FAP stands for familial adenomatous polyposis, an illness that is inherited which puts patients at a high-risk of developing colon cancer at an early stage.
People who suffer from FAP start having polyps or the mushroom-like, tiny growth within their rectum and colon when they are teenagers. For some, these polyps develop at a much younger age like when they are still children.
It is widely believed that most colon cancer cases start with the development of polyps The main difference is that in FAP, the number of polyps may be greater and these growths appear earlier.
A patient show has more than 100 adenomatous polyps in their rectum or colon could be suffering from FAP. Likewise, a patient may have less than 100 adenomatous polyps in their colon and rectum, but has a family member who has suffered from FAP has a higher risk of developing FAP as well.
FAP can be difficult to diagnose given that the appearance of polyps in the rectum and colon seldom has symptoms. And as such, those who are suffering from FAP could not know that there is growth in these areas.
Screening for colon cancer is a routine for those who are 50 years and above, and as such, it is highly possible that FAP is left undetected for those who are younger. In such cases, healthcare professionals rely on the medical history of the patient’s family in order to diagnose in a timely manner.
Some doctors would recommend screening for colon cancer for individuals who has a family history of having colon cancer at a very age.
Persons whose parent or parents have FAP are likely to have the same illness by 50 percent. Those whose parents have FAP are usually screened for the said disease once they reach the age of 10 or 12.