The Perplexing, and Sometimes Perilous, Polyp

Until last weekend, quite a few Americans had probably never heard of polyps. But now that the small growths have made history by causing a temporary transfer of presidential powers, their name has become part of the popular lexicon. Polyps are small growths that generally appear on epithelial tissues, like those that line the intestines. Intestinal polyps are quite common, especially in people over 50, and if detected early they can be treated with minor surgery, usually by being cauterized or snipped off. When the polyps are allowed to grow, however, they not only are more difficult to remove but can...

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