What Is an Adenomatous Polyp?

An adenomatous polyp is a growth in the colon lining that is more likely than other polyp types to develop into colon cancer if left untreated, according to WebMD. Polyps become more common with age, and polyps greater than 1/2 inch contain a higher cancer risk, according to MedlinePlus.

An adenomatous polyp shows one of two growth patterns. Tubular adenomas are typically less than 1/2 inch, while villous adenomas are larger and may have cancer growing in them. During a colonoscopy procedure, it is important that doctors remove adenomatous polyps completely, according to the American Cancer Society. Experts recommend patients with adenomatous polyps get re-checked every one to three years, according to WebMD.

Risk factors for developing a cancerous adenomatous polyp include age, family history and a villous adenoma. These types of growths may be linked to inherited disorders such as familial adenomatous polyposis, Gardner syndrome, Lynch syndrome and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. Polyps normally do not have symptoms, according to MedlinePlus.

A polyp is defined as a growth that starts in the lining of the large intestine and moves inward toward the hollow center of the organ. Polyps are benign, but can form into cancer later, according to the American Cancer Society. An adenoma is a polyp that looks similar to the lining of the colon, but cells look different to observers viewing them with a microscope.

Polyps can become problematic if there are more villous elements in the formations, adds Wikipedia. The shape of the growth also determines its potential for harm. For instance, flatter polyps are more worrisome than ones that have stalks. Flat polyps are dangerous because they contain shorter entryways for damaging cells, and they are harder to remove.