What are Colon Polyps and Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer a major health problem in the United States. Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon).  Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps.

Polyps are benign growths involving the lining of the bowel. They can occur in several locations in the gastrointestinal tract but are most common in the colon.  These growths or fleshy tumors can be shaped like a mushroom or a dome-like button.  They may be as small as a tiny pea or larger than a plum.  Colon polyps start out as benign tumors but in time may become malignant (cancerous).  For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps before they turn into cancer.  Colon cancer can be diagnosed by a colonoscopy.

Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they'll likely vary, depending on the cancer's size and location in your large intestine.

Symptoms of Colon Cancer: