Juvenile Polyposis Increases Colorectal Cancer Risk

Vigilance from a young age is required

TUESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with juvenile polyposis are at significantly higher risk of developing colorectal cancer and should be closely monitored from a young age, according to study findings published in the July issue of Gut.

Francis M. Giardiello, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data on incidence of colorectal cancer in patients with juvenile polyposis and among the general population.

For patients with juvenile polyposis, the relative risk of developing colorectal cancer was 34.0 and the cumulative lifetime risk was 38.7 percent. The mean age at diagnosis for colorectal cancer was 43.9 and there was evidence of other gastrointestinal cancers among the subjects in the study. The risk was similar for males and females.

The findings concur with the current recommendation of screening for juvenile polyposis in individuals at risk from the age of 15 for those with no symptoms and younger for those with symptoms. The authors recommend screening with genetic testing, where possible, or a colonoscopy at least every three years.

"Based on colorectal cancer risk estimates, a low threshold for recommending colectomy, (i.e., when colorectal dysplasia is present or adequate surveillance is not possible) with consideration for removal of the entire colorectum seems warranted," they conclude.

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