Over time, adenomatous colorectal polyps can develop into cancer and should be removed. In most cases, the polyps may be removed at the same time a colonoscopy is performed. For patients with polyps, follow-up colonoscopy should be performed within 3 – 5 years to see if the polyps have returned.
Rarely, for polyps with a high potential of becoming cancerous, the health care provider may recommend a colectomy (removal of a part of the colon).
The outlook for patients with colorectal polyps is excellent, assuming the polyps are removed. Polyps that are left behind can develop into cancer over time.
Polyps can cause bleeding, and over time, can develop into cancers.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if you have
- Black, tar-like stools
- Blood during a bowel movement
- Change in bowel habits
Review Date : 11/5/2009
Reviewed By : David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc., and Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital.