The colon is part of the gastrointestinal tract that is also called the large intestine. One of the most common colon problems in people over 50 years of age are colorectal polyps, growths in the colon and rectum that can become cancerous. In colon cancer, a majority of these tumors are adenocarcinomas, malignant tumors that originate in glandular tissue.
Colorectal tumors usually form inside the lining of the large intestine. Benign tumors are non-cancerous while malignant tumors are cancerous and result from abnormal cell growth.
Types of benign colon tumors include:
- Neoplastic epithelial polyps (premalignant)
- Adenomas, most common type – three varieties: tubular (usually found in rectosigmoid), villious (usually found in the rectum and sigmoid), and tubulovillous
- Non-neoplastic epithelial polyps (no malignant potential, result of abnormal mucosal maturation, inflammation or architecture
- Hyperplastic polyps
- Juvenile polyps (generally found in children under the age of 10)
- Peutz-Jeghers’ polyps (result from rare disease called Peutz-Jegher’s syndrome)
- Inflammatory polyps, usually occur in patients with inflammatory bowel disease
- Lymphoid polyps
Types of malignant rectal tumors include:
- Aggressive neuroendocrine tumor
- Mucinous Adenocarcinoma
- Signet Ring Cell Adenocarinoma