Rectal Growth

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Rectal growths, otherwise known as polyps, are masses of tissue growth that bulge out of the rectum wall. These growths may be considered benign or malignant (cancerous) tumors. Rectal growths are a common occurrence and, according to Tish Davidson (Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine), "They occur in 7-50 percent of all people, and in two-thirds of people over age 60."

Causes of Rectal Growths

The cause of growths on the rectum is often unknown. Polyps may be affected by foods that contain a lot of animal fat or a diet that contains very little fiber. Other types of polyps can either be hereditary (familial polyposis) or caused by inflammatory bowel disease. Hemorrhoids (dilated blood vessels) can also feel like a rectal growth as can rectum protrusions often found in the elderly due to weakened rectal muscles and tissue.

Symptoms of Rectal Growth

According to Tish Davidson, "Most rectal polyps produce no symptoms and are discovered on routine digital or endoscopic examination of the rectum." Those that do produce symptoms including bleeding from the rectum, intestinal obstruction, diarrhea, pain and abdominal cramping. If you experience any of these symptoms or discover a growth on your rectum, you should speak with your physician immediately.

Diagnosis of Rectal Growth

Provide your doctor with a full medical history to determine whether or not you are at risk for familial polyposis or colon cancer. The doctor will need to perform a visual exam of your rectum to check for growths, hemorrhoids or other protrusions. Endoscopy uses a lit-up tube to examine the inside of the rectum, and a barium enema x-ray is used to pinpoint unusual shadows in the rectum.

Rectal Growth Treatment

A surgical procedure, known as polypectomy, is used to remove rectal growths once they are found and diagnosed. The procedure is fairly easy and can be done either in a hospital or at a doctor's office. A gastroentologist, surgeon or even your own family practitioner can perform a polypectomy. Your doctor may suggest a diet that contains a significant amount of fiber and antioxidants as well as one that contains little animal fat.

Advice

If your doctor discovers that you have rectal polyps, you should do your best to follow his or her instructions as far as diet goes. Eat nutritious foods that contain plenty of vitamins. Pillows are available in the shape of donuts that help ease rectal pain while sitting by relieving pressure. Keep the area clean after surgery and follow any take-home orders the doctor may have given you.

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