JPS is a type of polyposis syndrome where the genes in the gastrointestinal tract mutate causing polyps to develop everywhere along the lining of the tract. Where there is no one-off cure for this condition, treatment can be given which largely consist of surgery.
The word “Juvenile” in the medical context, doesn’t refer to the age of out-of-control teenagers but rather to the way the polyps under the microscope when observed.
“Polyposis syndrome”, however, occurs when there is a mutation in a certain gene, responsible for the growth of the cells of the intestine, causing them to divide more than is needed.
What Is Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome?
Juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS) is a type of polyposis syndrome and a genetic disorder characterized by the presence of hamartomas polyps along the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It could occur anywhere on the gastrointestinal tract ranging from the stomach to the rectum. Juvenile polyposis syndrome occurs in about 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 160,000 people. Most people may start developing symptoms of JPS at age 20 years old.
What are Harmartomas Polyps?
Hamartomas are used to describe noncancerous (benign) masses of normal tissue accumulating along the gastrointestinal tract which could be in the intestines, mostly in the left colon, sigmoid colon, or rectum, or other places. This accumulated tissue mass is called polyps if they are found inside a body structure, like the intestines. Polyps are most common in colorectal conditions, found in 15 – 20 per cent of the adult. It can lead to cancer, although it in itself is not cancerous.
Risk Factors of Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome (JPS)
You are more likely to have JPS if you are exposed to these factors:
- History of polyps
- Presence of colon or rectal cancer In the family
- Presence of polyps in the family
- Lack of exercise
- Alcohol and smoking
Complications of JPS
- Abdominal pain
- Bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract
- Bowel construction
Diagnosis of Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome (JPS)
First, you are asked certain questions about the symptoms and family medical record to check if it fits into any of the following categories such as:
- If there are more than 5 juvenile polyps of the intestine
- Cases of multiple juvenile polyps along the digestive tract
- If there are any number of juvenile polyps in the family history
- A blood test and stool test are done to look for the mutation. However, it’s possible for the blood test to be negative yet there is the presence of juvenile polyps, hence, there is a need for a specialist on genetic disease and condition.
- People with JPS family history should perform a colonoscopy or upper endoscopy at an earlier age of 15 years, at the first sign of a symptom, before 20 years, and also at age 9 to 11 for a family with a high risk of JSP. If results out negative, it is advised to be carried out again every 1 to 3 years,
- People who have large numbers of polyps that are too big to be removed with endoscopy will require surgery to remove part of the colon or stomach.
- Examination of the colon using Barium Enema x-ray technique, which involves the use of a barium solution inserted into the colon through the anus to cover the colon lining, then pictures are taken.:
Treatment of Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome
It can be treated using the following method
- The Endoscope; a method also called a “polypectomy”, is used to remove the polyps.
- Surgery is needed when polyps are too large or too many. sometimes also when there appears to be a risk for cancer.
However, there is no apparent cure for polyps.
Prevention of JPS
Although the exact means of prevention is yet to be known, there are still some habit change and lifestyles that reduce the risk of JPS
- Make a habit of eating more fruits
- Reduce your taking of fatty foods
- Avoid adding too much weight
- Avoid alcohol
- Exercise more often
- Eat more food rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt, etc.
- Rectum bleeding
- Stooling with blood
- Abdominal pains and cramps
- Weight loss
- In extreme cases, the polyps may be visible at the rectum
The cause of Juvenile polyposis syndrome can be traced to a mutation in the gene that controls the development of the gastrointestinal tract, and also affects the way the gene may work together and could may the tissues of the gastrointestinal tract to grow abnormally leading to the formation of Polyps. It is a genetic disorder that can be passed from one generation(parents) to another(child) in the family. Research has shown that 75% of people with JPS are inherited while 25% is not inherited but occurs during child development.
- What causes polyposis?
Polyposis occurs when there is a mutation in a certain gene, responsible for the growth of the cells of the intestine, causing them to divide more than is needed.
- Can Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome lead to cancer?
Juvenile polyps, in itself, are not large but it can grow larger and become cancerous. People with JSP, research has shown, has a 10 to 15% probability of having the polyps coming cancerous, resulting in gastrointestinal cancer.
- How fast does Juvenile Polyposis grow?
Juvenile polyps tend to grow graduate and its transition period(of developing into cancer) is estimated, maybe an average of 10 years. Current evidence from the heyday of barium enema examinations shows that the rate of growth of most polyps Is slow.
- What foods cause polyps?
Foods that can cause polyps to include:
- Fatty foods, such as fried foods.
- Red meat, such as beef and pork.
- Processed meat, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and lunch meats.
- What happens when JSP is left untreated?
When Juvenile polyposis is left untreated it could lead to serious complication such as bowel obstruction, gastrointestinal bleeding, and cancer