What Is a Tubular Adenoma?


A tubular adenoma is a polyp that develops in the colon or rectum, according to the Colon Cancer Alliance. Tubular adenomas can lead to colon cancer if left untreated, but the polyps tend to grow slowly and can often be removed before cancer cells develop.

The two primary growth patterns of colon adenomas are tubular and villous, explains the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology. Tubular adenomas are typically small in size and form a tube-like pattern as they grow. Villous adenomas are larger in size and carry a higher risk of developing cancer cells. Adenoma growth patterns are monitored by physicians to help prevent future cancer development.

Colon cancer typically does not cause noticeable symptoms in its early stages, according to WebMD. When symptoms do develop, they can include thin stools, constipation, diarrhea and appetite loss. Additional symptoms include chronic pelvic or abdominal pain and weight loss. Individuals with colon cancer may also develop anemia due to internal bleeding of the digestive tract. It is important for individuals who are experiencing potential symptoms of colon cancer to consult with a physician to ensure proper testing and prompt diagnosis. Tests that help to detect colon cancer include rectal exams and colonoscopy exams.