Care of patients and their families with familial adenomatous polyposis

Mayo Clin Proc. 2000 Jan;75(1):57-67. doi: 10.4065/75.1.57.


Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is a dominantly inherited disorder that is typically characterized by the appearance of multiple colorectal adenomas usually by the teenage years, with a risk of early colorectal cancer approaching 100%. Genetic testing can help determine which family members have the disorder and require surveillance endoscopy. Astute physicians may detect unsuspected FAP in patients with extraintestinal manifestations such as hard or soft cutaneous tumors. Colectomy will prevent cancer but is often necessary before the patient is 20 years old. Postoperative lifelong surveillance is indicated to screen for associated duodenal, thyroid, and rectal or ileal neoplasms. Attenuated FAP variants are less typical and may be confused with other types of familial colorectal neoplasia. Chemoprevention, regression, and other treatment strategies are being developed to improve the management of extracolonic neoplasms and desmoid tumors. A better understanding of the natural history of these FAP-associated phenomena will facilitate the rational selection of interventions. Management guidelines that were recently developed at Mayo Clinic Rochester to provide for uniform care and surveillance are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli* / diagnosis
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli* / genetics
  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli* / surgery
  • Cytogenetic Analysis
  • Endoscopy, Digestive System
  • Genetic Carrier Screening
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Proctoscopy