Colon Dysplasia: Diagnosis and Management in Patients


Dysplasia is a term that refers to the abnormal growth or development of organs or cells. In relation to colorectal cancer, dysplasia is the abnormal growth and development of cells in the colon. Generally, colon cancer develops from polyps in the colon. Because polyps start to develop as a person gets older, colon cancer screening guidelines suggest that everyone 50 years old and above should be screened regularly.

Colon Dysplasia: Diagnosis and Management in Patients


Diagnosis can be easily made with a colonoscopy. This is a test conducted to view the inner lining of the large intestine that includes the colon and rectum. The doctor uses a thin, flexible tube called a colonoscope to see the colon. Colonoscopy can also be used to find colon tumors, colon polyps, ulcers and areas of bleeding or inflammation.


When colon dysplasia is discovered, the physician will perform a procedure called a polyepectomy. This is a simple procedure that can be done at the same time as a colonoscopy. Biopsy forceps are used to cut off a small polyp which is removed to test if it has cancerous cells. Complications from this procedure are rare which includes the accidental tearing of the colon wall and bleeding.

Polypectomy Follow Up

There is an increased risk of colon dysplasia when a single colonic polyp is found. Although a polypectomy gets rid of a single lesion, other dormant polyps may still exist. In most cases, physicians recommend increasing rate of colonoscopies in order to make sure that all dysplasia are identified and treated accordingly.


The management of colon dysplasia differs from one case to another. In some cases, it is harmless so it is just closely monitored. In other cases, surgery is necessary to remove the affected part and prevent complications. Also, some polyps can be removed using laparoscopic surgery.


This involves using drugs to destroy cancer cells. It can be used to kill cancer cells after surgery, to control the growth of tumors or to relieve colon cancer symptoms. In cases of rectal cancer, chemotherapy is commonly used together with radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy

Another way to manage colon dysplasia is by using radiation therapy. This is when powerful energy sources are used to kill cancerous cells that remain after surgery. It can also be used to shrink large tumors before surgery and to relieve symptoms of colon and rectal cancer. In early stages of colon cancer, radiation therapy is not commonly used.

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