When someone has a colonoscopy, one thing the specialist is looking for is the presence of polyps. But what are they, and why are they a potential problem?
Polyps are growths in the inside of the large intestine. They can be raised or flat, and tend to grow in people over age 50, or in those who have a personal or family history of colon polyps or cancer.
Polyps aren’t always cancerous, but they usually are removed and tested during a colonoscopy because non-cancerous polyps can become cancerous if left alone. And because they’re not painful, you may not know you even have them until an exam is performed.
Hemorrhoids, on the other hands, are not tumors and will never become tumors. They are swollen rectal veins, and appear just inside and outside the rectum. They have many causes, ranging from poor diet to weight issues, and can be treated in a variety of ways.
If you think that you have either polyps or hemorrhoids, it’s a good idea to see your primary care physician. He or she will review your symptoms with you and, if the situation warrants, suggest that you see a specialist.