• Saturday February 22,2020

Polyps (tumor)

Polyps are usually benign growths, tumors or protrusions in the mucous membrane. Polyps can grow in different parts of the body, but are most commonly found in the intestine, nose and uterus. They have a size of a few millimeters up to several centimeters and should be removed. Polyps (degeneration) can degenerate over time and cause cancer.

What are polyps?

Polyps in the nose are often enlarged pharyngeal tonsils and usually always benign. Only if those affected suffer greatly from the symptoms, these nasal polyps can be surgically removed in surgery. Polyps in the intestine are usually incidental findings, which are usually found during check-ups.

Intestinal polyps are protrusions in the intestinal mucosa (mucosa). As long as these tumors are benign, they are called adenomas. The polyps vary in shape, size and number. You can sit broadbased on the mucous membrane or even have a polyp stalk. Adenomas usually grow max. 1 mm per year.

In the further course, the benign adenoma can develop a so-called carcinoma (malignant tumor). The proportion of intestinal polyps is over 90 percent and is one of the most common benign polyps (tumors).


Polyps can have different causes. The underlying reasons are infections by viruses or bacteria, diseases, nutritional behavior and genetic defects.

In nasal polyps, it has been observed that sufferers often suffer from viral or bacterial infections. Even asthmatics have a higher incidence of polyps.

Nutrition plays a major role in intestinal polyps. A one-sided diet with a high proportion of animal fats and a low fiber content favor the development of polyps. Furthermore, studies have shown that smoking, alcohol and obesity are important factors in the development.

In certain hereditary diseases, such as the Gardner syndrome, the familial adenomatous polyposis, the Cowden and the Turcot syndrome, intestinal polyps occur more frequently. In combination with these diseases, the risk of developing a carcinoma (colon cancer) from benign polyps is greatly increased.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

Nasal polyps often go unnoticed for a long time. If they increase in size or clog the sinuses, it can lead to breathing difficulties. The affected then show a conspicuous mouth breathing and increased susceptibility to infection. The permanent mouth breathing also dries out the oral mucosa, which can lead to bad breath and inflammation.

Those affected snore in their sleep and have a nasal voice. As the polyps block the way to the olfactory cells, olfactory disorders can occur. If multiple polyps occur, the smelling ability comes to a complete standstill. The sufferers also often suffer from migraine attacks and suffer from chronic fatigue.

In the long term, nasal polyps can lead to persistent paranasal sinus inflammation, which manifests itself among other things by headaches and pressure pain over the Nebenhöhlen. In general, sufferers often suffer from colds such as colds or inflammation of the bronchi and sinuses. If the nasal polyps are not treated, further complications may occur.

In adults, there is a risk of chronic oxygen deficiency in the organs and brain, which can result in, among other things, neurological damage. In children, chronic polyps can lead to deformities of the nose and eyes. This can lead to breathing difficulties, impaired vision and mental discomfort.

Diagnosis & History

The polyps are diagnosed depending on the specialty. Polyps in the nose are usually diagnosed by the ENT specialist (ear, nose and throat). An otoscope and an endoscope are used to examine the nasal passages as well as the sinuses. Furthermore, radiological examinations such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance tomography are performed.

Polyps in a gut are diagnosed by the internist. In polyps in the lower part of the rectum, a first diagnosis is made by means of palpation. If a positive result is obtained during the rectal palpation examination, colonoscopy is usually performed.

The colonoscopy ensures a deep insight into the large intestine to the small intestine. Detected polyps can be removed by means of so-called gripping instruments immediately on examination and examined for malignancy (cancer).

The course in polyps is to be evaluated differently. Since polyps are benign at the beginning, they usually do not cause discomfort. Nasal polyps are removed by a small surgical procedure, but there is a risk that they will grow back or grow again elsewhere.

In the intestinal polyps, the prognosis is better, the earlier they are discovered and removed. Over time, the polyps grow and can narrow the intestine from a certain size, which can lead to a bowel obstruction. Furthermore, the adenomas (benign polyps) can develop into a carcinoma in the further course.


Polyps are usually harmless and initially cause no complaints. However, with increasing growth, the tumors can trigger various complications. Nasal polyps can cause breathing problems and can promote infections in the upper respiratory tract. This can lead to persistent infections such as bronchial asthma or chronic bronchitis.

In severe cases, the infection can spread to surrounding tissue and cause dangerous inflammation of the eye socket, meninges and brain. Intestinal polyps may affect bowel function depending on their size and number. Sometimes it comes to constipation, diarrhea and other digestive complaints. When a bowel polyp opens, it can cause bleeding, pain and inflammation. In contrast, polyps of the inner uterine lining are mostly harmless.

