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Colorectal polyps

  • Alternative Names

    Intestinal polyps; Polyps - colorectal; Adenomatous polyps; Hyperplastic polyps; Villous adenomas


    The following is recommended to reduce the risk of developing polyps:

    • Eat a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber
    • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol intake
    • Maintain a normal body weight

    Colonoscopy prevents colon cancer by removing polyps before they can become cancer. People over age 50 should consider having a colonoscopy or other screening test, which makes earlier diagnosis and treatment possible. This may reduce the odds of developing colon cancer, or at least help catch it in its most treatable stage. Those with a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps may need to be screened at an earlier age.

    See: Physical exam frequency for further recommendations about having a screening test.


    Lieberman DA. Clinical practice: screening for colorectal cancer. N Engl J Med. 2009;361(12):1179-1187.

    Burt RW, Barthel JS, Dunn KB, et al. NCCN clinical practice guidelines in oncology. Colorectal cancer screening. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2010;8:8-61.