A polyp starts out as a tiny growth on the lining of the intestine. It can be removed easily and no surgery is needed in that case.
But if allowed to grow, many of them can turn into cancer, as shown above. To remove this kind of tumor surgery is needed and cure is not guaranteed.
Colon cancer is a prventable disease which affects both men and women.
For the prevention of colon cancer, colonoscopy and removal of the polyp is the accepted method of choice in spite of some risks.
Colonoscopy has shown more than 85% reduction in colon cancer deaths if proper medical advice is followed. It has already reduced the annual rate of 50,000 deaths from colon cancer in the USA. The reduction in death rate for colon cancer is more when the colonoscopy is performed by a gastroenterologist compared to when it is performed by a surgeon.
Here is a summary of your lifetime risk of colon cancer when you yourself do not have a predisposing condition
|Average risk (most
of the people above 50)
|Close relative with a polyp
|Close relative (>=45) with
|Close relative (<45) with
|More than one close
relative with colon cancer