One of the most common conditions that affect the colon and rectum is polyps, or groups of abnormal cells that develop in the colon lining. Most polyps are harmless and benign; however, they may become cancerous if left untreated. Most precancerous polyps can be detected and safely removed during the course of a routine colonoscopy. Doctors recommend such regular screenings for everyone over the age of 50, or earlier for those with certain risk factors. Precancerous polyps have few if any noticeable symptoms. You are more at risk of developing these growths if you are overweight; if you are over the age of 50; if you consume a high-fat, low fiber diet; if you have a personal or family history of polyps or colon cancer; and if you smoke. Treatment for precancerous polyps consists of removing them as part of the outpatient colonoscopy procedure. Removal can be accomplished via coagulation or snaring technique.