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Tubular Adenomas: What You Should Know

Tubular Adenomas

If you’ve had a recent colonoscopy and learned you have a tubular adenoma, you may have some questions. Let’s look at what you should know about tubular adenomas.

These are non-cancerous or benign growths that develop on the lining of the colon or rectum. They are the most common type of polyps found during colonoscopy screenings. What does it mean when tubular adenomas are discovered? It is an early alert that you may have an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

How Do Tubular Adenomas Form?

Occasionally, cells in the body can begin to multiply in an unregulated manner. This phenomenon of unchecked growth is known as a mutation and can lead to the formation of cell clusters known as polyps.

Tubular adenomas are often small, measuring less than a half inch. True to their name, they develop in a round, tubular structure. The size of tubular adenomas can vary, however, larger polyps have a higher risk of becoming cancerous. When adenomas become cancerous, they are called adenocarcinomas.

What Are Signs of Tubular Adenomas?

Often, tubular adenomas present no symptoms and are discovered incidentally during a routine colonoscopy.

If symptoms do occur, you might experience:

  • Discomfort
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Changes in bowel movements like constipation or diarrhea
  • Changes in stool color
  • Loss of appetite
  • Iron deficiency anemia: a reduced red blood cell count caused by a lack of iron

What Are Tubular Adenoma Risk Factors?

Certain factors increase the risk of developing tubular adenomas, including:

  • Being 50 years of age or older
  • Being male
  • Having a family history of colorectal cancer
  • Smoking or using tobacco
  • Being obese
  • Having a history of inflammatory bowel disease

Diagnosing Tubular Adenomas

Tubular adenomas are usually diagnosed through a colonoscopy, a procedure that allows doctors to examine the interior lining of the colon and rectum. A gastroenterologist uses a thin, flexible tube equipped with a small camera to look for abnormalities. Polyps can be located and removed through this process. Any polyps that are removed are sent to a lab for further analysis.

Managing and Treating Tubular Adenomas

The main approach to treating tubular adenomas is to remove them. This usually occurs during the same colonoscopy where the polyps are detected. The gastroenterologist uses a wire loop or forceps to detach the adenoma from the colon’s lining. After removal, the tissue is sent for microscopic examination to check for the presence of cancer cells.

Removing tubular adenomas is usually sufficient to prevent any potential progression to cancer.

In cases where multiple adenomas are found, or if they are large, additional surveillance and follow-up colonoscopies may be recommended to monitor for new polyps.

Prevention and Screening

Regular screening is the most effective way to prevent colorectal cancer, especially for those at higher risk. Recommendations include a colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 45, or earlier and more frequently for those at higher risk.

Lifestyle changes are an important aspect of prevention, too. These include:

  • Adopting a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding smoking

Tubular adenomas are an early warning sign for the potential development of colorectal cancer. Regular colonoscopy screening is the best way to maintain colon health and remove polyps that have the potential to become cancer long before they can do any damage. Early detection not only increases the likelihood of successful treatment but also significantly improves survival rates, making it vital for preventive healthcare.

Get Your Colonoscopy Today

If you are 45 or older, take a proactive step toward preventing colorectal cancer by scheduling your colonoscopy appointment right away. We’ll walk you through the process so you know what to expect. It’s one of the best things you can do for your health.

Don’t delay — schedule an appointment today!

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