Anomalies on the interior of the colon generally take the shape of polyps, which are treated through endoscopic removal. The doctor then examines the polyps using a microscope to determine whether they contain cancer or are of a type more likely to develop into cancer, reports MedicineNet.
The purpose of the close examination of the polyps is to determine whether the patient needs to return for more frequent colonoscopies in the future, for the purpose of finding other polyps. If cancer already appears in the polyps that have been removed, noting the depth of the cancer in the polyp is important. Deep extension indicates that cancer has moved into the colon wall or perhaps even further to lymph nodes elsewhere in the body, as stated by MedicineNet.
If cancer has extended deeply into the polyp, resection of that area of the colon may be necessary to ensure that all of the malignant tissue is out of the body. In cases of genetic mutation, genetic testing is performed on some of the biopsy. Doctors may request testing of relatives for a similar mutation. Anyone with those mutations should utilize colonoscopy more frequently for screening. Patients with polyp syndromes should undergo prophylactic removal of the colon to keep cancer from developing, according to MedicineNet.