what happens if a polyp that is removed contains cancer ?

  • By sudha singh
  • at September 03, 2022 -

If you ever have surgery to remove a polyp from your colon, be sure to ask your doctor what will happen if the polyp contains cancer. Recent studies have shown that as many as half of all polyps removed during colonoscopies may actually contain cancer cells, so it’s important to know the risks before going through with the procedure.

What is a polyp?

A polyp is a benign tumor, typically less than one centimeter in size, that, although not always cancerous, can sometimes develop into cancer.
What are the risks of removing a polyp?
The risks of removing a polyp depend on the type and size of the polyp. If the polyp is small and does not contain any cancerous cells, there is usually no risk involved in removing it. However, if the polyp is larger or contains cancerous cells, there is a risk that the removal process could lead to the development of cancer.

How are polyps formed?

Polyps are benign growths on the outer surface of the large intestine (colon). Polyps are formed when small, hardened pieces of fecal material (fecaliths) accumulate over time. Over time, these fecaliths can create a pocket or mass inside the colon.
Polyps can develop from benign to cancerous without any signs or symptoms. However, if a polyp is removed and contains cancer cells, it may become infected and return as a cancerous tumor.
Most cases of polyp recurrence occur within 5 years after removal of the original polyp; however, occasional cases have been reported up to 20 years later.
If you have polyps that have been removed and checked for cancer, your doctor will likely recommend regular colonoscopies to check for new growths.

What are the signs of polyp cancer?

If you have a polyp that is removed, it is important to get checked for cancer. The signs of polyp cancer can include changes in your bowel habits, blood in your stool, or a change in the size, shape or color of your polyp. You should also see your doctor if you develop any new symptoms after having your polyp removed.

How is polyp cancer treated?

If a polyp is removed and it contains cancer, then the cancer will need to be treated. If the cancer is small, then it may just need to be monitored. If the cancer is larger, then it may need to be removed.

Why was the polyp removed?

If a polyp is removed, it is important to remember that the polyp cannot be cancerous. However, if there is any doubt about the polyp's removal, then a cancer screening may be recommended.

What should you do if you suspect you may have polyp cancer?

If you have polyp cancer, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Polyp cancer is a type of cancer that grows on the walls of small blood vessels in the body. If left untreated, polyp cancer can spread to other parts of the body. Treatment for polyp cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.


A polyp is a benign growth that can be found on the surface of the colon or rectum. It's not cancer, but if it contains cancer cells, then it needs to be removed surgically. If you're scheduled for surgery and your polyp contains cancer cells, make sure to tell your surgeon so that they can plan the operation accordingly.


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