Stomach polyps — also called gastric polyps — are masses of cells that form on the lining inside your stomach. These polyps are rare and usually don’t cause any signs or symptoms. Stomach polyps are most often discovered when your doctor is examining you for some other reason.
Most stomach polyps don’t become cancerous. But certain types can increase your risk of stomach cancer in the future. Depending on the type of stomach polyp you have, treatment might involve removing the polyp or monitoring it for changes.
Stomach polyps usually don’t cause signs or symptoms.
But as a stomach polyp enlarges, open sores (ulcers) can develop on its surface. Rarely, the polyp can block the opening between your stomach and your small intestine.
Signs and symptoms of stomach polyps include:
- Pain or tenderness when you press your abdomen
- Blood in your stool
What to Expect:
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may leave time to go over points you want to spend more time on. You may be asked:
- What are your symptoms, and when did they begin?
- How severe are your symptoms? Are they occasional or continuous?
- Does anything improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Do you have a family history of colon cancer, polyps or familial adenomatous polyposis?
- Do you take medications to reduce stomach acid?
Tests and procedures used to diagnose stomach polyps include:
- Endoscopy, to view the inside of your stomach
- Tissue sample (biopsy), which can be removed during endoscopy and analyzed in the laboratory
Treatment depends on the type of stomach polyps you have:
- Small polyps that aren’t adenomas. These polyps might not require treatment. They typically don’t cause signs and symptoms and only rarely become cancerous. Your doctor might recommend periodic monitoring so that growing polyps or polyps that cause signs and symptoms can be removed.
- Large polyps. These polyps might need to be removed. Most stomach polyps can be removed during endoscopy.
- Adenomas. These polyps can become cancerous and are usually removed during endoscopy.
- Polyps associated with familial adenomatous polyposis. These polyps are removed because they can become cancerous.
Your doctor will likely recommend follow-up endoscopy to check for recurring polyps.