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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19438
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I recently had a polyp removed from my colon. I was told last

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I recently had a polyp removed from my colon. I was told last night that it is a villous adenoma and that I require another colonoscopy in 3 years. Having looked on the internet I am now really quite worried that I may develop colon cancer. The polyp was removed and the histology showed low grade dysplasia. I do not know the size of the polyp but believe it was not very big. How concerned should I be
Hello from JustAnswer. It is true that a villous adenoma with low grade dysplasia is a risk factor for development of colon cancer, particularly for larger villous adenomas. However, the good news in this situation is that the risk has been identified. One of the primary advantages of colon cancer screening is that it can identify the people with polyps that indicate people at higher risk, so that more frequent testing with colonoscopy can be done. Since the repeat colonoscopy will be done much sooner than the usual interval, it will tyically detect any recurrent changes before it reaches a dangerous level. The recurrent changes will usually be another polyp although it also may be an early cancer, but in either case,the cure rates are quite good because it is detected early. So, you clearly should be concerned at a level to assure that the colonoscopy is performed in 3 years, rather than letting it slip through the cracks, but it does not warrant any greater concern. If I can provide any further information, please let me know.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is there any benefit in having a colonoscopy earlier than 3 years. Is it definite that a villous adenoma will turn into cancer

It is not definite that a villous adenoma will turn into cancer. It increases the risk for cancer, but it is actually more likely that it will not turn into cancer. There is no evidence that repeating the colonoscopy sooner than 3 years would be of additional benefit. The 3 years is already significantly less than the usual recommended interval of 10 years, but there is no evidence that decreasing the interval further provides any additional benefit. However, some doctors will consider a more frequent interval if other risk factors are also present.