Treatment for Colon Polyps
The colonoscopy is used to identify and remove colon polyps. Your healthcare provider may recommend specific follow-up if colon polyps have been identified and removed. Follow-up is important as part of the treatment plan and is different based on your diagnosis and history.
Treatment for Colon Cancer
If the colon polyp biopsy is positive for colon cancer, you will be referred to a surgeon and/or cancer specialist, also called an oncologist. The oncologist will recommend a combination of treatment based on your stage of cancer. Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.
Colon Polyp and Colon Cancer Prevention
Screening tests are important to identify and remove colon polyps before they potentially develop into colon cancer. A colonoscopy is recommended for everyone every 10 years after the age of 50. An alternative to a colonoscopy may be a stool sample and a sigmoidoscopy every 3-5 years. Colonoscopies may be recommended at a younger age and more frequently if there is increased risk of developing colon cancer.
Also important in preventing colon polyps and colon cancer is a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes:
- Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods every day
- Limiting saturated fats by choosing lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy foods
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol
- Giving up smoking
Your healthcare provider may recommend other measures you can take based on your history. Remember, regular screening tests and follow-up visits with you healthcare provider are important to prevent and treat colon polyps and colon cancer.