According to abbreviationfinder, CP stands for colonic polyp. A colon polyp is a colon polyp. This refers to protrusions on the intestinal mucosa.
What are colon polyps?
Because colon polyps are at risk of developing into cancerous tumors, treatment consists of removing the tumors. This can often be done during the first colonoscopy.
Colonic polyps are polyps of the large intestine (colon). These are structures of the intestinal mucosa. They protrude into the cavity of the intestine. Colonic polyps vary in shape. There may be a connection between them and the intestinal mucosa, or there may be a shaggy form. Sometimes they sit flat on the mucous membrane.
The tissue of the polyps is also different. However, most of them are composed of the glandular tissue of the intestinal mucosa. Doctors then refer to the polyps as adenomas, which are basically benign structures. However, there is a risk that they will degenerate into malignant cancer.
Elderly people over 70 years of age are particularly affected by colon polyps. About 50 percent of them have polyps. In addition to adenomas, there are also other colon polyps. These are hamartomas, hyperplastic polyps, as well as inflammatory polyps. In contrast to the inflammatory and hyperplastic colonic polyps, the adenomatous polyps can degenerate into cancer.
Most colorectal cancers are caused by adenomas. Adenomatous polyps are understood to mean neoplasms of the epithelium. As long as the lamina muscularis mucosae is intact, the adenoma is not classified as malignant. However, if they do break through, there is an invasive colon carcinoma. About 50 percent of all colonic polyps are located in the rectum. The further up the colon, the fewer polyps are found.
Within the mucous membrane of the human gastrointestinal tract there is constant renewal. This results in the shedding of old mucosal cells, which are then replaced by new cells. The formation of polyps is usually due to a disturbance in this balance. In this way, more cells are formed than old cells can be replaced.
The excess of cells causes them to protrude into the intestinal lumen. Doctors then speak of neoplastic or hyperplastic colon polyps. Sometimes the excessive cell division is related to changes in the cells. In some people, the properties of the mucosal cells continue to change, so that over time the colonic polyp develops into a malignant tumor that arises from the intestinal wall.
However, in individual cases it is not possible to predict whether the polyp will degenerate and when this will happen. Occasionally, colonic polyps also arise from disorders that are already congenital. They appear in large quantities in young people and are often associated with further tissue growth.
Colon polyps can also be inherited. In this process, certain defective genes are passed on to the children, causing the polyps to develop much earlier than usual. At the same time, the risk of developing colon cancer increases.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
In the early stages, there are usually no symptoms of colon polyps. In rare cases, however, bleeding can occur, which is noticeable by the reddish discoloration of the stool. If the bleeding continues over time, there is a risk of anemia (low blood count).
This can be associated with symptoms such as weakness and dizziness. Mucus is also produced by some colonic polyps. As a result, the patient has a mucous stool. The mucus production leads to a loss of proteins, electrolytes and water. In addition, cramping abdominal pain and diarrhea appear. However, some people also suffer from constipation because of the polyps.
Diagnosis & course of disease
If the person concerned feels unclear intestinal problems, it is advisable to consult a gastroenterologist. The specialist first looks at the medical history (anamnesis) of the patient. They are asked whether they have irregular bowel movements, diarrhea or constipation, whether there is blood or mucus in their stool, whether there is a family history of intestinal diseases and whether they have had any recent unwanted weight loss.
The next step is the physical examination. The doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to the sounds of the bowel. He also checks the abdomen for possible hardening. Colon polyps can be visualized using sonography (ultrasound examination). However, this can only be used to control smaller sections of the intestine.
Therefore, a colonoscopy (colonoscopy) is usually performed. In this procedure, the doctor inserts a special colonoscope equipped with a camera into the intestine and looks for possible polyps. If a colon polyp is discovered, it can be removed immediately and examined in a laboratory.
Around two-thirds of all people affected will not experience health problems from intestinal polyps until the end of their lives. In rare cases, however, complications such as a dangerous intestinal obstruction occur. Bleeding from the polyps can also cause problems.
The colon polyp usually causes problems in the stomach and intestines. Those affected suffer primarily from severe abdominal pain and stomach pain. These can reduce the quality of life and make everyday life more difficult for those affected. In general, there is also reduced exercise capacity and a general feeling of illness.
Not infrequently, patients also suffer from diarrhea and constipation. The stool itself is slimy and dizziness and vomiting continue to occur. In some cases, bleeding also occurs, which can turn the stool red. A bloody bowel movement often leads to panic attacks or sweating.
