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What is familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)?

Familial adenomatous polyposis is caused by changes (mutations) in the APC gene that a person inherits from his or her parents. About 1 percent of all colorectal cancers are due to FAP.

People with this disease typically develop hundreds or thousands of polyps in their colon and rectum, usually in their teens or early adulthood. Cancer usually develops in 1 or more of these polyps as early as age 20. By age 40, almost all people with this disorder will have developed cancer if preventive surgery (removing the colon) is not done.

FAP is sometimes associated with Gardner syndrome, a condition that also involves benign (non-cancerous) tumors of the skin, soft connective tissue and bones.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.