What causes colon cancer? What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

Polyps are masses that originate from the stomach, small intestine and large intestine and grow towards the inner surface of the organs and can reach millimetric to centimetric sizes and are the most common tumors of the large intestine. Although most of the polyps are benign, some of them can develop cancer as a result of their enlargement and genetic changes.

General Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Mehmet Çağlıkülekçi; By referring to the fact that large bowel polyps can cause colon cancer; He underlined that cancer risk may vary according to the type and number of polyp.

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Çağlıkülekçi also emphasized that non-cancerous colon polyps may also become cancerous over time, and informed that cells that begin to divide in an uncontrollable manner may pave the way for the formation of larger polyps.

There are two main types of intestinal polyp.

Adenomatous polyps: Most of the polyps seen in the large intestine are adenoma or adenomatous type polyps. Adenoma type polyps are among the most common causes of colon cancer. The risk of developing adenomas into cancer is related to their size and the number of polyps. Many polyps examined under a microscope can turn into cancer in the future, even if they are not cancer. Adenoma polyps according to their appearance under the microscope;

Tübüler adenoma

Tübülovillöz adenom

There are types of villous adenomas.

Hyperplastic polyps: The second most common type of colon polyps is hyperplastic polyps. Usually they do not cause cancer. Their diameter is usually 0.5 cm. is less than. It is important to identify these polyps and differentiate them from adenoma polyps.


Age: Risk begins around the age of 40.

Inflammatory bowel diseases: Cancer risk increases when they develop on the basis of an inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Family history: having large bowel polyps in first degree relatives

Cigaret: bowel cancer risk increases by 20%.



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Colon polyps may not show any symptoms at all. Many polyps are found by chance during routine checkups. General symptoms of polyps can be listed as “Anemia, Rectal bleeding, fatigue, shortness of breath, diarrhea, change in stool color and blood in stool, changes in toilet habits, belly pain”.

The incidence of large intestine polyps increases especially with aging.


The most effective examination for polyp is colonoscopy.

It can also be detected by radiological imaging methods such as Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance (MR).

Polyp can also be determined by colonoscopy by checking the presence of blood in the stool.


When intestinal polyps are identified, they should be removed. The procedure may vary depending on the type and number of polyp.

Polypectomy: It is the removal of a polyp from the large intestine. If the polyp is larger than 1 centimeter, the procedure can be performed by injecting a fluid to remove and isolate the polyp from surrounding tissues.

Minimally invasive surgery: Polyps that are too large or cannot be safely removed during large intestine and rectum scanning are usually removed laparoscopically.

Colon and rectum removal: In the presence of a rare hereditary disease such as Familial Adenomatosis Polyposis (FAP), the entire colon and rectum (total proctocolectomy) should be removed. All bowel is filled with polyps. The best way to prevent colon cancer is to completely remove the colon and rectum.

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