Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC
Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Peoria, AZ & Scottsdale, AZ
Colon polyps are harmless at first, but when they go untreated, they grow abnormally and cause more than 95% of all colon cancers. Teodor Pitea, MD, and Rawad Mounzer, MD, at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC, encourage you to talk with them about colon polyp screening by the age of 45. With early treatment, you can prevent or alleviate colon cancer. If you have questions about your colon health or you need to schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Peoria, Scottsdale, or Phoenix, Arizona, or book online today.
Colon Polyps Q&A
What are colon polyps?
Colon polyps are growths that develop on the inner wall of your large intestine. Though polyps are benign (noncancerous) when they first occur, they can start to grow abnormally and mutate into colon cancer.
Your risk of developing colon cancer increases over time because polyps grow slowly. That’s why it’s important to talk with your doctor about colon cancer screening.
When should I schedule a colon polyp screening?
Women and men should have a colon polyp screening, or colon cancer screening, around the age of 45 or earlier, depending on their risk of developing colon cancer.
Your provider at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC can evaluate your risk factors. As a general guideline, your risk is higher if you:
- Have a history of colon polyps or cancer
- Have a history of inflammatory bowel disease
- Have a family history of colon cancer or polyps
- Have an inherited genetic mutation
- Have Type 2 diabetes
- Are overweight or obese
- Aren’t physically active
Your diet also affects your risk. A diet high in processed and red meat increases your chances of colon cancer.
What symptoms develop if I have colon polyps?
You usually won’t experience symptoms until the polyps become cancerous. Then you’ll develop problems such as:
- Changes in bowel habits
- Abdominal cramps
- Rectal bleeding
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Black, tarry stools
- Mucus discharge with stools
You may also have blood in your stool that you can’t see because it’s present in a small amount. This condition, called occult blood, occurs as cancerous polyps tend to bleed.
How do gastroenterologists diagnose and treat colon polyps?
Your provider at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC may use endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) to detect and evaluate colon polyps, but they typically perform a colonoscopy. Both procedures use a narrow, flexible tubular device containing lighting and a camera.
During a colonoscopy, your provider advances the device to the end of your colon (large intestine), examining the intestinal walls along the way.
As they slowly withdraw the colonoscope, they do an endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) or endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) procedure to cut away all the polyps.
After your procedure, the tissues go to a lab, where a specialist examines them under a microscope for signs of cancer. When your provider removes polyps before they turn cancerous, you effectively prevent colon cancer.
When your provider removes precancerous or cancerous polyps before the cancer spreads, a colonoscopy eliminates the disease.
To schedule a colon polyp procedure or screening, call Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC or book an appointment online today.
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