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.
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.
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].
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