Polyps during follow up

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Hey everyone, reaching out because this platform was so reassuring and helpful last time.

Im one year since my colon cancer diagnosis at 31 years old. Went through surgery and adjuvant chemo, and cross fingers everyday that that would be the last of it.

i just had my one year follow up colonoscopy this weekend and was very disappointed to see that they had found 14 polyps. Last year they had removed three polyps and the tumor, so wasn’t expecting 14 new ones to pop up in a year. Needless to say, it is freaking me out. 

I guess I’m just wondering if anyone else has experienced this before? Is this something I need to worry about or is this just my life now and just need to keep a close eye on it? Would love to hear from others if anyone is willing to share their own experiences. Thanks so much for reading.

  • Hi

    I'm on a watch and wait and I've had polyps removed on my last colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy.  One of my consultants assured me they are nothing to worry about. I'm not sure really myself. I think like me you'll be OK as long as your medical team keep an eye on you.

    Sorry I can't be more help. Hopefully someone with more knowledge will reply to you Blush

  • Thanks so much for your reply. It’s helpful just to hear whether others have had similar experiences. 

    Sometimes I worry my medical team is just being so supportive and don’t want me to worry unless there’s something obvious to worry about. But I just want to know what I’m dealing with.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond!

  • Hi  

    My understanding is that the risks of polyps can vary greatly from harmless to concerning.

    Increased risks could be from size and shape of polyps and cell makeup on histology, through to extramural invasions identified from initial surgery histology and to inherited genetic issues.

    Have they suggested you need increased surveillance or genetic testing?

    If you are unsure whether your polyps should be a concern, could you ask your consultant to explain more as to what they think should be done?

  • Hi Tjo,  I was the same as you, went for my first yearly check and they also found polyps, which they have now removed.  I was under the impression they are harmless, but sometimes if left, they can turn cancerous, that is why its a good idea to have the yearly colonoscopies.  To be honest I do not even think about them, the way I look at it, they are removed and job done.  I think we have done enough worrying having cancer and all that entails, but saying that you are a lot younger than me and perhaps because I am older I can accept things more, but don't let it freak you out, get them removed and then get on with living your life to the full and try not to worry!!!

  • Hey,

    Thanks for your response. I know they’re not concerned about the polyps they found, which is good news. I think I just wasn’t expecting such a jump in the number of polyps in the period of a year. 14 just felt like a lot!

    no news about increased surveillance but waiting on the genetic testing!

  • This was such a great message, Its really easy to get caught up in all the what ifs. But you’re very right, it’s exhausting and I‘ve done more than enough worrying over the past year! Thanks so much for your response, and such a positive perspective. 

  • Hi There!

    I lost my husband just a year ago to bowel cancer but please don't let that alarm you everyone's journey is different. Anyway, just after I lost my husband, my older sister presented with a bowel cancer diagnosis. This was discovered through a home bowel screening test which came back positive she had been very tired and breathless for a while but of course just losing my husband I didn't notice. The upside however, was that her's was not as serious as my husband and her tumour very small which was removed without the need for chemo or radiotherapy. She has gone on to make a full recovery. She had a smear test done post surgery about a month or so later and they found a polyp in her cervix but the gynaecologist doing the test said they weren't too concerned about it but would rather it came out. My sister has learning difficulties and throughout out her life has not been very shall we say `sexually active` so getting this smear done was a bit of an ordeal for her as it's not one of the most pleasant experiences for a woman to go through. They needed her to go back for that and the good news was that they removed the polyp and sent it for a biopsy and came back clear and they discharged her from that particular clinic. So sometimes these things can be nothing but always best to have them checked out in anycase. My best wishes to you going forward. 


  • Hi Vicky, 

    Thanks so much for your message. I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, but very glad to hear that everything has turned out well with your sister. Wishing you guys all the best X

    You're right. So important to get these things checked out. I guess I was just hoping for a less eventful first year follow up. Anyway, that’s life I guess. On we go!