Serrated Colon Polyps

The dynamics of serrated colon polyps

Serrated colon polyps are pre-cancerous growths that form on the inner lining of the colon. Polyps are actually benign, non-cancerous growths but serrated polyps are pre-cancerous meaning that cancer can develop in them if they are not removed.

There are different forms of polyps that have characteristics that distinguish themselves from each other. Serrated polyps are characterized by their saw-tooth appearance under a microscope. There are two types of serrated polyps, the sessile serrated adenomas, and the traditional serrated adenomas.

The most important point regarding serrated colon polyps is the fact that they must be removed to avoid the possibility of cancer developing. Although polyps are benign, some forms can be pre-cancerous.

Causes of serrated colon polyps

The cause of serrated colon polyps can be linked to genetic mutations as well as mutations created by environmental factors. These factors may include radiation, and harmful chemicals in the air, in addition to other environmental factors. These mutations create dysplasia which causes the lining of the epithelial layer of the colon to grow erratically.

These polyps are usually discovered and diagnosed once a colonoscopy has been performed. Although it may take many years for serrated polyps to develop into cancer, they can still be life-threatening and risky if not removed.

Symptoms of serrated colon polyps

Unfortunately, most people show no signs or symptoms when they have serrated colon polyps. However, in rare cases, symptoms do surface when the tumors become large enough or become more severe. Tumors can become so large that they create an obstruction, blood or mucous can be mixed with stools, and diarrhea or constipation can become chronic.

Because most polyps are small they remain practically asymptomatic producing no signs that they exist. The most common way of diagnosing this condition is through the use of a colonoscopy. This is one way of getting a visual image of what's going on inside the colon. These polyps develop most frequently in adults 65 or older.

Treatment for serrated colon polyps

The treatment for serrated colon polyps is the removal of the precancerous tumors. They can be somewhat difficult to remove which is why surgical removal is paired with heat sometimes in order to remove as much of the polyp as possible. If the growth is extremely large, it may be necessary to remove part of the colon along with the growth. At the present time, there is no way to avoid developing serrated colon polyps; however, it is suggested that adults over the age of 45 start getting tested for this frequently.

A colonoscopy has yielded the most revealing results when it comes to detecting serrated colon polyps which is why this is an effective tool for detection. Luckily, the prognosis for this disorder is very good once the polyps are removed. Complete removal of the precancerous polyps is necessary to prevent cancer from developing and sometimes it's even necessary to remove part of the colon as well if separation would prove dangerous to other parts of the body; this could occur if it became too difficult to remove the polyp due to its size or position.

Serrated colon polyps is a condition that occurs most frequently in older adults. They can develop as a result of both genetic mutations or environmental factors. They generally have no symptoms unless they grow to be very large, in which case they can cause obstructions, diarrhea, constipation, and blood and mucous in your stools. The best diagnostic measure and preventative measure is to have a colonoscopy performed. This is a tool capable of producing visual images of the inside of the colon which would reveal any underlying issues.

The most common treatment at this time is the surgical removal of the polyps. A surgeon will attempt to remove the entire polyp to prevent the development of cancer. Although polyps are benign they are precancerous. This means that they do have the potential of developing into cancer. However, when polyps have become too large, the polyps and part of the colon are removed if separation would prove to be too harmful to the body. Although there are no truly preventative measures, one suggested recommendation is getting a colonoscopy frequently over the age of 45.

Last Reviewed:
July 18, 2017
Last Updated:
October 25, 2017