Well I am a little scared. I am a 46 year old male, generally in good health. I’ve had IBS-D for about 25 years, and I have been pretty fortunate in managing it. As long as I don’t over eat, and I take my fiber supplement (I take Konsyl every night after dinner), I very rarely have a problem.
3 years ago I was having a lot of abdominal pain, so I went to see a gastroenterologist. (In retrospect, I think my pain was stress-related). He did a colonoscopy, and also checked the small intestine (barium test) as well as my stomach. The only thing of significance was that there were about 6-8 polyps in my colon, which is a lot for someone 46. He removed them, they were not cancerous, thankfully.
Yesterday I had another colonoscopy. I was really hoping to wake up to good news and a clean bill of health. Instead, he found 20 small polyps. My heart sank. 16 of these were in the ascending colon. I was still groggy, and I need to have a follow up visit after the biopsies come back, but he said it’s possible I may have to have that part of the colon removed somewhere down the line.
Has anyone else had a problem with polyps like this? I am at the very beginning of researching this. My goal is to find out what changes I can make in my life to hopefully stave off the growth of these things. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it.
Hi......having this many polyps at such a young age is typically a symptom of FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis) or AFAP. This is normally an hereditary colon disease but it can happen spontaneously. FAP normally shows up with many polyps in the colon by puberty but it can be up until 40. AFAP is the "attenuated" form where you develop fewer polyps at a slower rate. Both eventually both require that the colon be removed but with AFAP you can often make it till 60 before having to have it removed. Your GI doctor should have suspected this right away. Have you had a parent develop colon cancer at a young age? You need to have FAP ruled out because there are many facets to it that you need to be aware of. Supernumerary teeth can be a symptom, also what they call "bear tracks" which are tiny brown spots found behind the eye. You may have "osteomas" which are bony tumors of the head, wrists, hand, or head. There is a blood test to determine if you have FAP but it's only accurate in about 70% of people who do have FAP. There was one study done where they had patients taking aspirin which seemed to help control the growth of polyps to some extent but I'm not sure it included FAP patients. Other than that, I know of no way to control the growth of polyps. Ask your doctor about this to be on the safe side, there are still some doctors out there that know little about it. Best wishes and take care.
I don't have good suggestions. But just want to let you know that you are not alone - I'm only 35 y/i with no family history of colorectal cancer. Yet in my recent colonoscopy,my GI found 10+ polyps scattered around my traverse colon, sigmoid colon, and rectum. The largest one of size 2.5cm turned out to be cancerous and I had to have a radical emergency surgery to get 10cm of my sigmoid colon & rectum resected. I also did genetic testing which turned out negative. As far as reducing polyps, the only thing I know is to avoid red meat. I'm afraid that there's nothing much you can do with it. Just appreciate that you are still the lucky one compared with others who are less fortunate than you. One way or another, we live through it day by day,
Please remain watchful with your polyps. I've had 5 family members with FAP, two were diagnosed too late. and I lost my son and grandson to FAP. I have a 41 year old son who had his colon removed at 12 due to FAP, has almost every other symptom of FAP yet after numerous genetic tests they are not able to find the mutated APC gene...they have all come back negative. This happens in about 30% of people with FAP...so now they are looking at other genes surrounding the APC gene which may be making it malfunction. Get scoped on a regular basis to stay ahead of the polyps. Take care.
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