Polyps Overview

Polyps are basically unusual or abnormal tissue growths that mostly appear like flat, tiny bump or small stalks similar to the mushroom. Majority of polyps are tiny and almost ½ inch broad. Though polyps can appear in various places such as the ear canal, nose, stomach, cervix, throat or uterus, however the most common area that is affected by polyps in the colon. Most of the polyps are noncancerous (benign) but due to irregular cell growth, eventually, they can turn malignant (cancerous). Treatment for polyps depends on their location, size, and whether they’re benign or malignant.

Types of Polyps:

There are various types of Polyps such as:

Colon Polyps

Colon polyps are growths or small clumps of cells that arise on the lining of the large intestine or colon. Generally, most of the colon polyps are not dangerous, but as time passes some colon polyps may become cancerous. This might be fatal if discovered in later stages. Polyps arise once the genetic material inside the lining of the cells in the colon area changes or turns abnormal. The two common colon polyps are:

-  Inflammatory and Hyperplastic Polyps- commonly these types of polyps don’t carry a threat of mounting into cancer. Though, big hyperplastic polyps, particularly on the right part of the colon might cause concern and must be totally removed.

-  Adenomatous or Adenomas polyps- G enerally these polyps are that which if not removed timely can turn out to be cancerous, that’s why these are measured pre-cancerous.

Nasal Polyps

Basically nasal polyps are painless, soft, noncancerous unusual growths on the nasal passage lining or sinuses. They drop down similar to grapes or teardrops. They appear due to chronic irritation because of asthma, allergies, recurring infection, specific immune disorders or drug sensitivity. Little nasal polyps might not ground any symptoms. Bigger groups or growths of nasal polyps may block nasal passages as well as lead to breathing troubles and frequent infections.

Cervical Polyps

Cervical polyps are unwanted growths on the lining of the cervical canal (a passage that joins the Vagina to the uterus). They are generally reddish, greyish or purplish in colour and might be formed similarly to a thin stem, bulb or finger. They could range in dimension from a few mm to numerous cm lengthy. These growths or bumps within the cervix area are quite common. They are most common in ladies over 20 years of age who have given birth to two or more child. Majority of cervical polyps are non-cancerous.

Symptoms of Different Types of Polyps:

Symptoms and treatment of each type of polyp slightly differ from each other these are as follows

Colon Polyps Symptoms

Generally, symptoms of Colon polyps do not appear so the examination of the bowel can confirm it. Although some people might experience some symptoms such as

-  Change in stool colour and bowel habits- Blood can come as red lines in the stool, or it may appear black in, but the change in colour of stool might also be a result of supplements, foods or medications. The person suffering from colon polyp might experience diarrhoea or constipation that may last more than a week in case of a large colon polyp; however various other conditions can be a ground for bowel habits.

-  Rectal bleeding- This might be an indication of colon polyps or further conditions, for instance, slight cuts in anus or haemorrhoids.

-  Abdominal pain - Big colon polyps may somewhat hinder your bowel, resulting in abdominal pain and cramps.

-  Iron deficiency or anaemia- it might result in anaemia or iron deficiency that’s why you can feel tired or shortness of breath.

Nasal Polyps Symptoms

Nasal Polyps are generally related with irritation of the nasal passage lining and sinuses that may last more than twelve weeks. Common signs and symptoms of nasal polyps include

-  Postnasal drip - a sense of mucus repeatedly running down towards the back of the gullet.

-  A runny nose - this might be unremitting, with the personal sense as if they constantly have a cold problem.

-  Absence or reduced sense of smell - this condition may perhaps not get better even after nasal polyps are cured.

-  Constant blocked or stuffy nose - in a few cases, people might find it difficult to take breaths via the nose, resulting in sleeping problems and snoring.

-  Reduced sense of taste – the symptom may also not get better even after nasal polyps are cured.

-  Pain- Pain in upper teeth and head as well as a sense of heaviness in forehead and face area.

-  Double vision – this may occur in severe cases and more probable to happen if the person is suffering from cystic fibrosis or allergic fungal sinusitis.

-  Obstructive sleep apnea- this condition also occurs in severe cases, where the person might feel discontinuation in breathing during sleep.

Cervical Polyps Symptoms

Around 2 out of 3 women who suffer from cervical polyps do not feel any symptoms. Physicians usually discover these unusual growths through a Pap test or any other practice. Some of the symptom that one can experience is as follows:

-  Heavy Periods- patient of cervical cancer might suffer heavier periods than usual routine.

-  Bleeding after sex and menopause- some women can also experience bleeding after sex and they may experience bleeding even after menopause.

-  Bleeding amid periods- some women might experience bleeding between two-period cycles.

-  Unusual Vaginal discharge- some patient might experience yellow and white discharge which could stink because of infection.

Causes of Polyps:

The causes of polyps vary as per their location for instance throat polyps is generally an outcome of any injury caused by shouting loudly or injuring in a breathing tube.

-  Causes of Colon Polyps- the exact causes of the condition are unidentified, but it said that colon polyps are the outcome from irregular tissue growth. Polyps can build up in any part of the colon region.

