Benign tumors of the colon and rectum are usually discovered because a patient is examined for symptoms—such as rectal bleeding, changes in bowel habits (frequency of bowel movements, constipation, incontinence, urgency for bowel movements), or abdominal pain-- or as a finding at a screening endoscopy.
A patient may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Rectal bleeding
- Changes in bowel habits (frequency of bowel movements, constipation, incontinence, urgency for bowel movements)
- Abdominal pain
Diagnosis of benign tumors of the colon and rectum require the following:
- A complete medical history and physical examination.
- Your surgeon will probably require an endoscopy, which many include an anoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, depending upon what segment of the colon is to be evaluated. During an endoscopy, your doctor may remove a small piece of tissue from the tumor, called a biopsy. In the lab, pathologists will examine the tissue under a microscope and look for possible signs of malignancy (cancer).
- Your doctor may also order the following imaging studies to determine the size and location of the tumor:
o X-rays- contrast studies of the stomach, small bowel, and/or colon
o Ultrasound of the rectum
o MRI scan of the abdomen and/or pelvis
o CT scan of the abdomen and/or pelvis
Treatment for benign tumors of the colon and rectum is usually localized surgery to remove the tumor. See our list of Surgical Procedures & Techniques.
Surgical procedures may include: