NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Colon Cancer, Version 1.2017
Colon cancer often starts in a polyp. A polyp is an
overgrowth of cells that line the inner colon wall.
Polyps need to be removed and tested
for cancer. An endoscopic polypectomy is a minor
surgery that removes polyps.
Not all polyps are the same. They differ in size,
shape, and how their cells look. There are three
types of colon polyps.
cells that don’t look like normal colon cells.
They are the most common type of polyp. Most
do not become cancer, but most polyps with
cancer started as adenomas.
have cells that grow fast.
They are often found in the last part of the colon
and in the rectum. They rarely become cancer.
often grow after a flare-
up of an inflammatory bowel disease. They can
have any shape. The chance of them becoming
cancer is low.
Sessile polyps are flat polyps that grow flush along
the colon wall and do not have a stalk. Sometimes,
they can be hard to spot. Pedunculated polyps are
shaped like mushrooms. They have a stalk and
round top. Serrated is a term for any polyp that has
a saw-tooth pattern. Sessile serrated adenomas are
rare but have been linked to cancer.
Colon cancer basics
A colon polyp is an overgrowth
of cells that line the inner surface
of the colon wall. Colon cancer
often starts in a polyp. However,
most polyps do not become