Polyps are typically small growths that occur within the body. Depending on the location of polyps, they can be cancerous or non-cancerous. Most polyps do not require surgery and can go away on their own, but this depends on various factors such as their size, type, and location.
If polyps grow in the sinuses, nose, or throat, they can be treated with topical medication, inhaled steroids, or antibiotics. This treatment can help to shrink and eliminate them without requiring surgery. Sometimes, nasal polyps can recur even after treatment, and in such cases, surgical removal may be necessary.
If colon polyps are found during a colonoscopy, they may be removed through a minimally invasive procedure called a polypectomy. Polypectomy is a non-surgical method to remove polyps using wire-snare, hot biopsy forceps, or other specialized instruments. The procedure typically takes less than an hour, and patients can return to their normal activities quickly.
However, sometimes polyps can develop into cancer, which makes surgical removal necessary. Depending on the type and location of the polyps, the surgeon might choose a minimally invasive procedure that causes minimal discomfort and pain, such as colonoscopy, laparoscopy, or hysteroscopy.
Many polyps can go away without surgery, depending on the location, type, and size of the polyps. Non-surgical treatments like medication or polypectomy may be effective for removing polyps, but ultimately, surgical removal may be necessary for some polyps if they develop into cancer. It is essential to consult a healthcare provider to determine the best course of action in the case of polyps.
What does a cancerous polyp look like?
Cancerous polyps can often look similar to benign (non-cancerous) polyps, which can make it difficult to detect them. However, there are some distinct characteristics that can help identify a cancerous polyp.
Firstly, cancerous polyps tend to be larger in size than benign polyps. While benign polyps are usually smaller than 1 cm in diameter, cancerous polyps can grow much larger. These may be accompanied by other symptoms such as bleeding or change in bowel habits.
Secondly, cancerous polyps tend to have a more irregular shape than benign polyps. A cancerous polyp may appear more jagged, and have an uneven surface. Unlike benign polyps which are smooth, rounded and pedunculated.
Thirdly, the color of cancerous polyps may differ from benign ones. They may have a deeper red color than nearby non-cancerous polyps.
Finally, cancerous polyps may also have a flatter shape compared to benign ones. They may appear like a hard flat circular area in the colon.
It’s essential to understand that not all polyps that exhibit these characteristics are cancerous; conversely, not all benign ones are similar in shape or size. Precancerous polyps, the ones that have potential of turning cancerous can sometimes appear similar to benign ones. Hence it is important to undergo regular colonoscopy and screening to identify polyps in its early stages before cancer growth sets in.