Obvious symptoms of colorectal polyps include diarrhea or constipation that lasts longer than a week; blood in the stool; and anal bleeding, according to Healthline. Blood appears on toilet paper or on underwear if there is anal bleeding, and black or red-streaked stools can indicate blood.
It is not uncommon for individuals with colorectal polyps to have no symptoms at all, explains Healthline. Physicians often discover polyps during physical exams or other types of tests. One of the procedures that uncovers colorectal polyps is a colonoscopy. Doctors performing the procedure can remove many colorectal polyps found during the examination. The physician frequently sends the polyps for further testing in a lab to determine if cancer is present.
Having colorectal polyps does not mean the patient develops colon cancer, notes Healthline. Most doctors recommend removing any potential cancerous colorectal polyps. A number of factors can increase the chances for developing colorectal polyps. Individuals are at a greater risk if they are over age 50, have had polyps previously or have a family history of polyps or colon cancer. Other risk factors include smoking, drinking alcohol, being overweight and infrequent exercise. Making lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk of developing colorectal polyps.