Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) treatment
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
Carolyn Vachani RN, MSN, AOCN, OncoLink's Medical Correspondent, responds:
Unfortunately, patients with FAP have virtually a 100% chance of developing colon cancer. Several studies have looked at using medications to cause polyps to regress and prevent new ones from forming. These studies have had some affect on shrinking existing polyps, but weren't able to prevent new ones. Currently, the only effective treatment is removal of the colon, which is particularly hard to accept when the person is healthy.
Accepting the need for surgery is often the most difficult obstacle to overcome. You may want to find a surgeon who has performed this surgery in the past. Perhaps your genetic counselor or the physician who performed the genetic testing can refer you and your son to a family that has already had the surgery.
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