Colon Cancer and Polyp - Screening Guidelines

A year ago I had colonoscopy, a procedure in which a viewing tube is put into the rectum to look at the colon, the large intestine. This procedure had been recommended to me because of a number of factors. My father had cancer of the colon. Later my brother had colonoscopy and was found to have what are called adenomatous polyps, little finger-like protrusions from the inside wall of the colon, that start as benign growths but have a tendency to become cancerous.

My colonoscopy yielded 17 polyps. All were removed through the colonoscope and all proved to be benign, not cancer.

At higher risk for colon cancer

When one family member has an adenomatous polyp or cancer of the colon or rectum, their close relatives (their parents, sisters, brothers, and children) all have a higher risk of developing colon or rectal cancer than does the general population.