Colon polyps usually do not cause
symptoms unless they are larger than
1 cm (0.4 in.) or they are
cancerous. The most common symptom is rectal bleeding. Sometimes the bleeding
may not be obvious (occult) and may only be discovered after doing a screening
test for blood in the stool called a
fecal occult blood test (FOBT).
polyps usually do not cause pain or a change in bowel habits unless they are
large and are blocking part of the colon. These symptoms are rare, because
polyps usually are discovered and removed before they become large enough to
Getting regular checkups and colon cancer screening is the best way to prevent colorectal cancer. Finding and removing colon polyps helps prevent colon cancer. In addition, colon cancer screening helps find cancer early, making a cure more likely.
After cancer develops, additional symptoms may
occur, such as changes in bowel habits and significant weight loss.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 20, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this