Familial adenomatous polyposis
Other Names for this Disease
- Adenomatous polyposis coli
- Adenomatous polyposis of the colon
- Familial adenomatous polyposis of the colon
- Familial intestinal polyposis
- Familial multiple polyposis
Your QuestionThe father of my children lost his life after a short battle with colon cancer. Several members of his family had various other types of cancer. I would like to help my children prevent the development of cancer. What are the symptoms of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)? What steps can we take to be better prepared for this disease? Who can help us with this endeavor?
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Other features of FAP may include:
- Fundic gland or adenomatous polyps of the stomach
- Adenomatous polyps of the small intestines
- Osteomas (benign bone tumors)
- Dental abnormalities
- Congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium (a flat, pigmented spot within the outer layer of the retina)
- Benign skin abnormalities
- Adrenal masses
- Desmoid tumors
- Other types of cancer (small bowel, stomach, pancreas, thyroid, central nervous system, liver, bile ducts, and/or adrenal gland)
Affected people may also develop fundic gland or adenomatous polyps of the stomach; however, the risk of these polyps advancing to stomach cancer is less than 1%. Gastric (stomach) fundic-gland polyps are hamartomatous (made up of an abnormal mixture of cells and tissues normally found in the area of the body where the growth occurs) and occur in approximately half of people with FAP. Gastric adenomatous polyps occur in about 10% of people with FAP.
Adenomatous polyps of the duodenum (small intestine) are observed in 50-90% of people with FAP and are commonly found in the second and third portions of the duodenum. The lifetime risk of small bowel cancer is 4-12% with the majority occurring in the duodenum. In rare cases, adenomatous polyposis are also found in the gallbladder, although these growths are typically discovered late (over age 40).
The Genetic Testing Registry (GTR) is a centralized online resource for information about genetic tests. The intended audience for the GTR is health care providers and researchers. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.
Genetics clinics are a source of information for individuals and families regarding genetic conditions, treatment, inheritance, and genetic risks to other family members. More information about genetic consultations is available from Genetics Home Reference. To find a genetics clinic, we recommend that you contact your primary healthcare provider for a referral.
The following online resources can help you find a genetics professional in your community:
- The National Society for Genetic Counselors provides a searchable directory of US and international genetic counseling services.
- The American College of Medical Genetics has a searchable database of US genetics clinics.
- The University of Kansas Medical Center provides a list of US and international genetic centers, clinics, and departments.
- The American Society of Human Genetics maintains a database of its members, which includes individuals who live outside of the United States. Visit the link to obtain a list of the geneticists in your country, some of whom may be researchers that do not provide medical care.
- Familial Adenomatous Polyposis. Genetic Home Reference. October 2013; http://www.ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/familial-adenomatous-polyposis.
- Kory W Jasperson, MS and Randall W Burt, MD. APC-Associated Polyposis Conditions. GeneReviews. March 27, 2014; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1345/.