What is it?

A bowel polyp is an abnormal growth on the inside of the large bowel. Approximately 50% of Australian are likely to develop a polyp, and most are undetected as polyps rarely produce symptoms. 

There are different types of polyps:

  • Serrated polyps: hyperplastic polyps (HP), sessile serrated adenomas (SSA) and traditional serrated adenomas (TSA). About 20% of colorectal cancers develop from SSAs and TSAs. 
  • Adenomatous polyps: adenomatous polyps are precancerous and should be removed at colonoscopy and require follow-up. 

Regular colonoscopies for cancer, called polyp surveillance, are recommended for some patients with polyps. The decision to have future colonoscopies for polyp surveillance and to check for bowel cancer depends on the type, size and number of polyps removed.