If you have polyps inside your colon or rectum, they could turn into cancer. At Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg in Fredericksburg and Stafford, Virginia, the expert team of gastroenterologists diagnoses and removes polyps to reduce your risk of serious issues. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book a consultation online today.
Polyps are small bundles of cells that develop inside your colon and are usually harmless. However, when left untreated, polyps sometimes turn into cancer that spreads to other areas of your body. Because polyps typically don’t cause any symptoms, it is important to get screened for them if you're at risk.
If you do have symptoms associated with colon polyps, you may experience:
Early detection and removal of polyps reduce the risk of complications. The earlier your gastroenterologist removes polyps, the lower your chance of getting cancer.
While anyone can develop polyps, some factors increase your chance of having them. Examples include:
Getting regular exercise, eating more fiber, not smoking, and limiting alcohol use reduce your chance of developing polyps. Other healthy habits that may prevent polyps include maintaining an ideal body weight and taking dietary supplements.
The Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg team discusses your medical history and symptoms with you to determine if you have polyps. They check your vital signs and complete a physical exam. Diagnostic tests may include blood tests, stool tests, colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy using CT scans, or flexible sigmoidoscopy.
Colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies use small lighted tubes with cameras attached to get a more in-depth view of your colon and rectum.
Treatment for polyps usually involves removing them during a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Your provider might use forceps, a wire loop, liquid injections, or other procedures to eliminate the polyps. They may complete minimally invasive surgery for larger polyps or remove part of your large intestine to reduce the risk of cancer spreading.
The Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg team lets you know when to schedule your next colon cancer screening.
To get screened for polyps, call the Gastroenterology Associates of Fredericksburg office or schedule online today.