Are all colon polyps cancerous?

This question was asked in Irvine, California on 12/16/2011.
What percentage of colon polyps actually turn out to be cancerous as opposed to being benign? Is getting a biopsy the only way to tell whether or not the polyps may be cancerous?

Doctors Answers (1)

David Myles Nolan
Answered on: 12/16/2011

In general, we give the number of about 1% per year per polyp chance of becoming cancerous. At this point the only routine way to find out if a polyp is precancerous is by biopsy; however, there are new technologies in the works that may reduce the number of biopsies necessary in the future, but not yet.