Patient Information Sheets

These documents are for your information and are specifically for patients attending The Centre for Digestive Diseases.

Patient Information Booklet

Information about your Procedure and Risks

Patient Preparation Instructions

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Colonic Polyps

A polyp is extra tissue which starts off as a small bump in the lining then later grows to look like a mushroom. Colonic polyps grow in the large intestine. The large intestine, also called the colon, is a long hollow tube at the end of your digestive tract where your body makes and stores stool. Colonic polyps are not necessarily dangerous. Most are benign, which means they are not cancerous. But over time, some types of polyps can develop cancerous cells. Usually, polyps that are smaller than a pea aren't harmful. But larger polyps could eventually develop into cancer or may already be cancerous. To be safe, Gastroenterologists remove all polyps and test them.


Most small polyps don't cause symptoms. Often, people don't know they have one until the doctor finds it during a regular check up or while testing them for something else.

If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor to find out what the problem is, as you may need to be referred to a Gastroenterologist.


Colon Cancer Screening

Colon Cancer is the most frequently diagnosed new cancer in Australia. This form of cancer affects the large intestine, mostly as a result of polyps. Research has shown that colon cancer develops predominantly in people aged 50 or more, thus it is highly recommended that people of this age group undergo cancer screening. Colon Cancer in most cases develops as a result of benign polyps developing cancerous cells within them.


The most effective treatment for polyps is their removal. Gastroenterologists remove polyps during colonoscopy, and then have the tissue pathologically tested for any presence of cancer. Once a person has had a polyp removed a regular re-colonoscopic examination is required to reduce the risk of polyp recurrence and cancer formation.