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Do you know?

The most effective way to confirm the presence of colon polyps is by way of a colonoscopy. Since most colon polyps do not cause noticeable symptoms, a colonoscopy is recommended as a preventative screening to diagnose benign polyps before they become malignant. Colonoscopies should be performed every 10 years in adults over age 50 who are not at increased risk of colon cancer or more frequently for those with a family history of cancer or polyps.

If polyps are found during your colonoscopy, they can nearly always be removed during the same procedure. Removal is quick, painless and does not cause any additional discomfort during the procedure. When the polyps are removed in their entirety, they cannot cause colon cancer in the future. In some cases, a polyp may require a secondary surgical procedure for removal, particularly if the polyp is very large and the margins are not well differentiated.

Depending on the type and number of polyps removed, you may need to undergo more frequent colonoscopies to look for additional growths in the future. This could mean returning for additional surveillance screenings annually or once every three to five years to ensure additional lesions have not developed.