Adenomatous polyps are precancerous growths in the colon that can become malignant, according to WebMD. Doctors treat these types of polyps through examination, a colonoscopy and a follow-up exam to ensure that all of the polyps are removed.
Adenomatous polyps form along the colon lining, notes Wikipedia. However, most of the growths are small, and there is a minute chance of the polyps becoming cancerous. The larger ones have a 10 percent chance of becoming harmful.
Wikipedia mentions that there are three types of adenomatous polyps: tubular adenomas, villous adenomas and tubulovillous. Tubular adenomas is the most common form of polyp, but it has the least chance of growing into malignancy. Villous adenomas are usually larger than the other polyp types, and they are one of the more dangerous growths to have. These growths can cause such complications as discharge and hypokalemia. Tubulovillous is another type of growth that could become cancerous, and these can grow within other areas of the body.
Polyps can become problematic if there are more villous elements in the formations, adds Wikipedia. The shape of the growth also determines its potential for harm. For instance, flatter polyps are more worrisome than ones that have stalks. Flat polyps are dangerous because they contain shorter entryways for damaging cells, and they are harder to remove.