The Truth Behind Polyps, and its Relation to Colon Cancer - PIH Health

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Published on August 22, 2016

The Truth Behind Polyps, and its Relation to Colon Cancer

Colon Polyp and Colon Cancer

Any organ that has blood vessels can develop a polyp, which is an abnormal growth of tissue. Most polyps are noncancerous; however, there are some that can develop into cancer. Uterus, nose and colon polyps are most common. Colon polyps can be silent killers because they often do not cause symptoms.

How do you know if you have a colon polyp?

Although there aren’t always symptoms associated with this health issue, some people will experience: rectal bleeding; change in stool color; change in bowel habits; pain; nausea; or vomiting. Routine screenings beginning at age 50 are recommended, perhaps sooner if there is a family history of colon cancer.

Screening for Polyps

Technology is used to detect and remove polys, including high-definition equipment and monitors. Specialized physicians perform outpatient screenings and procedures, including colonoscopies, endoscopic procedures and esophageal treatments.


It is important to keep on track with annual physical health examinations. While an individual could feel completely fine, a health issue could be brewing. Catching health concerns such as polyps at an early stage can be lifesaving. If you have had a family member with colon cancer, you should talk to your physician about your family’s health history.

Need a screening?

PIH Health’s Outpatient Gastrointestinal (GI) Center opened in February 2015. The majority of procedures performed at the center are colonoscopies, a screening procedure that could prevent the onset of cancer. PIH Health gastroenterologist, John J. Lah MD, suggests that people talk with their physicians about their personal risk factors to determine if and when a colonoscopy is right for them. For most people, this screening should begin at age 50.

“From easy appointment scheduling to a thorough registration process, the GI Center is committed to making appointments for patients as efficiently as possible,” said Janice Garcia, assistant clinical director of the GI Center.

“A positive patient experience is our highest priority. Our highly skilled staff is prepared to answer questions and help patients feel comfortable and relaxed.”

For more information, or to schedule a screening appointment, call the PIH Health Colon Cancer Prevention Program at 562.945.4754.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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