Healthy cells grow and divide in an orderly way. Mutations in certain genes can cause cells to continue dividing even when new cells aren't needed. In the colon and rectum, this unregulated growth can cause polyps to form.
Polyps can develop anywhere in your large intestine. In general, the larger a polyp, the greater the likelihood of cancer.
Aug. 12, 2014
- Ahnen DJ, et al. The approach to the patient with colonic polyps. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 28, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- AskMayoExpert. Why is surveillance of colorectal polyps important? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
- Elmunzer BJ. Endoscopic resection of sessile colon polyps. Gastroenterology. 2013;144:30.
- Baron TH, et al. Recommended intervals between screening and surveillance colonoscopies. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2013;88:854.
- Kennedy RD, et al. The natural history of familial adenomatous polyposis syndrome: A 24 year review of a single center experience in screening, diagnosis, and outcomes. Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2014;49:82.
- Sharma P, et al. Advanced imaging in colonoscopy and its impact on quality. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2014;79:28.
- Hegde M, et al. ACMG technical standards and guidelines for genetic testing for inherited colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, and MYH-associated polyposis). Genetics in Medicine. 2014;16:101.
- What I need to know about colon polyps. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/colonpolyps_ez/#what. Accessed March 29, 2014.
- Ahnen DJ, et al. Colorectal cancer: Epidemiology, risk factors, and protective factors. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 4, 2014.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 10, 2014.