Bowel polyps are small growths on the inner lining of the colon (large bowel) or rectum.They are common, affecting 15-20% of the UK population, anddon't usually cause symptoms.

Polyps are usually less than 1cm in size, although they can grow up to several centimetres. There are various forms:

  • some are a tiny raised area or bulge, known asa sessile polyp
  • somelook like a grape on a stalk, known as a pedunculated polyp
  • some take the form of many tiny bumps clustered together

Bowel polypsare not usually cancerous, althoughif they're discovered they'll need to be removed, as some will eventually turn into cancer if left untreated.

Some people just develop one polyp, while others may have a few.They tend to occur in people over the age of 60.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 20 Jun 2016