A sigmoid polyp is a mass of cells that grows in the sigmoid colon, which is the S-shaped area of the colon at the end of the gastrointestinal tract. A sigmoid polyp may be dangerous, or it may not. Some become malignant, but some don’t. Doctors describe a sigmoid polyp as a precancerous condition.
Although it’s a fact that many sigmoid polyps never become malignant, doctors prefer to remove them if they are diagnosed. Removal can be accomplished when you’re having a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is a surgical procedure in which a doctor can look at the walls of the colon to ensure that it is healthy. The gastroenterologist uses a device called a colonoscope. This device is a long flexible tube with a very small video camera attached to the front, allowing the surgeon to search for symptoms and signs of tumors in the walls and the inside lining of the colon.
There are different kinds of colon polyps. One types appears to be small and flat. These are referred to as sedentary colon polyps. But some sigmoid polyps look more like a mushroom with a stem. This type is referred to as a pedunculated polyp.
Once again, a sigmoid polyp may be – as small as a pea. Others are quite big and can be the size of a golf ball. Those that are smaller and shaped like mushrooms are less likely to become malignant than the ones that that are flat and large. Typically, the larger that sigmoid polyp, the higher the risk that it will become cancerous in the future.
Several well-established risk factors have been connected to sigmoid polyps, which include
* Aging – sigmoid polyps are much more common after age fifty
* Being overweight
* Using tobacco
* Eating a lot of low fiber, high fat foods
* Genetic factors – if other people in your family have had them, you’re probably at a higher risk
There are usually no symptoms of small sigmoid polyps. This is why your doctor will probably recommend that you have colon cancer screenings if you have any of the risk factors.
Signs of large colon polyps are possible. These could include
* Bloody stools
* Stools can be noticeably more narrow
* Pain during bowl movement
* Intestinal problems like diarrhea and constipation
Colon polyps that are detected early can typically be removed safely and totally. The initial step is to establish whether a mass is cancerous or not. Your physician may perhaps take a sample during a colonoscopy and have it analyzed.
There is no way to prevent sigmoid polyps from developing. But you can safely cut your risk with lifestyle changes and regular screenings.
It’s important to get some regular exercise and eat better food (principally high fiber types) certainly help. Make sure you get enough calcium because it helps protect you against cancer. Broccoli, kale and canned salmon are good quality sources of calcium. Vitamin D also appears to diminish your risk.
If you smoke, stop. If you consume excessive alcohol, cut back.
A sigmoid polyp doesn’t have to alarm you. The main thing is to ascertain whether you have sigmoid polyps or not, and to have them taken out if you do.