Colon Polyps

Colon Polyps: Overview

Colon polyps come in two forms, namely hyperplastic and adenomatous.  Hyperplastic polyps are benign and do not indicate any future problems with colon cancer, whereas adenomatous polyps are precancerous and, if left in place, can eventually develop into colon cancer.  These are the types of polyps that are sought during a flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

Prognosis

Early removal of the polyp results in a significant decrease in the chances that a patient will develop colon cancer.  People with a prior colon polyp have as much as a 50% chance of developing more colon polyps within three years of their diagnosis.

Risk factors for Colon Polyps:

Symptoms - Gas-Int - General

Counter-indicators

Colon Polyps suggests the following may be present:

Tumors, Benign

Recommendations for Colon Polyps:

Amino Acid / Protein

Cysteine / N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) may help with Colon Polyps Cysteine / N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)

Supplementation with NAC has been shown to reduce the proliferation of certain cells lining the colon and may reduce the risk of colon cancer in people with recurrent polyps in the colon.  [Estensen RD, Levy M, Klopp SJ, et al.  N-acetylcysteine suppression of the proliferative index in the colon of patients with previous adenomatous colonic polyps.  Cancer Lett 1999;147: pp.109-14].

Diet

Soy Isoflavones often helps with Colon Polyps Soy Isoflavones

Men who eat one or more servings of soy per week reduce the risk of developing colon polyps by half.  [ Am J Epidemiol 1996;44(11): pp.1015-25]

Drug

NSAIDs often helps with Colon Polyps NSAIDs

Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could act to prevent the development of polyps in the colon, which are precursors to most colorectal cancers.  In one study, patients who took aspirin or other NSAIDs more than 15 times per month at some time during the five years prior to the study were defined as "regular users"; patients who never took medication more than 15 times per month were defined as "non-users".  After accounting for factors such as diet, lifestyle and family medical history, Dr. Sandler found that regular users of aspirin and other NSAIDs were only half as likely to harbor colon polyps as non-users.

"Our study supports the idea that some mechanism in aspirin and other NSAIDs has a protective effect when it comes to colon cancer," said Dr. Sandler.  "More significantly, our results indicate that this protective effect occurs early in the process of cancer development, helping us to pinpoint where in the cancer development sequence these drugs might work best." [ Gastroenterology, March 1998]

KEY

Definite or direct link: increases risk of; suggests
Definite or direct link:
increases risk of; suggests
Strong counter-indication: often decreases risk of
Strong counter-indication:
often decreases risk of
May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Moderately useful: often helps with
Moderately useful:
often helps with