Adenomas that are larger have a greater chance of having cancer growing in them; however, severe dysplasia indicates that the polyp looks more like cancer, reports the American Cancer Society. With a diagnosis of severe dysplasia, as long as the adenoma is removed, often there is no cause for concern.
Polyps themselves are simply growths of tissue that are typically noncancerous and grow from the colon wall, notes the American Cancer Society. Some polyps are flat, and others stick out from the colon wall. An adenoma is made of tissue that looks very similar to the lining in the colon to the naked eye. When the term dysplasia is used, it indicates how much the tissue of the adenoma looks like cancer under a microscope. Important considerations include the degree of dysplasia, how many adenomas are present and whether they are all removed.
Tissue cells that are slightly abnormal indicate mild dysplasia, while cells that are highly abnormal indicate severe dysplasia, according to the American Cancer Society. An adenoma with severe dysplasia is normally removed during the colonoscopy, rather than biopsied, unless it is too large and needs to be extracted surgically. A follow-up appointment is scheduled to monitor any new adenoma growth. Polyps that are less than half an inch, such as 10 millimeters, frequently have a tubular growth pattern and are not in themselves a cause for worry.