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Types of colon polyps


Types of colon polyps

Some adenomatous polyps are attached to the wall of the colon or rectum by a stalk (pedunculatedClick here to see an illustration.). Some have a broad base with little or no stalk (sessileClick here to see an illustration.).

Polyps are also classified based on the type of tissue they contain:1

  • Tubular (T) adenomas are the most common type. About 80% to 86% of polyps contain this type of tissue. Tubular adenomas are the least likely type of polyp to develop into colon cancer.
  • Villous (V) adenomas are the least common type. About 3% to 16% of polyps contain this type of tissue. Villous adenomas are the most likely type of polyp to become cancerous.
  • Tubulovillous (TV) adenomas are a combination of tubular and villous tissue types. About 8% to 16% of polyps contain this type of tissue and are more likely than tubular (T) but less likely than villous (V) adenomas to develop into cancer.
Cancer risk of different polyps1
Smaller than 1 cm 1 cm to 2 cm Larger than 2 cm
Tubular (T)

1% chance of containing cancer

10% chance of containing cancer

35% chance of containing cancer

Tubulovillous (TV)

4% chance of containing cancer

7% chance of containing cancer

46% chance of containing cancer

Villous (V)

10% chance of containing cancer

10% chance of containing cancer

53% chance of containing cancer

References

Citations

  1. Itzkowitz SH, Rochester J (2006). Colonic polyps and polyposis syndromes. In M Feldman et al., eds., Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 8th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2713–2757. Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerArvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
Last RevisedApril 28, 2009

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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