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.
A polyp can be any of the following types when examined under the microscope:
- tubular adenoma
- villous adenoma
The villous type of polyp has the greatest potential to turn into cancer.See how a large polyp is removed
Pedunculated PolypThis type of polyp has the main tumor attached to the wall of the colon by a stalk that is free of tumor. This kind of polyp is easy to detect and remove.
Sessile PolypThis type of polyp is raised above the lining and the tumor is attached to the lining. It is a little more difficult to detect and remove.
Flat PolypThis type of polyp is hard to detect and hard to remove. On top of that, it has a tendency to lead to a faster spreading cancer than other polyps. The outline in the bottom picture shows the flat polyp more clearly. It is cases like these in which a skilled and experienced gastroenterologist can make a difference between life and death.