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By the way, doctor: Polyps that come back

March 09, 2014

Q. Should I worry if new colon polyps appear near where previous ones have been removed?

A. The simple answer is, “It depends.”

The large intestine is a large tube, and a polyp is a growth out from the inside wall of that tube into the hollow center. Polyps are common: More than half of people over age 60 have them. Some polyps never cause any symptoms. Others cause symptoms, such as bleeding, but never turn cancerous. But adenomatous (pronounced ad-eh-NO-ma-tus) polyps can turn into cancer if not identified and removed. Adenomatous comes from adenoma, the medical term for any tumor that grows from the epithelium, a layer of glandular cells that line the inside of an organ.

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