Sessile Serrated Adenoma Of The Colon: Causes And Diagnosis

Sessile serrated adenomas of the colon are type of polyps that grow on the lining of colon and rectum. The lesions are predominantly observed in cecum and ascending colon. Sessile serrated adenoma is also called by other name as sessile serrated polyps. They are benign or non cancerous growths but have predilection for developing into cancerous tumors of colon if left untreated.

Sessile serrated adenomas are so named because of their jagged appearance under the microscope. These types of colon growths arise from genetic mutations. However, the pathway for its development is different from the more common conventional adenomas of colon.

The ideal treatment of sessile serrated adenoma of the colon is its complete surgical removal.

What Causes Sessile Serrated Adenoma Of The Colon?

Sessile serrated adenoma of the colon is flat growth on the lining of colon. Usually it develops in people over the age of 60 years. Men and women are equally affected. There is no ethnic propensity for its development. Sessile serrated adenoma of the colon occurs due to mutation of genes. It causes abnormal growth in the epithelial lining of the colon.

Due to genetic mutation the cells of inner lining of colon starts growing at an unprecedented speed.

This leads to formation of clumps which are characteristically serrated when seen under the microscope. The cause of mutation can be hereditary trait or can be due to exposure to harmful chemicals or radiation. Sessile serrated adenoma of the colon although are non cancerous growths, they have potential to become cancerous.

Symptoms Of Sessile Serrated Adenoma

Most patients suffering from sessile serrated adenoma of the colon do not complain of any symptoms. This condition is usually detected accidentally during a colonoscopy that may be done for some other reason. The doctor can visualize flat growths on the lining of the colon. They are usually present in the proximal colon.

Rarely patient may present with symptoms and signs of sessile serrated adenoma of the colon. It may include obstruction of intestine especially when the tumor is large in size. Sometimes patient may present with bleeding from anus or too much mucus mixed with the stool. In rare instances there may be diarrhea or constipation or both alternating frequently.

Diagnosis Of Sessile Serrated Adenoma

Since there are no presenting symptoms of this condition the doctor may suspect sessile serrated adenoma of the colon while screening test done with colonoscopy. Before doing the screening, the physician takes proper medical history and does thorough physical examination. Some patients may have family history of colon cancer.

During colonoscopy a thin tube is passed through the anus into the colon. A video camera and light source is attached to the tube. If an adenoma or polyp is present, it will be visualized as a small growth on the epithelial lining of intestines. Once this growth is detected, a biopsy of growth is considered and sent to the pathological laboratory for histopathological analysis under the microscope.

The pathologist is the main person who is able to establish the diagnosis of sessile serrated adenoma of the colon after examination of the biopsy material under the microscope.

Treatment For Sessile Serrated Adenoma

Treatment of sessile serrated adenoma of the colon is the same as that done for other types of polyps and adenomas of colon. Since sessile serrated adenoma of the colon precancerous growths or they have potential to become cancerous, the ideal treatment is to remove the lesion.

However, as they are flat and serrated, it sometimes becomes difficult to remove them with a colonoscope. Thus in many cases surgical removal may be necessary. A segment of colon is resected and the healthy one is fused with the adjacent. The other way is to burn the growth and the procedure is called ablation.