Medical Q&As

Adenoma - what is it?

I have been informed after a bowel examination that I have a possible adenoma type polyp and have been referred for a full colonoscopy. The polyp was found in the rectum area. Can you explain what an adenoma is?

The term adenoma has a particular meaning in pathology. It refers to the gland like appearance of a tissue specimen when it is analysed under a microscope. Adenomas are benign growths and can occur in a wide variety of tissues throughout the body. They can occur in the pituitary gland (pituitary adenoma), the lung (bronchial adenoma) or in the bowel where they commonly present as a polyp. The adenoma develops in the mucous secreting portion of the mucous membrane that lines the inner wall of the bowel. The growth extends into the lumen of the bowel where it is seen as a small growth on the end of a stalk, which we technically refer to as a polyp. They are easily seen during colonoscopy and it is possible to remove them during that procedure.