Another lovely day at the lake. I am being completely spoiled up here. We spent a leisurely afternoon floating on the boat. It was just what the doctor ordered. And for tonight we are even having chocolate fondue for dinner! No not for dessert, for dinner. A girl could get use to this! Who are these people who are calling themselves my parents? And where were they when I was a kid?!
I am going to attempt* to answer Aunt Jay's question: "Is there a way to tell if he (Andy) has the gene but that it is dormant in him? In other words, could he pass it along to children without actually having the disease himself?" The good news is Andy cannot have FAP. FAP is characterized by having hundreds of polyps in the colon by the mid twenties. Unfortunately there are other variations of FAP. One being Attenuated FAP (AFAP) The average number of polyps in AFAP is much less (I have read around 30) and the onset is much later (growths start after twenty and turn cancerous around the fifties). Where classic FAP the polyps start growing around puberty and turn cancerous around the thirties. So, if Andy's lonely little polyp does come back at precancerous then he will have to undergo genetic testing to make sure he doesn't have AFAP. As for passing it on, I believe the chance is much less for his future offspring. Instead of the 50% chance with classic FAP it is 5% (or is it 0.5%?? goes ask genetics genius Andy or google it if you need specifics) with AFAP. If Andy's polyp comes back as benign then we know for sure that I am a lonely mutant (yeah aren't mutants suppose to get super powers? Where are mine? Maybe I just haven't discovered them yet. Oh the possibilities!)
There are also other variations of FAP, like Gardner's and Turcot's syndrome. When I go in for my genetics counseling (as soon as I am healed more) I hope to find out if I have one of these known variations. Each variation carry different risks, for example people with Turcot's have a higher risk of brain tumors and Gardner's has a higher risk of thyroid cancer. The good news is if you know you have one of these, then you can undergo screenings so it can all be caught very early.
This is part of the reason I get so pissy when someone says something like "well, now that your colon is out you are cured." No, sorry, wrong answer. I can never be CURED! I will have to live with and carry this disease with me the rest of my life. At the very least I will have to undergo yearly (that is after I graduate from the every 3 months to the every 6 months to the yearly) screenings of both ends of my GI tract. Remember that little (actually not so little at over an inch) time bomb in my duodenum, we still have to keep our eye on that bugger till it comes time for him to be removed.
Ok, climbing off my soap box now.
*I am not a medical professional and I could very well not have a clue what I am talking about. So please ask your doctor or a medical professional or at least google before acting on anything I may say in my blog.