Concept

Familial adenomatous polyposis

Summary
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominant inherited condition in which numerous adenomatous polyps form mainly in the epithelium of the large intestine. While these polyps start out benign, malignant transformation into colon cancer occurs when they are left untreated. Three variants are known to exist, FAP and attenuated FAP (originally called hereditary flat adenoma syndrome) are caused by APC gene defects on chromosome 5 while autosomal recessive FAP (or MUTYH-associated polyposis) is caused by defects in the MUTYH gene on chromosome 1. Of the three, FAP itself is the most severe and most common; although for all three, the resulting colonic polyps and cancers are initially confined to the colon wall. Detection and removal before metastasis outside the colon can greatly reduce and in many cases eliminate the spread of cancer. The root cause of FAP is understood to be a genetic mutation—a change in the body's tumour suppressor genes that prevent development of tu
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