Gastrointestinal Polyposis Symptoms & Causes

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In-Depth

What are polyps?

Polyps are round lumps of tissue that grow from the surface of the bowel. They may cause your child to have abdominal pain, bleeding or intestinal obstruction.

How do I know if my child has polyps?

Most polyps in children are non-cancerous, though children who develop polyps are at higher risk for developing some form of cancer, as well as tumors. Some children with polyps may have no signs or symptoms for many years.

Possible signs of polyposis include chronic diarrhea, anemia and low blood protein levels. Children with polyps may also have other unusual non-gastrointestinal conditions or findings, including:

  • unusual skin lesions or patterns of skin freckling
  • unusually large head
  • bone changes seen on x-ray studies
  • unusual eye findings detected by an eye specialist
  • nasal polyps
  • early tumors of the testicle, ovary, brain, thyroid gland or liver
  • rare congenital vascular disorders
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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