Only in very rare cases can these malignant degenerate and form a tumor. In polyps on the tonsils there is a risk of sleep disorders, inflammation and increased susceptibility to infection. Accompanying this may be pain, difficulty swallowing and other complications. The removal of polyps can cause sensitive injuries. In addition, wound healing disorders, pain, infections and visible scars and scarring can occur. Prescribed drugs can cause the usual side effects and interactions.

When should you go to the doctor?

If swelling, ulcers or protrusions develop on the body, seek medical attention. With increasing growth, a feeling of tightness or disturbances of the heart rhythm a medical help is needed. If the symptoms persist, there are diseases that need to be diagnosed and treated. Although polyps are usually benign, serious illnesses must be ruled out and an overall health assessment is necessary. Limitations of respiratory activity are an alarming sign. If they persist or increase in intensity, a doctor is needed as soon as possible.

If it comes to bad breath, headache, sleep disorders, an inner restlessness or a general malaise, a doctor should be consulted. Irregularities on contact, a pressure pain or sensory disturbances should be examined and treated. Polyps can form in all parts of the body. Therefore, a doctor is needed as soon as it comes to eating disorders or irregularity of locomotion.

In case of abnormalities of the functions a special mindfulness is necessary. A diminished vision, loss of physical and mental performance and a reduced ability to smell should be presented to a doctor. If there are dysfunctions, skeletal system deformities, swelling of the breast tissue or digestive disorders, a doctor should visit. Signs such as increased inflammation, increased body temperature and snoring should be discussed with a physician.

Treatment & Therapy

Treatment for polyps in the nose involves surgical removal of the tumor. For very small tumors they can also be treated with a nasal spray, but the success rate is low. With the daily use of salt water nasal douches and cortisone sprays, you can prevent the recurrence of nasal polyps after long-term treatment.

Polyps in the gut are also surgically removed, most often at colonoscopy. The treatment of first choice is the immediate removal of the polyps and subsequent histological examination for malignancy.

If the polyps have already reached a size of several centimeters, endoscopic removal is no longer possible, so that surgery under general anesthesia is necessary.

The treatment of polyps also includes extensive follow-up. Especially in the presence of hereditary diseases as well as an already diagnosed colon carcinoma (colon cancer), regular colonoscopy (colonoscopy) should be performed.


At present, there are no preventive measures against the development of polyps. In intestinal polyps (also for the nasal polyps) should - especially if a hereditary component is present - pay attention to a healthy diet, refrain from smoking and alcohol and try to avoid overweight with sufficient exercise.

Another option for screening is a so-called hemoccult test, which can be used to detect blood in the stool, which usually indicates bleeding polyps in the intestine. An annual colonoscopy is used for the early detection of polyps. Although this does not prevent the development of polyps, it is proven that it reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.

A polyp can be a benign or even malignant tumor, which in many cases forms on the intestinal mucous membranes. Colloquially, enlarged tonsils are called polyps. This definition is medically incorrect because such growths can also occur on other organs.


The form of aftercare depends on the goodness or malignancy of the polyps. In general, polyps require regular follow-up care because they can develop into malignant ulcers. Even if they are small, classified as benign and do not cause discomfort to the affected person, the polyps should be monitored by a doctor. Intestinal carcinoma is often preceded or mutated by polyps.

Aftercare with polyps is important to detect degeneration at an early stage. Following surgical removal of (malignant) polyps, follow-up monitoring is also indicated at regular intervals. If benign neoplasms of small size are discovered during a follow-up visit, the specialist will often remove them themselves. If the newly-formed polyps are conspicuously large or malignant, surgery is scheduled.

During follow-up, it is also checked whether the polyps cause inflammation. In this case, the family doctor prescribes anti-inflammatory drugs. As a follow-up measure, the healing of the affected tissue is initiated.

You can do that yourself

To prevent polyps, the diet should be optimized. Foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the organism are increasingly consumed. Magnesium and lemon are natural active ingredients that have a positive impact on the body during inflammation. Fresh products such as broccoli, spinach, brown algae or onions and garlic should be regularly processed in meals so that the patient can adequately support his body in the fight against polyps. At the same time an unhealthy, fatty and high-calorie diet should be avoided. Likewise, the consumption of pollutants such as nicotine, alcohol or drugs should be avoided.

Helpful is a good sleep hygiene. The conditions for a restful night's sleep should be optimized so that the organism can regenerate sufficiently during rest periods. The body's immune system is thereby stabilized and can provide enough defenses in dealing with possible pathogens.

The disease is more severe in people with an unhealthy lifestyle. Therefore, pay attention to the reduction of stressors. Overall well-being should be promoted and medications should only be taken in consultation with the doctor. In case of nasal polyps, regular steam inhalations can be carried out in everyday life to relieve the symptoms. Also helpful are deep breathing exercises. Intestinal polyps are minimized by a healthy lifestyle in a natural way.

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