Our team of gastroenterologists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of colon and rectal polyps. Our goal is early detection and treatment in order to prevent colon cancer.
Colon polyps are broadly defined as raised lesions from the wall of the colon and rectum (also known as the large intestine).
Colon polyps rarely cause symptoms and are usually found when a colonoscopy is performed as a screening test or to investigate unrelated symptoms. There are multiple types of colon and rectal polyps; some are known to progress to cancer over time if not removed.
Cancer screening and prevention
The best way to catch colon cancer is through screening tests. Most medical societies endorse screening colonoscopy as the preferred method. Patients often do not have symptoms during early stages of colon cancer.
It is especially important for patients with a family history or with a genetic colon cancer syndrome to be screened regularly.
The most common pre-cancerous polyp is called an adenoma and removal of these polyps has been proven to decrease the risk of colon cancer. This is why screening colonoscopy is critically important for the detection and removal of colon polyps.
A patient may need more frequent colonoscopies or may be referred to a specialist due to a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or cancer. For some with a high risk of colon polyps and cancer, the doctor may recommend specialized testing for genetic syndromes.
Treatment focuses on clarifying the personal risk for colon polyps and cancer for each patient and forming an optimal monitoring program to minimize that risk. This primarily includes colonoscopy, which has been proven to decrease risk of colorectal cancer, but can also include stool-based testing.
Hereditary Colon Cancer Syndrome Clinic
Ohio State Wexner Medical Center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hereditary colon cancer syndromes. Peter Stanich, MD, is one of the nation’s leading experts in the field and works in the multi-disciplinary hereditary colon cancer syndrome clinic along with genetic counselors at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. He is among only a few specialists nationwide with expertise in diagnosing and treating PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome (Cowden syndrome).
His work in identifying this and other hereditary syndromes aims at early diagnosis and ultimately prevention of cancer. Through genetic testing, patients can receive regular colonoscopy screening to reduce their risk of colon cancer.
Some of the most common genetic colon cancer syndromes are:
- Lynch syndrome
- Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
- MUTYH-associated polyposis
- Peutz Jeghers Syndrome
- Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome
- PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome (Cowden syndrome)
Colon Cancer Epigenetic Counseling Clinic
Diet and lifestyle are connected to as much as 70 percent of colon cancers. Hisham Hussan, MD, works in a multidisciplinary colon cancer clinic where he performs epigenetic (diet and lifestyle) counseling for colon cancer prevention in patients at high risk for colorectal cancer. His research focuses on the connection between the microbiome, lifestyle, obesity and colon cancer risk. These efforts are aided by his involvement with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Molecular Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention (MCC) program.
Treatment of large colonic polyps and advanced neoplasia detection
Dr. Hussan receives referrals from surgeons to perform endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) of complex colonic polyps on patients who would otherwise need colon surgery (colectomy). Dr. Hussan and Dr. Stanich are also among a few providers at Ohio State with experience in performing colonic chromoendoscopy for precancerous tissue detection. Dr. Hussan also performs esophageal, gastric and colonic endoscopic confocal laser endomicroscopy, a highly technical procedure for flat dysplasia surveillance in order to detect and remove subtle intestinal pre-cancerous changes.