Posts for tag: Colon Polyps
Find out whether colon polyps need to be removed and what to expect from the procedure.
If you have colon polyps the good news is that they can easily be removed by one of our Houston, TX, gastroenterologists. Most colon polyps are benign but do have the ability to turn cancerous. This is why it’s important to have them removed. Since colon polyps rarely cause symptoms usually the only way to find out you have polyps is through a routine colonoscopy. Regular colonoscopies after you turn 50 years old are important for both men and women for detecting colon polyps and colorectal cancer.
What are the signs of colon polyps?
Many people don’t even know that they have colon polyps; however, sometimes they can cause signs such as,
- Rectal bleeding
- Black or red-colored stools
- Bowel changes (e.g. persistent diarrhea or constipation)
- Abdominal pain and fullness
If you are dealing with abdominal pain or blood in the stool it’s important that you see your Houston, TX, gastroenterologist as soon as possible.
How are colon polyps treated?
It is important that polyps are removed, and the most common way to remove polyps is with a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a simple procedure in which our doctors insert a thin, flexible tube into the rectum and guide it carefully into the colon. From there, we can use special instruments to remove the polyp or polyps. Once the polyps are removed, we will test them for cancer.
Those who have had colon polyps in the past are more at risk for developing colorectal cancer and may want to talk with their doctors about coming in more often for routine colonoscopies.
Is there a way to prevent colon polyps?
There are things you can do to lessen your chances for developing polyps. Some of these preventive measures include,
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Reducing red meat consumption
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Losing excess weight if overweight or obese
- Getting regular physical activity
Making healthier life choices can go a long way to reducing your risk for both colon polyps and colorectal cancer.
Looking for a gastroenterologist in Houston, TX, that can provide you with routine colonoscopies and regular intestinal care? If so, call Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants to schedule your next appointment. Call (713) 777-2555 for the Memorial Hermann Southwest office, (713) 796-8627 for the Smith Tower office, or (713) 880-8707 for the Memorial Hermann Greater Heights office.
Colon polyps are very common. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, anywhere from 15% to 40% of American adults may develop them. Polyps are detected through a colonoscopy, which takes images from inside your colon to look for abnormal growths and lesions. Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker, a gastroenterologist in Houston, TX, offers diagnostic testing and treatment options for digestive diseases and disorders.
Colonoscopy and Colon Cancer Screening in Houston, TX
What you need to know about polyps and screening for colon cancer:
Frequently Asked Questions About Colon Cancer
Q: What are polyps?
A: Colon polyps are growths that develop in the lining of your colon (large intestine) and the rectum. While anyone can develop them, they tend to be more common in older adults, men, people with a family history of colorectal cancers, and people with digestive disorders and diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease. Lifestyle factors like obesity and smoking may also increase the chances of developing colon polyps in some people.
Q: Are polyps cancerous?
A: In most cases, colon polyps are not cancerous, but some types of polyps can eventually develop into colorectal cancer over time in certain people. If you have a family history of colorectal cancers and other factors that may increase your risk, the gastroenterologist may recommend earlier and more frequent colon cancer screenings depending on your situation.
Q: Do colon polyps have to be removed?
A: If polyps are detected during a colonoscopy, the gastroenterologist will typically remove them and send them for testing (biopsy).
Q: Do colon polyps cause symptoms?
A: Usually not. Because colon cancer can be difficult to detect in the early stages when it is most treatable, regular screenings are necessary to prevent and catch it as early as possible. For healthy adults with a normal risk, screenings are usually recommended at age 50. Individuals with a high risk or history of colorectal cancer may need to undergo screening earlier and more frequently.
Find a Gastroenterologist in Houston, TX
For more information about polyps and colon cancer screening and treatment, contact Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants by calling (713) 777-2555 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Shivshanker today.
Rectal bleeding can be rather unnerving. Find out if colon polyps could be to blame.
If you have colon polyps you may not even know it. Sometimes the only way people find out that they have this issue is when our Houston, TX, gastroenterologist, Dr. Krishnamurthy Shivshanker, performs a bowel examination. However, some people with colon polyps may, in fact, experience symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Rectal bleeding (this can also be a sign of a minor tear or hemorrhoids)
- Stool color changes (stool that contains blood may look black)
- Diarrhea or constipation that lasts more than one week
- Nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting (if the colon polyp obstructs the bowels)
When should you visit our Houston, TX, GI doctor?
It’s always a good idea to pick up the phone and give us a call if you are dealing with blood in your stool, abdominal pain or changes in your bowels that last longer than one week.
If you have a family history of colon cancer or if you are 50 years old or older, you should be getting routine screenings for polyps.
Are polyps a cause for concern?
Some colon polyp may be cancerous or become cancerous, which is why it’s so important that they are caught early and removed. The earlier they are detected and treated the less likely that they will be cancerous.
How are colon polyps removed?
During a bowel exam we can usually remove the polyp with special instruments. If the polyp is rather large, we may inject a special liquid into it to lift it away from neighboring healthy tissue so that it’s easier to remove. If the polyp is too large or is too difficult to remove through a traditional exam then we will need to perform surgery. Once the polyp is removed it is tested to make sure that it is benign.
Houston Digestive Diseases Consultants is dedicated to providing the very best gastrointestinal medical care. Whether you are experiencing symptoms of a colon polyp or you are dealing with suspicious stomach problems, let our GI medical experts in Houston, TX, treat your issues.