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Polyps are abnormal tissue growths that project from a mucus membrane. Typically they are attached by a narrow stalk, but in some cases, a stalk may not be present. The most common locations for polyps include the stomach, nose, sinuses, colon, uterus, and bladder. They can, however, occur anywhere in the body where mucus membranes exist.In many cases, polyps do not cause any major or noticeable symptoms. They are of concern, however, because they often put the patient at a higher risk of developing cancer. Colon polyps are of particular concern because they frequently become malignant. Due to their high likelihood of developing into colon cancer, adenomatous polyps located on the lining of the colon are classified as pre-malignant. Approximately 10% of all polyps are adenomatous polyps, and roughly 50% of adults over the age of 60 will experience one at some point. Women may develop endometrial polyps or cervical polyps. Endometrial polyps occur within the lining of the uterus. They are very common and may be experienced by as many as 10% of women. In many cases, these polyps do not cause any symptoms, and they often go undetected. Cervical polyps are common benign tumors that develop on the surface of the cervical canal. They may result in increased pain or irregular menstrual bleeding. Many women, however, do not experience any symptoms. Only about 1% of cervical polyps result in cancer. These polyps can usually be removed in a simple procedure, and in most cases, the prognosis is good.

Symptoms of Polyps

Many polyps do not cause symptoms, so they often go undetected. These rarely lead to cancer or other severe complications. When they are causing troublesome symptoms, they may need to be surgically removed. The type of procedure utilized in removing the polyp varies greatly depending upon the exact size and location of the growth. When removed early, polyps are often benign, and cancer can be avoided. The treatment and prognosis varies when a polyp becomes malignant. In some cases, it can be removed before the cancer spreads to other areas. In other cases, however, further cancer treatment may be needed.

Polyps Prognosis

Because the general prognosis for polyps can vary greatly depending upon the size and location, it is important to undergo routine screenings. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 40 and those with a family history of cancer. Early detection provides the best chance of a good prognosis.