If left untreated, colonic polyps can cause intestinal obstruction, which is a very dangerous condition for those affected. Colon polyps are usually treated with surgery. Usually there are no special complications or symptoms. Furthermore, if the treatment is successful, the disease progresses positively. Life expectancy is not reduced when colon polyps are diagnosed and treated early.
When should you go to the doctor?
If you notice reddish discoloration of the stool or unusual feelings of weakness and dizziness, a colonic polyp may be the cause. A doctor’s visit is recommended if the symptoms appear without a reason and persist for more than a few days. If the symptoms seriously impair well-being, a doctor should be consulted immediately at best. This also applies to complications such as constipation or persistent abdominal pain. Diarrhea, deficiency symptoms, chronic fatigue and severe pain in the gastrointestinal tract also require a medical diagnosis. If the colon polyp is treated early, the prognosis is good.
If left untreated, however, it can cause serious health problems, including intestinal perforation. In order to avoid this, the family doctor or a gastroenterologist should be consulted at the first signs of illness. People who already have a disease of the gastrointestinal tract should inform the responsible doctor about the unusual symptoms. A colon polyp can also be inherited, so pregnant women who have had colon polyps themselves should have their child checked regularly.
Treatment & Therapy
Because there is a risk that colon polyps will degenerate into a cancerous tumor, treatment consists of removing the tumors. This can often be done during the first colonoscopy. If the polyp is very large, it must be surgically removed.
If the tissue has been successfully removed, a microscopic examination takes place to rule out a malignant disease. In some cases, the colonic polyps grow back or form again in a different part of the intestine. For this reason, check-ups should be carried out regularly.
Outlook & Forecast
With early diagnosis and initiation of treatment, the prognosis for a colonic polyp is favorable. The change in the tissue is usually completely removed in a local operation. It is a routine process in which a freedom from symptoms can be expected after the wound has healed. If the person concerned does not seek medical care, the prospect of recovery is significantly reduced.
This type of polyp carries the potential for mutation. As a result, cancer can develop. If cancer cells can spread unhindered in the organism, in the worst case the affected person may die prematurely. Therefore, the later a doctor is consulted and a diagnosis is made, the less favorable the course of the disease and the less likely it is that the symptoms will be alleviated.
Despite an achieved recovery, a new colonic polyp can occur in the further course of life. The prognosis is unchanged if the polyp re-invades. It should be noted that this disease often occurs in people of advanced age. In most cases, the organism is already weakened and the probability of further diseases is increased. Therefore, the overall physical condition of the patient must be taken into account during treatment.
There are no sensible preventive measures against the development of a colon polyp. So far, it has not been possible to find out exactly how intestinal polyps develop.
As a risk factor for colon cancer, the colon polyp always requires consistent follow-up care. In most cases it will be removed. Follow-up care after the brief colonoscopy procedure is uncomplicated. Only the patient makes sure not to strain the bowel immediately after the removal and play control or removal of the polyp. Avoiding foods that cause gas is essential for recovery. Drinking a sufficient amount supports the stool’s ability to slide and thus protects the intestines.
If for some reason the polyp has not been removed, regular check-ups are important. The intervals for this are determined by the gastroenterologist or internist treating the patient. This also applies to cases in which several polyps have been removed or a family history of intestinal polyps is known. Furthermore, the affected person pays attention to bleeding as part of the aftercare. These should not occur or should occur only slightly after the polyps have been removed and are always a reason for consultation with the doctor.
Colon polyp aftercare is closely linked to colon cancer prevention. In addition to regular checks by colonoscopy, the test for occult blood in the stool can be used, the small packets of which are also available in pharmacies. In addition, it is always advisable to avoid nicotine and heavy alcohol consumption.
You can do that yourself
If a colon polyp is suspected, a doctor should be consulted. Various self-help measures and home remedies support medical treatment and alleviate the symptoms.
Bed rest is indicated if feelings of weakness and dizziness recur . The person concerned should take it easy as a precaution and speak to the doctor again if the symptoms are severe. In the case of cramping abdominal pain or diarrhea, a gentle diet is recommended. Warmth and well-tried household remedies such as herbal tea also provide relief. Homeopathy recommends Schuessler salts and the preparation Carbo Vegetabilis. In addition to these measures, the cause of the occurrence of the intestinal polyps should be determined. Colon polyps are usually caused by an unhealthy lifestyle or a previous tumor disease. Should the dietbe the cause, this must be changed in cooperation with a nutritionist.
However, if it is a recurrence of an earlier tumor, a more detailed medical examination is required. Metastases may have formed in other parts of the body that need to be diagnosed and treated. Since colon polyps can also form recurrences or appear again in another part of the intestine, regular check-ups by a specialist are recommended after the initial treatment.