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Colon Polyps Symptoms & Diagnosis


Symptoms are often not present. Polyps are only found during an endoscopy or x-ray. If symptoms are present, they can include:


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:

  • Digital rectal exam—the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel for polyps.
  • Stool test—a sample of your stool is checked for blood.
  • Sigmoidoscopy —a thin, lighted, flexible tube is inserted into the rectum to examine the rectal area and the lower colon.
  • Colonoscopy —a thin, lighted, flexible tube (longer than a flexible sigmoidoscopy tube) is inserted in the anus and used to view the entire colon.
  • Barium enema and x-ray—a barium fluid is injected into the colon and rectum. Several x-rays are taken. The barium makes your colon show up on x-ray.
  • Biopsy —a sample of tissue is removed for testing. It is sent to a lab to determine whether the polyp is adenomatous or hyperplastic. It will also be checked for cancer cells.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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