Most polyps are benign or noncancerous, according to the American Cancer Society. However, some types of polyps can lead to colon cancer, depending on the type of polyp and certain risk factors.
Risk factors for cancerous polyps include age, family history and size of the polyps, according to The New York Times. Polyps measuring larger than 1 centimeter in diameter have a greater cancer risk than smaller polyps.
Screening for and removing polyps is an important step to preventing colon cancer, says the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Most doctors recommend beginning screening at age 50 for healthy adults.