POLYPOSIS ASSOCIATED CONDITIONS

OSTEOMA

An osteoma is a piece of new bone that grows on existing bone.  When more than one piece of new bone is growing, the name for the plural is Osteomata.    These new pieces of bone often grow on the skull and are benign growths.  This means they are not cancerous growths.

Osteomata are more common in FAP patients than in the general population.   These lumps can grow in the nasal cavity and in the sinuses.

SUGGESTION:  See your GP and let the GP know you are an FAP patient.   Mention it to your Hospital Doctor when next in Clinic.

 

SEBACEOUS CYSTS

Most people will have a sebaceous cyst at some point in their life.  These grow close to the skin’s surface.  They are twice as likely in men.  The scalp, face, neck, chest and upper back are the most common sites.   If punctured, a cheesy toothpaste like liquid comes out.  Removal is conducted simply under a local anaesthetic.  Sometimes these cysts will vanish of their own accord, but occasionally they can become infected.   Removal is ideal if their location is visible and causing embarrassment.  These growths are not cancerous.

If the cyst is drained and the sac is not removed, the cyst can come back.  If the cyst is drained and the sac removed, then the cyst does not come back.  The wound will be stitched, depending on its size.

SUGGESTION: See your GP or Practice Nurse.

 

LIPOMA

A Lipoma is a soft fatty lump that grows under the skin.  It is a collection of fat cells.  These lumps grow deeper down in the skin than cysts.   A Lipoma is almost always harmless and can be left alone.  If the Lipoma affects a nerve, then it becomes more important to seek advice.  These grow anywhere in the skin where there are fat cells.  Shoulders, neck, arms, chest and back are the common sites.  About 1 in 100 patients will develop a Lipoma.   A Lipoma is not dangerous BUT:

  • If it changes in any way, grows back after it has been removed, or begins to feel much harder, see your GP.

SUGGESTION:  If concerned see your GP and tell him / her you are an FAP patient.  Some GPs will remove Lipomas under local anaesthetic. Generally the NHS will not pay for their removal as this is seen as a cosmetic procedure.

 

SUPERNUMERARY TEETH

Also known as Hyperdontia.  This describes a situation where people have additional numbers of teeth.   These teeth are extra to the normal set they already have.

Why this occurs no one is yet certain.  Extra teeth are seen as hereditary and also down to environmental causes.  Patients with FAP & Gardner’s syndrome can have these extra teeth.

A Dentist will advice on the best cause of treatment, as there are different types of Hyperdontia.   Sometimes the extra teeth have a shape similar to the existing normal teeth; in other cases these extra teeth can be malformed.

In cases where there are multiple extra teeth, these teeth can be impacted, stuck in the gum.

SUGGESTION:   Seek Dental advice.  Tell the Dentist you are an FAP patient.  X-Rays will alert the Dentist to the situation.

 

CONGENITAL HYPERTROPHY OF THE RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELILIUM (CHRPE)  A coloured pattern seen on the retina in an eye examination

Imagine your eye which is shaped like a ball, is a ball you are holding in the flat of your hand.   The world can see the front of that ball.   The rest of that ball / your eye is firmly stuck inside your head.   Inside the ball, at the back of the ball, is a very sensitive piece of tissue called the retina.  The retina is stuck to the inside of the ball much like a cinema screen is stuck on a wall.

The retina is a very thin piece of tissue containing millions of sensitive nerve cells that detect light, colour and movement.   All these nerves collect millions of signals every second and send these signals out of the back of the eye, down a cord to the brain which sits inches behind both eye balls.  The brain processes all this information and tells you what you are looking at instantly.

Patients with FAP frequently have markings like freckles on the surface of the retina called CHRPE for short.   An Optician looking at the retina will see these markings.  These markings do not usually damage the retina in any way.   But they do indicate to the examiner the patient could have FAP, or most Opticians will think a Gastroenterology disease.

SUGGESTION:  When your Optician tells you that you have CHRPE (often pronounced chirpy) tell them you are known to have FAP.  If you are not aware you have FAP, go to your GP to arrange a referral to a Gastroenterologist please.

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