It may take five years or more for a polyp to reach a 1/2 inch ( 1 cm ) in diameter. It generally takes a 1/2 inch polyp 5-10 years or more to turn into cancer. It will then take around 5-10 years for the cancer to cause symptoms by which time it is frequently too late.
I answered this on the Bowel Board but here it is again!!
Can anyone tell me if all polyps are bad?
I had a sigmodoscopy done back in 1989 and they mentioned during the exam yes, polyps but nothing for me to follow up with. I was 23 at the time and since then I have just went with being constipated and all its details...Now my family has suggested that I look into a colonoscopy as colon/bowel cancer runs in our family..That scared me as I never tell anyone that I have a hard time going...I have lots of spider viens in my legs and are contributing all that to my poor circulation which I say is my reason for constipation...
I am scared to look further into all of this but maybe any insight from you all might make me take the next steps...
I would definitely schedule a colonoscopy. I too, was embarrassed, but it has saved my life for the last 5 years. Colon Cancer runs in my family. My father, and sister both died from colon cancer. On all of my scopes, I've had polyps. So yes, schedule a colonoscopy as soon as possible.
I had a colonoscopy in 1999 that was clean aside from some colitis...in 2005 I had a stage 2 rectal tumor. Interestingly, I had a VERY extensive rectal exam in early 2002 due to fissures and they saw nothing other than the fissure. I highly recommned getting a colonoscopy if you have had a previous polyp...if you catch them early you can avoid dealing w/having cancer...it is WELL worth the embarrassment and prep of a colonoscopy!
I guess it all depends on how aggressive the tumour is. My husband was dx Stage 111C rectal cancer in July 2003 but he had an ultrasound and several rectal exams for an enlarged prostate in 1998. As his tumour was fairly low in the rectum, I am sure it would have been found in 1998 had it been there.
Husband dx July 2003, advanced rectal cancer stage 111C; myself dx July 2006 indolent lymphoma; husband dx February 2010, stage 2 prostate cancer.