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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16328
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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Does a biopsy on a colon polyp that comes back "positive"

Customer Question

Does a biopsy on a colon polyp that comes back "positive" ALWAYS mean cancer, or can it be "positive" for another reason?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 8 years ago.


Welcome to Just Answer and thanks for your question. Do you have the biopsy report that you can quote?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No. The doctor called me today and told me that the biopsy had come back positive and set me up with an appointment for next week. I have had diarrehea (sp) since Feb 6 to 10 times day and night. stool samples negative. blood work-up perfect, no weight loss and no abdominal pain to speak of. The colonoscopy was done last Friday. and proved to be very difficult ("a maze with lots of twists and turns")but they only found the one polyp and sent it for a biopsy.
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 8 years ago.

Generally speaking, this would mean that it was malignant. There are all different kinds of benign polyps, and some that are suspicious for turning into cancer. Then there are those that are frankly malignant. If the colonoscopy removed the whole polyp, more surgery may not be necessary. If it didn't, then they may want to do a resection, removing just a little bit of the colon since only one polyp was found. You will find out more at the meeting next week. They may even want to do another colonoscopy. The good news is that this has been caught early.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
in other words when a polyp is biopsied they biopsy it for cancer nothing else like bacteria?
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 8 years ago.

That's correct. Any polyp would have bacteria. A biopsy is used to check for precancerous or cancerous cells.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much now at least I know what to expect and it won't be to much of a shock...I guess.
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 8 years ago.

You're so very welcome. Good luck with the meeting next week.