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Cancer Medicine :: Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

What are the screening options for FAP?

It is important to discuss with your doctor the following screening options, as each individual is different:

Yearly screening for hepatoblastoma from birth to age 5 in children at risk, including a physical examination, abdominal ultrasound, and a blood test to measure alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels

Yearly flexible sigmoidoscopy, beginning between the ages of 10 to 12 for children at risk for FAP

Colonoscopy once polyps are detected; individuals with classic FAP will typically need a colectomy (the surgical removal of the entire colon) at some point due to the number of polyps and the high risk of colorectal cancer.

In most cases a total colectomy is recommended to prevent colon cancer in young adults. If any of the rectum remains after surgery, flexible sigmoidoscopy should still be performed regularly.

Upper endoscopy (EGD) every one to three years, beginning at age 25 or after polyps are detected

X-ray or computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan of the small bowel if adenomas are found on the EGD or before a colectomy; repeat every one to three years depending on symptoms.

Yearly physical examination, including thyroid evaluation

Screening options may change over time as new technologies are developed and more is learned about FAP. It is important to talk with your doctor about appropriate screening tests.


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