Colon cancers can come from adenoma tubulovillous and sessile polyps. These are technical terms for the appearance of the polyps in a scope. A polyp is a growth of tissue that is abnormal. The walls of the colon and the rest of the digestive tract should be smooth. A polyp occurs when an area of the wall start to grow uncontrollably. This can be dangerous since this growth could turn into a cancer. Therefore doctors look for these polyps in order to help prevent cancers.
The name for an abnormal growth of the lining of the colon is an adenoma. Therefore a rapidly growing polyp could be called an adenoma. There are several different types of adenomas. One of the types is the tubulovillous adenoma. This describes a polyps that has several characteristics. First of all, it must protrude into the lumen of the organ and take up enough space to be seen. The villous part of the name comes from the finger like projections on the surface of the polyp that can be seen with a microscope. The little fingers are called villi. The tubular refers to the tube-like characteristics of the polyps and how they appear under the scope.
Tubulovillous adenomas of the colon have a high rate of conversion to colon cancer, that is why they are removed when they are found during a colonoscopy. When they are found early and they are small, they can be removed with a simple snare and cautery procedure. But if they grow larger they usually start to erode into the wall of the tissue and begin to cause problems. Once tubulovillous adenomas get into the wall of the colon they have to be removed by a colectomy and other larger procedures. In this case they are treated like a colon cancer and less like precancerous lesions.
The probability of a tubulovillous adenoma of colon becoming a cancer depends on many factors. One of the keys is the appearance of the lesion. The features found under a microsope also play a role. Lastly, the size of the polyp will also increase the risk. The polyps may have a stalk and be called pedunculated or be flat and called sessile. Sessile polyps have a larger chancer of developing into cancers. If the polyp is found to be villous and sessile, that polyp is more than three times more likely to produce a cancer.
Tubulovillous adenomas should always be sent for pathologic analysis. Sometimes there may be a genetic signature of the tubulovillous adenoma of colon that could help treat the patient and provide better prognostic information. People need to have a colonoscopy performed in order to detect these lesions. Most medical societies recommend that a person have a colonoscopy performed at age fifty and then every ten years after that. If a person has colon cancer in the family they should have their first colonoscopy ten years before the age that their family member was diagnosed. Therefore the adenoma tubulovillous and sessile polyp can be removed so prevent the formation of colon cancer.