A colon polyp is a small growth on the inner lining of the large intestine (or colon). Polyps may be scattered throughout the colon and vary in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. Polyps may have a flat or raised appearance. Most colon polyps are non-cancerous and harmless. But over time, some colon polyps can develop into colon cancer which is often fatal when found in later stages.
Anyone can develop polyps. You’re at higher risk if you’re 50 or older, are overweight or a smoker, or have a personal or family history of colon polyps or colon cancer.
Colon polyps often don’t cause symptoms. It’s therefore important to have regular screening tests such as colonoscopy because polyps founds in the early stages can usually be removed safely and completely. The best prevention for colon cancer is regular screening for polyps.