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The presence of polyps in the colon or rectum raises many questions for patients. What is the significance of finding a polyp? Does this mean that I have, or will develop, colon or rectal (colorectal) cancer? Will finding a polyp require surgery?

Some types of polyps (the ones known as “adenomas”) have the potential to turn into colon cancer while others (such as “hyperplastic” or “inflammatory” polyps) have virtually no chance to develop into a cancer. You should not worry if polyps are found on your examination since:

What does having polyps mean? Is it cancerous? Does it require surgery? Find answers at Digestive HealthCare Center.
  • Polyps are common (they occur in 30-50 percent of adults)
  • Not all polyps will become cancers
  • It takes many years for a polyp to turn into a cancer
  • Polyps can be completely and safely removed

It is very important that you follow-up with your doctor, since the best course of action for you depends on the type, size, and location of the polyps and the way in which they were removed. Most people who have had adenomas removed will require repeated examinations in the future to be sure that all the adenomas have been found and to remove new adenomas if they have developed.


During colonoscopy, your doctor inserts a very thin flexible tube with a light source and small camera into the large intestine (colon) and examines the lining of the colon. The inside of the colon is a tube-like structure with a flat surface with curved folds. A polyp appears as a lump that protrudes into the inside of the colon. The tissue covering a polyp may look the same as normal colon tissue, or, there may be tissue changes ranging from subtle color changes to ulceration and bleeding. Some polyps are flat (“sessile”) and others extend out on a stalk (“pedunculated”).

Drawing depicting polyps that occur in the intestinal fold.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, accounting for 14 percent of cancer deaths. Colorectal cancer is preventable if precancerous polyps (ie, adenomas) are detected and removed before they become malignant. Over time, some small polyps can change their tissue structure and grow in size to become cancerous polyps. Polyps are removed when they are found on colonoscopy to eliminate the potential for them to become malignant.

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Our Gastroenterology Centers in NJ

Hillsborough, NJ

511 Courtyard Drive Bldg. 500

Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Somerville, NJ

319 East Main Street

Somerville, NJ 08876

Warren, NJ

31 Mountain Boulevard Suite H 

Warren, NJ 07059

Recent Blogs

Learn more about all things digestive health and wellness by checking out our recent gastroenterology blogs.

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December 4, 2020
COVID-19 Update

To all our valued patients at Digestive Healthcare Center and Central Jersey Ambulatory Surgical Center Your health and safety are important to us. To help protect patients and staff, we have designated Digestive Healthcare Center and Central Jersey Ambulatory Surgical Center as a Patient and Staff “SAFE ZONE.” Our SAFE ZONE is defined by the safety […]

Doctor writing the word colonoscopy
October 1, 2020
Colorectal Cancer Screening: What You Should Know

What is Colorectal Cancer? At Digestive Healthcare Center, our team of expert gastroenterologists strives to ensure that patients have all the information they need to promote long term digestive health. In the case of certain gastroenterological conditions such as colorectal cancer, screening is incredibly important. Colorectal cancer starts in the colon (large intestine) or rectum. […]

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August 7, 2020
Gastroparesis Awareness Month – Learn More from DHC

What is Gastroparesis? At Digestive Healthcare Center, we want to ensure that patients have information about an array of digestive health conditions, to promote positive gastrointestinal health year-round. One such condition is gastroparesis, which is a digestive condition that affects the motility of the muscles in your stomach. Normally, after you swallow, the muscles within […]

About Telemedicine Visits

We are proud to offer telemedicine care to patients throughout NJ, allowing patients to consult with one of our expert gastroenterologists via a two-way video call. Setting up and completing a telemedicine visit is extremely simple, and all you need to do to get started is give one of our offices a call or contact us by filling out a form.