My mom had colon cancer surgery around 10 years ago. This was the first time anyone in my family had been diagnosed with any kind of cancer, so it was scary for all of us.

She has to be tested more often than someone who has never had a history of colon cancer. Almost every time she has had a colonoscopy since then, they have found polyps.

They always scrape these off, and none of them have ever shown cancer. Since these polyps can lead to cancer, it is very important they remove all of them.

I have not yet had a colonoscopy and am not looking forward to it. I have heard drinking the liquid the day before is actually worse than the procedure itself.

bagley79
Post 1

Once I turned 50, my doctor scheduled me for the dreaded colonoscopy. I had heard bad stories about this, so wasn't looking forward to it. I was just ready to get it done and over with.

I was not having any symptoms of polyps in the colon, so was surprised when they found some. They removed the polyps during the colonoscopy and tested them to see if they were cancerous or not.

I was so relieved when I found out the polyps were benign, but it has made me become more mindful of the types of food I eat. I have added more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains to my diet.

Instead of waiting another five years to be tested again, they recommended I come back in three years.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email