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What causes colon polyps?

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Doctors don’t know exactly why they form. Normally, healthy cells grow and divide in a specific way. Polyps may happen when cells grow and divide more than they should.

Anyone can get colon polyps, but certain things make you more likely to have them, including if you:

  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are age 50 or older
  • Smoke
  • Have had colon polyps or colon cancer before
  • Have an inflammatory bowel disease, like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
  • Have type 2 diabetes that isn’t well-controlled

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Colon Polyps,” “Colonoscopy,” “Virtual Colonoscopy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Colon Cancer,” “Colon Polyps,” “Rectal Bleeding,” “Rectal Cancer.”

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: “Understanding Polyps and Their Treatment.”

American Cancer Society: “Understanding Your Pathology Report: Colon Polyps (Sessile or Traditional Serrated Adenomas).”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on February 05, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Colon Polyps,” “Colonoscopy,” “Virtual Colonoscopy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Colon Cancer,” “Colon Polyps,” “Rectal Bleeding,” “Rectal Cancer.”

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: “Understanding Polyps and Their Treatment.”

American Cancer Society: “Understanding Your Pathology Report: Colon Polyps (Sessile or Traditional Serrated Adenomas).”

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on February 05, 2018

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What are the symptoms of colon polyps?

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