You're at risk of familial adenomatous polyposis if you have a parent, child, brother or sister with the condition.
If you're at risk, it's important to be screened frequently, starting in childhood. Annual exams can detect the growth of polyps before they become cancerous. At Mayo Clinic, at-risk children who have the defective gene, or whose genetic status isn't known, are screened every year starting at age 10. At-risk children who don't have the defective gene are screened periodically starting at age 15.
Mayo Clinic specialists use these screening tests for familial adenomatous polyposis and its complications:
A simple blood test can determine if you carry the abnormal gene that causes familial adenomatous polyposis. Genetic testing may also detect whether you are at risk of complications of familial adenomatous polyposis.
Mayo specialists may suggest genetic testing if:
Ruling out familial adenomatous polyposis spares at-risk children years of screening and emotional distress. For children who do carry the gene, appropriate screening and treatment greatly reduce the risk of cancer.
At Mayo Clinic, genetics counselors discuss the ramifications of testing with you, including the psychological and medical implications and confidentiality issues. If you choose genetic testing, your counselor and your doctor discuss the results with you.
The Molecular Genetics Laboratory uses the latest techniques to detect specific mutations in the APC gene associated with familial adenomatous polyposis. If the initial genetic test is negative, Mayo scientists can sequence the MYH gene to determine if you have MYH-associated polyposis.
Mayo Clinic specialists may recommend thyroid exams and other testing to detect other medical problems that can occur if you have familial adenomatous polyposis.