Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome (JPS) | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is juvenile polyposis syndrome diagnosed?

Patients are tested for juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS) by performing a colonoscopy, a procedure in which a long, flexible tube with a light and camera on the end goes inside the rectum and up into the large intestine. An upper GI endoscopy is often performed simultaneously. This procedure also uses a long, flexible tube that examines the esophagus, stomach and small intestine.

Another way to test for JPS is by genetic testing of the SMAD4 or BMPR1A gene.

Should my child be screened for JPS?

Children should be tested for JPS if they have a family history of JPS, colon cancer at a young age or are showing any of the symptoms.

An initial test for JPS should be performed:

  • by 8 to 10 years old for high-risk family history
  • by 15 years old for an average-risk child
  • at the time of first symptoms

Average and high-risk are determined based on family history or known high-risk gene mutations.

What are the treatment options for JPS?

Most polyps are treated by removing them with an endoscope, a procedure known as a polypectomy. But when the polyps are very large or there too many, or if they present a risk for cancer, then surgery may be necessary.

There is no cure for JPS. Treatment reduces complications, such as abdominal pain, bowel obstruction, GI bleeding and cancer.