Polyps: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention


The polyp is the abnormal growth of tissue that can be found in any organ that has blood vessels, most often in the colon, nose, or uterus.

Most polyps are not cancerous (benign). However, due to the abnormal growth of the cells, they eventually become cancerous (malignant). Whether or not a cancerous polyp can be determined by a biopsy.

The treatment for polyps depends on their location, size, and whether or not they are cancerous.

Common types of polyps

The auricular polyps

When a polyp grows outside of your ear canal, it is called an aural polyp. Inflammation, a foreign object, a cyst, or a tumor can cause an aural polyp. Symptoms include hearing loss and drainage of blood through the ear.

Cervical polyps

The polyps that grow in the part of the uterus that connect to the vagina are called cervical polyps. These polyps are common in women after reaching 20 years of age with children. Symptoms include abnormal bleeding and heavy menstruation, but often do not cause symptoms. Most cervical polyps are not cancerous.

Colonic polyps

Most colon polyps are not cancerous, but rectal colon cancer usually develops from a benign polyp. Your risk of developing polyps in the colon increases with age.

Symptoms may include blood in the stool, pain, obstruction, constipation and diarrhea. Colonoscopies are recommended because colon polyps often have no symptoms. The polyps in the initial stage can be removed during a colonoscopy.

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps can be found near the breasts. If they become large enough, they can block the sinuses and nasal airways.

It is common to develop nasal polyps if there are chronic infections of the paranasal sinuses, allergies, asthma or cystic fibrosis. The symptoms feel like a common cold that persists.

Stomach polyps

The polyps in the stomach, also known as gastric polyps, are produced in the lining of the stomach. Gastric polyps are rare.

Symptoms may include pain or tenderness, nausea, vomiting and bleeding; In most cases, there are no symptoms. Most stomach polyps are not cancerous, but some types can develop into stomach cancer. A biopsy is usually recommended.

Uterine polyps

Most uterine polyps are not cancerous. Women of any age can develop uterine polyps, but they are more common after age 40. They can also occur after menopause. Symptoms may include irregular menstrual bleeding, but often there are no symptoms.


  • The smoke of the cigarette.
  • Eat foods that have little or no fiber.
  • Eat red meat
  • Eat a diet high in fat.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Are obese or overweight
  • Are you over age 50.
  • Do not exercise regularly.
  • It comes from a family that has a history of cancer or polyps.
Hereditary polyps disorders

Colon polyps are rarely inherited. However, an individual can obtain a polyp if a member of the family has a history of the following inherited disorders:

  • Lynch syndrome.
  • Poliposis adenomatosa familiar.
  • Poliposis asociada a MYH (MAP).
  • Gardner’s syndrome.


In most cases, polyps do not cause symptoms and are usually found in routine cancer screenings. However, for example, in colon cancer, the following symptoms may be experienced:

  • Blood in the stool or rectal bleeding.
  • Pain, diarrhea or constipation that lasts more than a week.
  • Nausea or vomiting if you have a large polyp.

Blood on toilet paper or bloody stools may indicate rectal bleeding and should be evaluated by a doctor.

It is important to perform periodic screening tests to detect any existing polyp. When colon polyps are found in the early stages, they can often be safely and completely removed during a colonoscopy . The removal of polyps can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.


The treatment for polyps depends on a number of factors, including:

  • If the polyps are cancerous.
  • The number of polyps that are found.
  • Where are they?
  • The size.

For example, the common treatment for the hyperplastic polyp is to eliminate it. This may depend on the size and location of the polyp in the large intestine. The following methods can be used to treat hyperplastic polyps:


This is a surgical procedure that is done by making a hole in the abdomen to examine the organs of the abdomen, including the digestive tract. Before the operation, it will do the following:

  • Stop eating anything for several hours.
  • You will empty your large intestine. Your doctor will give you an enema or any other type of intestinal medicine to cleanse the colon. The presence of bowel in the colon obstructs your doctor from clearly seeing the inside of your large intestine.
  • Your doctor may recommend it to an anesthetist. The professional will determine your preparation for the operation, as well as whether you are allergic or not.


Once the preparations are complete, your doctor injects anesthesia into your vein to relieve pain during the operation. Your doctor makes an incision in your abdomen and exposes the large intestine.

Once the polyp is identified, your doctor removes it using a pair of biceps or a wire trap.

Side effects

Complications may arise from the surgical procedure of laparotomy . These complications include:

  • Bleeding
  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Some of your internal organs may be damaged during the operation.


This procedure is used to remove most colon polyps. In this procedure, your doctor places an endoscope that has a camera in the anus.

The camera allows your doctor to see clearly inside your colon and observe any abnormal tissue growth. Depending on the size of the polyp, your doctor may use a pair of biceps to remove smaller polyps.

While for larger polyps, a procedure called laparoscopic polypectomy is performed. In this procedure, your doctor makes small holes in the abdomen to allow the passage of the camera and the surgical equipment.

The laparoscope and other surgical tools are then inserted through your abdominal wall and your doctor removes the polyps.


These are procedures performed to treat and prevent conditions that affect your large intestine, such as cancer.

For colon cancer , colectomies are performed to determine the characteristics of noncancerous lesions and those that have the potential to become cancerous.

In this procedure, part or all of the colon is removed, depending on the amount of polyps that affect the colon.

When your entire colon is removed, your doctor creates a bag from the small intestine to the anus to allow waste materials to leave the body.

Then, your doctor will take all the polyps removed to a pathologist for analysis. The pathologist evaluates the polyps for signs and symptoms of colon cancer.

When the results are ready, your doctor will schedule an appointment to discuss the results with you. Depending on the result, your doctor may suggest regular screenings to monitor your colon cancer and your health.


The evaluation will help your doctor identify early (benign) polyps and remove them before becoming malignant or cancerous .

  • Eat low-fat foods and increase the intake of fiber-rich foods.
  • Avoid smoking and reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Make a plan to help you exercise regularly. Exercising can help you lose weight, strengthen your muscles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.