-  Causes of Nasal Polyps- the precise causes of nasal polyps are not identified although a major number of these cases are associated with non-allergic asthma. Most of the researchers have the same opinion that nasal polyps are the result of inflammation (swelling) in the nose lining or sinuses. Nasal polyps emerge most regularly close to the gaps to the sinuses; though, they can build up anywhere all through the nasal passages and sinuses.

-  Causes of Cervical Polyps- according to most of the doctors this condition might be the result of cervical infections, unusual response to the estrogen, chronic inflammation or blocked blood vessels close to the cervix.

Diagnosis of Polyps:

Diagnosis of Colon Polyps

Diagnosis of Colon Polyps can be done from various tests such as:

-  Colonoscopy- during this process, a camera joined to a slight, elastic tube is corded through the anus that permits the doctor to see the colon and rectum. If the doctor sees any polyp he or she will take a sample of the tissue immediately during this process.

-  Barium enema- during this procedure doctor injects fluid barium into the patient’s rectum and then employs a special X-ray to get images of patient’s colon.

-  Sigmoidoscopy- This method is just like colonoscopy; however it can only be utilised to spot the rectum as well as the lower colon. It cannot be utilised to get a biopsy or any sample of the tissue.

-  Stool test- this test will confirm if a patient has blood in his/her stool, which might an indication of a polyp. After that doctor will recommend further tests.

-  CT colonography - this process uses a CT scan to build images of the rectum and colon. It is also known as virtual colonoscopy, which can show inflamed tissues, ulcers masses and polyps.

Diagnosis of Nasal Polyps

A doctor will normally go for a diagnosis of nose polyp after asking regarding symptoms as well as investigating the patient's nose. Following tests can clear the presence of polyps in the nose.

-  Nasal endoscopy - a thin tube with a tiny camera is placed into the nose of the patient.

-  Skin pierce allergy test - if the physician considers that allergies may well be causative to polyp growth, they may perform an allergy test.

-  CT scan - this allows the physician to trace nasal polyps as well as other irregularities linked to constant swelling. The physician will as well be able to recognise any other difficulty.

-  Cystic fibrosis - if the person is a teenager, the physician may call for a cystic fibrosis examination.

Diagnosis of Cervical Polyps

Doctors can diagnose cervical polyps by following methods:

-  Pap test and Pelvic Exam - regular pelvic exams, as well as Pap tests, can aid in detecting and treating cervical polyps before they root any symptoms.

Prevention of Polyps:

- Living a healthy and well lifestyle can decrease the chances of colon polyp development. The healthy lifestyle includes healthy diet which is packed with fruit, whole-grain cereals and vegetables, no smoking & alcohol, healthy weight and regular exercise.

- Chances of nasal polyps can be reduced via employing several measures such as managing allergies and asthma, avoiding nasal irritants such as allergens, chemical fumes and tobacco smoke etc. Furthermore, practising good hygiene and by humidifying your home you can prevent nasal polyps; you can also use a nasal rinse to clean your nasal passages.

- Infections can also cause cervical polyps so it is better to follow easy steps to reduce the chances of cervical polyps such as wear cotton panties that permit good air circulation. Usage of a condom during intercourse may also reduce the risk.

Treatment of Polyps:

Treatment of polyps is also done according to location.

-  Treatment of Colon Polyps

The greatest way to cure colon polyps is to eliminate them and it can be removed during colonoscopy. After that polyp is scrutinised under the microscope to notice what sort of polyp is it as well as is the polyp non-cancerous or cancerous. Doctors can generally dispose of polyps without doing any surgery. However, patients may require surgery to eliminate the polyps if they are big and cannot be detached through colonoscopy. In these cases, the polyp is removed by laparoscopic surgery.

-  Treatment of Nasal Polyps

Various therapies are normally utilised for nasal polyps. These treatments include nose drop or steroid spray, which will contract the polyps by dropping inflammation. For larger polyps or in case of severe swelling steroid tablets are given as they very effectual at shrinking polyps but it might cause side effects like weight gain. Surgery is the last option if all the other treatment fails to respond and also in the case of large polyps. The most common surgery for the treatment of nasal polyp is Polypectomy. During the process, a general anaesthetic is given to the patient and a thin and long tube with a tiny video camera is put into the nose of the patient. After that polyp is cut out via micro-telescopes along with surgical instruments.

-  Treatment of Cervical Polyps

If your doctor discovers cervical polyps during the routine pelvic exam as well as pap smear than she will possibly send the sample of the tissue to lab confirm that whether it is non-cancerous or cancerous. Furthermore, she may remove them at that time only via polyp forceps.


- Complications of colonic polyps include bleeding, obstruction, diarrhoea, and in the worse case, some polyps can turn into cancerous.

- Nasal polyps might cause complications due to blockage in airflow and chronic inflammation.  Potential complications include obstructive sleep apnea, asthma flare-ups and Sinus Infections.

- Cervical polyps may lead to a complication like heavier bleeding, bleeding after sex and between two-period cycles.


All above information confirms that most of the polyps are not harmful but it is necessary to treat them time so that formation of cancerous cells can be prevented. It is better to visit a doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of polyps. Periodic checkups are also required if you have any family history of colon polyps and if you above the age of fifty.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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