Colon polyps are growths in your large intestine (colon). Although polyps are common in adults, it is not known what causes them.

While most colon polyps are non-cancerous, some can become cancerous over time. As a result, finding and removing polyps is recommended to prevent colon cancer.


Patients with colon polyps usually don't experience any symptoms. , so you can have them and not know it until a routine screening for colon cancer (colonoscopy) discovers them. Sometimes large polyps can cause bleeding or changes in your bowel habits. You should report prolonged diarrhea, constipation or changes in frequency of bathroom use to your doctor.

Risk factors for colon polyps include:

  • Adults age 50 or older
  • Family history
  • Genetics—people with a certain inherited gene are much more likely than others to grow the kind of polyps that turn into colon cancer