Don't Let a Polyp Become a Cancer Tree


Colon cancer is a very preventable disease,” says Dr. Rajinder Kaushal, lead physician in gastroenterology at UCLA Health Santa Clarita and medical director of the UCLA Health Santa Clarita Endoscopy Lab. “Colon cancer does not start as a cancer; it starts as a benign growth called a polyp. The example I tell my patients is that the polyp is like a little plant. Cancer is a like a big tree. If you have a little plant, it doesn’t grow tomorrow into a tree. It takes many years. That’s what happens to polyps. If you come and pluck that little plant, you’re never going to get a tree. The best test for these little plants is a colonoscopy. It’s a diagnostic test, and if you have any polyps they are removed right there, so there’s no ‘come back tomorrow.’ Colon cancer is preventable and I hope everyone gets screened.”