Consumer Health: What is familial adenomatous polyposis?

Cancer in the colon and cancer in the rectum, typically referred to collectively as colorectal most cancers, is the third commonest most cancers recognized in each males and women within the U.S. excluding pores and skin cancers, based on the American Cancer Society.

Among the chance components that may enhance your danger of colorectal most cancers are sure genetic syndromes, together with familial adenomatous polyposis. This is a uncommon situation attributable to a defect within the adenomatous polyposis coli gene. Most individuals inherit the gene from a father or mother, however for 25% to 30% of individuals, the genetic mutation happens spontaneously.

With this situation, additional tissue, known as polyps, types in your colon and rectum. Polyps can also happen within the higher gastrointestinal tract, particularly the higher a part of your small gut. If untreated, the polyps within the colon and rectum are more likely to change into cancerous when you find yourself in your 40s.

Most individuals with familial adenomatous polyposis finally want surgical procedure to take away the big gut to forestall most cancers. The polyps within the higher a part of the small gut can also develop most cancers, however they often will be managed by cautious monitoring and repeatedly eradicating the polyps.

Some individuals have a milder type of the situation, known as attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis. People with this milder type often have fewer colon polyps and develop most cancers later in life.


The important signal of familial adenomatous polyposis is a whole lot and even hundreds of polyps rising in your colon and rectum, often beginning by your mid-teens. The polyps are practically 100% sure to become colon most cancers or rectal most cancers by the point you are in your 40s.

Risk components

Familial adenomatous polyposis is attributable to a defect in a gene that is often inherited from a father or mother. But some individuals develop the irregular gene that causes the situation. Your danger is increased if in case you have a father or mother, little one, brother or sister with the situation.


Preventing familial adenomatous polyposis is not potential, because it is predominantly an inherited genetic situation. However, in case you or your little one are in danger due to a member of the family with the situation, you will want genetic testing and counseling.

A blood check can decide in case you carry the irregular gene that causes familial adenomatous polyposis. Ruling it out spares at-risk kids years of screening and emotional misery. For kids who carry the gene, applicable screening and therapy significantly reduces the chance of most cancers.

For individuals in danger, it is vital to be screened frequently, beginning in childhood. Annual exams can detect the expansion of polyps earlier than they change into cancerous.

If you’ve been recognized with familial adenomatous polyposis, you will want common screening, adopted by surgical procedure if wanted. Surgery can assist forestall the event of colorectal most cancers or different issues.


Treatment for familial adenomatous polyposis begins along with your health care skilled eradicating any small polyps discovered throughout your colonoscopy examination. Eventually, although, the polyps will change into too quite a few to take away individually, often by your late teenagers or early 20s. Then you will want surgical procedure to forestall most cancers growing. You additionally will want surgical procedure if a polyp is cancerous. If you’ve attenuated familial adenomatous polyposis — the milder type of the situation, you could not want surgical procedure.

Surgery would not treatment familial adenomatous polyposis. Polyps can proceed to type within the remaining or reconstructed elements of your colon, abdomen and small gut. Depending on the quantity and dimension of the polyps, having them eliminated endoscopically is probably not sufficient to cut back your danger of most cancers. You may have extra surgical procedure. You additionally will want common screening — and therapy if wanted — for the issues of familial adenomatous polyposis that may develop after colorectal surgical procedure.

Connect with others speaking about familial adenomatous polyposis and colorectal most cancers within the Colorectal Cancer help group on Mayo Clinic Connect, a web-based affected person neighborhood moderated by Mayo Clinic.

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