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    Colonic polyps and colon cancer

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    Case Study:
    During a screening colonoscopy for a 40-year-old man, the doctor discovers a flat cancerous polyp in the transverse colon. Histopathology of the removed polyp indicated that cancerous cells were present in the margin, suggesting that some of the polyp remained behind in the colon.

    The doctor ordered an abdominopelvic CT scan and blood work, including liver function and a hematocrit. A surgical consult is recommended based on results of CEA test from the blood work.

    1. What, specifically, is a polyp?
    2. What are the lifestyle risk factors that can lead to growths in the large intestine?
    3. The surgical consult recommends a bowel resection 15 centimeters in both directions from the site of the polyp. How much (what percentage) of the entire colon would be removed in this procedure?
    4. Considering the full name of the molecule CEA, why is it a useful marker for cancer?

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    Solution Preview

    1. A colonic polyp is an abnormal growth, stemming from colonic mucosa. It usually grows slowly, but can be detectable by several diagnostic procedures. Polyps carry ...

    Solution Summary

    We discuss colonic polyps and risk for developing cancer and colonic cancer marker CEA.