Intestinal polyps are benign growths that develop on the lining of the colon or rectum. They may have a flat shape (sessile polyps) or having stalk or peduncle (pedunculated polyps). Most often, intestinal polyps are benign. Over time, however, some polyps may undergo certain genetic change and become cancerous. It is estimated that each new polyp has a risk of more than 2% to become cancerous in the first five years, and about 24% after 20 years. Hence, it is important to have regular check-ups for early detection of intestinal polypsbefore they turn into cancer.
The causes of colorectal cancer are not well known; however, like all other cancers, colorectal cancer arises from normal cells that multiply anarchic to give birth to cancerous growth. Healthy cells lifetime are well-defined; they born, divide and die naturally (programmed cell death). Cancer cells, however, divide millions of times and live longer than normal cells.