The 8 Most Common Types of Colon Polyps
A polyp is a non-cancerous growth found on mucous membranes, including those found in the digestive tract, nose, mouth, uterus, bladder and genitals. They are termed benign, or noncancerous, but over time can become cancerous if left untreated. Like many forms of cancer, polyps are often discovered during screenings. For colon polyps, that includes colonoscopies. Polyps of the colon have two defined shapes, pedunculated and sessile and are classified by type; some common and others rare.
Otherwise known as lymphoid hyperplasia, this is a benign growth, generally found in the presence of clusters of lymphoid follicles in the colon or rectum. Detected on a lymphoid by radiographic x-rays are small polypoid lesions, either localized or generalized. When symptoms like bleeding, pain, bowel movement changes, and intussusception arise, diagnosis is made through a biopsy, and removal is typically performed to eliminate any chance of the polyps being mistaken for malignant forms.
Inflammatory polyps are benign and do not have the capability of becoming cancerous. As the name suggests, inflammatory polyps develop in people who have conditions of chronic inflammation, such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. These polyps may be characterized by finger-like projections called filiform. They are sometimes accompanied by pain, and if the growths are large, can cause obstruction or folding of one portion of the intestine within another (intussusception).
6. Peutz-Jegher’s Polyps
Peutz-Jegher’s is a rare condition, in which polyps grow solitary or in multiples. If there are several polyps at once, they usually spread out sporadically throughout the gastrointestinal tract and small bowel. In singular form, they often attack the duodenum and small intestine and are removed by colonoscopy. They are diagnosed in patients who display signs of pain, rectal bleeding, and skin pigmentation. Family history is also taken into account.
The most common form of polyps in children under the age of ten is juvenile polyps. Boys have a higher rate than girls of developing these polyps, and it is the most common type of colorectal tumor found in children. They usually grow singularly, and in children, are relatively large, usually no smaller than one centimeter. When they grow in multiples, the condition is called juvenile polyposis syndrome and is related to family history in twenty to fifty percent of cases.
Hyperplastic polyps are another common type and are typically benign. The usual treatment is a polypectomy, or removal. A camera and electrified wire are inserted anally to remove small polyps, but larger ones must be removed using a similar process, except through the abdomen. Another removal process requiring an abdominal incision is called a laparotomy. Rarely, the colon and rectum are entirely removed if numerous polyps inhibit them; a procedure called a total resection.
3. Carcinomatous Polyps
This type of adenoma is cancerous. This dangerous polyp is also the rarest type, representing about five percent of adenomas found in screenings. Although typically surgically removed with a polypectomy, there is a risk of some of the cancer cells being left behind in the colon and spreading to other parts of the body. When this occurs, additional surgery is usually undertaken, especially when the lymph nodes or blood system are involved.
2. Villous, Tubular, and Tubulovillous Adenomas
Adenomatous polyps are grouped into three types. The two less common forms are the villous and tubulovillous adenomas. They represent about fifteen percent of colon polyps and are prone to developing into cancer more than other types. Noticeably characterized by their flat appearance are villous and tubulovillous adenomas, whereas tubular polyps are more rounded. Tubular, too, can become cancerous if not detected early, and are caused by mutations inherited genetically or from environmental factors.
The most common type of colon polyp is the adenoma. They can be as small as less than half an inch but have the potential to grow, put pressure on surrounding organs, and become cancerous. This type makes up about seventy percent of polyps discovered in the colon, the most common organ affected by adenomas. It resembles the lining of the colon but has its definite differences, particularly in its two patterns; tubular and villous.