A sigmoid polyp is an abnormal collection of cells that grows in the sigmoid portion of the colon. This is the area of the colon that is closest to the rectum. In most cases, a sigmoid polyp is found to be non-cancerous, although the risk of cancer increases as the polyp grows larger. There are several different types of polyps that may be found in this area of the colon, including adenomatous polyps, hyperplastic polyps, and benign colon polyps. Surgical removal is the most common treatment method for this condition, especially if it causes symptoms such as bleeding or pain.
The most common type of sigmoid polyp is known as an adenomatous polyp. This type of polyp is usually non-cancerous, although the majority of colon polyps that are found to be cancerous are of this type. An adenomatous polyp may develop as a normal part of aging or due to dietary habits or genetics. As this type of growth has a relatively significant chance of becoming cancerous over time, most doctors will schedule surgery to remove it. If an adenomatous polyp is diagnosed and removed while it is still small, the risk of it being malignant, or cancerous, is a lot lower than if it has become a large growth.
Another possible type of polyp is known as a hyperplastic polyp. This type of growth is usually quite small and has virtually no chance of becoming cancerous. At the same time, it is sometimes difficult for a doctor to distinguish between a hyperplastic and an adenomatous polyp without performing a biopsy. For this reason, surgery is generally performed to remove the polyp itself, or a small portion of the polyp may be removed for further testing. Many doctors prefer to remove the entire polyp instead of risking the chance that the patient may later require an additional surgical procedure to remove the polyp, depending on biopsy results.
A benign colon polyp is yet another potential type of sigmoid polyp. This type of non-cancerous growth may be caused by inflammatory bowels diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease. Fortunately, this type of sigmoid polyp does not tend to cause any additional health concerns. If the growth is found to be cancerous, which is relatively uncommon, the medical staff will advise the patient on the best course of treatment for the individual situation. Treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments.