Diffuse reflectance spectra were collected from adenomatous colon polyps (cancer precursors) and normal colonic mucosa of patients undergoing colonoscopy. We analyzed the data by using an analytical light diffusion model, which was tested and validated on a physical tissue model composed of polystyrene beads and hemoglobin. Four parameters were obtained: hemoglobin concentration, hemoglobin oxygen saturation, effective scatterer density, and effective scatterer size. Normal and adenomatous tissue sites exhibited differences in hemoglobin concentration and, on average, in effective scatterer size, which were in general agreement with other studies that employ standard methods. These results suggest that diffuse reflectance can be used to obtain tissue information about tissue structure and composition in vivo.