A polyp is a small growth of aberrant cells, typically found on the gastrointestinal tract. Polyps are a digestive disorder that are usually harmless but if left unchecked, can turn cancerous. Cancerous polyps don’t have to become a problem if they are found, analyzed, and removed early.
There are three types of polyps:
- Adenomatous: the majority of polyps are adenomatous, about two-thirds. While only a small percentage becomes cancerous, almost all malignant polyps are adenomatous.
- Serrated: these polyps can become cancerous, depending on size and location. Serrated polyps that are small and located in the lower colon but are rarely cancerous. Larger serrated polyps found in the upper colon are precancerous.
- Inflammatory: ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can cause these polyps to emerge. The polyps themselves are not typically a threat.
Your GI doctor can perform biopsies on or remove the polyps to find out if your polyp is a sign of a medical issue. Contact your doctor with any questions and concerns.