If a polyp or other abnormality is found during your colonoscopy, it will be removed by a biopsy or polypectomy, and the sample will be sent to a lab for analysis. In this video, Dr. Echavarria and Dr. Gelrud explain that a specially trained doctor (known as a pathologist) will closely examine the sample to check for signs of cancer or pre-cancer. It may take 1-2 weeks to receive the results of the biopsy from your doctor. A benign (non-cancer) result means that your risk of cancer is zero. However, many polyps that get removed do carry a low risk of turning into cancer. If the tissue sample is pre-cancerous you will need to meet with your doctor again. If you had pre-cancerous polyps removed it is good news, since you no longer have those polyps in your body. Patients who have polyps have a higher risk of developing more polyps in the future, so be sure to talk with your doctor about when your repeat colonoscopy should be scheduled.
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This educational activity has been developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc.
This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from Boston Scientific and Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
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