How Polyps are Related to Colon Cancer

What is the relationship between colon polyps and colon cancer?

relationship between colon polyps and colon cancerIt is common for people to develop colon polyps. 50% of men and 40% of women at age 50 already have polyps in their colon. Though 99% of these growths will be cancer free, there is a relationship between colon polyps can colon cancer. Polyps are tiny growths that have a risk of developing into colon cancer.

Colon cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women combined in the U.S. Though polyps have a small chance of becoming cancerous, they are very prevalent in the United States. Many people have polyps that are discovered during a colonoscopy. Often these are surgically removed. Once polyps are removed there is no risk of them ever developing into cancer.

Video Transcripts

Jeffrey Weber, MD: This is the way that colon polyps relate to the development of colon cancer.

Colon polyps are extremely common. At age 50, 50% of men and 40% of women already are growing polyps in their colon. Colon polyp development is actually just a part of ageing. Colon polyps are small growths that start as little flat bumps that grow in your colon, anywhere in your colon and they grow over many many years and they have a risk of developing into colon cancer. If you look at an individual polyps’ lifetime, a single polyp has only a 1% risk of becoming colon cancer, however the problem is that there are so many polyps in the United States that colon cancer incidence makes it the second most common cancer amongst men and women combined. Having colon polyps does not necessarily mean that you are destined to have colon cancer, however if we do a screening colonoscopy and find that you do have polyps and we remove them, we remove the risk of those polyps ever developing into cancer in your lifetime.

For an interactive tool to learn more about your colon cancer and your personalized treatment options, go to

Dr. Jeffrey Weber
Dr. Jeffrey Weber, Chief of Medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Western Regional Medical Center, earned a medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree. Following medical school, Dr. Weber completed both an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Georgetown Division of the District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington, D.C. He then moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Dr. Jeffrey Weber

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