Familial GI Cancers Unit

Events at the FGICR

Check again later for new events.

Web Links

We offer the following selection of links to help you find more information and support. We do our best to ensure this list is up to date but do not take responsibility for the content of each site.

General Medical Links


Lets you find references to scientific articles on any medical topic.

Ostomy Canada

Information and support for people who have an ileostomy or colostomy.

Cancer Links


An excellent site for cancer patients and their families including information, support and lots of links to cancer-related sites.

Canadian Cancer Society

Programs for Canadian cancer patients and their families.

Cancer Care Ontario

The provincial agency that oversees all regional cancer centres in Ontario, as well as the "Ontario Cancer Genetics Network".


Information and support about childhood cancers.

Colorectal Cancer
of Canada

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting colorectal cancer patients, their families and caregivers.

NCI Cancer

The National Cancer Institute (USA) has a wealth of information on every type of cancer for both patients and health professionals.

Mount Sinai's Family
Medicine Genetics

This site offers clinical genetic information and resources.

Genetics Links



The National Society of Genetic Counsellors has information about the genetic counselling profession, including how to find genetic counselling services near you.


A support and information network for people and families with rare diseases.


The following are commonly used terms when talking about Familial Gastrointestinal Cancer.



Adenoma - A precancerous polyp.

Anemia - low red blood cell count.

Antibodies - Protein substances developed by the body, usually in response to something which is either introduced into the body or formed within the body such as bacteria, foreign blood cells, or cancer cells.

Arteriovenous malformation - larger abnormal blood vessels which may develop in the lungs or brain.


Barium Enema - X-ray in which a mixture of a chalk-like substance and air are injected through the anus to outline the bowel.

Biopsy - Removal of a small piece of tissue for examination under the microscope.


CAT-scan - Computerized axial tomography, unlike a conventional x-ray, beams radiation around the patient, processes the information by computer and sends a detailed cross-section of the body area being checked onto a television screen. Permanent copies of the images are made by transferring them onto sheets of x-ray film. For example, when examining the abdomen, minor differences in tissue density can be measured by recording the degree of x-ray absorption. A colourless dye is usually injected to enhance the image and highlight the blood vessels.

Chromosome - From the Greek words "chroma," or colour and "stoma," or body, a microscopic body which develops from the nuclear material of the cell and contains hereditary determiners.

Colectomy - Surgical removal of the large bowel.

Colon - Large bowel, about 1.5 meters or 5 feet long.

Colonoscope - Flexible tube with an optical system to examine the large bowel and a snare to remove tissue for examination under the microscope.

Colonoscopy - The insertion of a fibre optic flexible tube into the rectum to examine and biopsy 1.5 meters or 59 inches of the large bowel.

Colostomy - An artificial opening in the large bowel (colon) to eliminate waste.


Dermatologist - Doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the skin.

Desmoid tumour - Fibrous noncancerous growth which may occur, most commonly in the abdomen, abdominal wall, shoulder, or thigh.

DNA - Complex protein which is arranged as two long chains twisted around each other; the chemical basis of heredity and the carrier of genetic information.

Duodenum - First part of the small intestine, about 25 cm or 10 inches long.


Endometrium - Lining of the uterus.

Enterostomal Therapist - A registered nurse specially educated to provide physical and psychological support to patients with a stoma.

Extracolonic Manifestations - Associated growths, both benign and malignant, which may develop outside the large bowel; formerly called Gardner's syndrome.


FAP - Familial adenomatous polyposis is an inherited disease of the gastrointestinal tract with 100 or more precancerous polyps.

Flexible Sigmoidoscope - fibre optic tube to examine the rectum and lower part of the bowel, about 60 cm or 2 feet long. A snare can be passed through the tube to remove tissue for examination under the microscope.


Gastrointestinal Tract - The digestive system includes the windpipe, stomach, small intestine, and large bowel.

Gastroscopy - flexible tube with an optical system to examine the stomach and first part of the small intestine and a snare to remove tissue.

Gene - Basic unit of heredity which determines individual characteristics.

Germline - blood DNA.


Hamartoma - A polyp resulting from new growth of blood vessels.

Helicobacter pylori - bacteria found in the stomach and intestinal tract.

Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer Syndrome - genetic form of stomach cancer.

Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia - genetic disorder which affects the development of blood vessels.

Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer - see HNPCC.

Histology - microscopic study of tissue.

HNPCC - Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer is an inherited disease in which people are at increased risk of cancer of the large bowel, endometrium, and other associated cancers.


Ileorectal Anastomosis - Removal of the large bowel, joining the last part of the small intestine to the rectum.

Ileum - Last part of the small intestine, about 4 meters or 13 feet long.

Ileostomy - An opening is created from the last part of the small intestine through the abdominal wall for the removal of body waste.


Juvenile Polyposis - An inherited disease of the gastrointestinal tract with from 5 to 500 polyps which are generally an overgrowth of normal tissue but may be precancerous. There is an increased risk of birth defects involving the bowel, heart, or central nervous system.


Kock Pouch - An internal abdominal reservoir with a nipple valve which holds feces inside the reservoir as it fills so that no waste matter can escape to the outside of the body between discharges.


Laparotomy - Surgical opening of the abdomen.

Lobular breast cancer – specific kind of cancer which forms in the lobules of the breast.

Lynch syndrome – genetic disorder in which people are at increased risk of cancer of the large bowel, endometrium, and other associated cancers.


Metastasize - Movement of cancer cells from one part of the body to another, for example, from the bowel to the liver, lung, or brain.

Mismatch repair genes - genes that detect and repair “spelling” mistakes that occur during DNA replication.

Morbidity - State of being sick.

Mutation - A change or fault in a gene which occurs when DNA is being copied so that a slightly different gene is formed. This change is preserved and copied identically thereafter.

MYH-Associated Polyposis - genetic disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by 10 or more precancerous polyps in the colon.


Ophthalmologist - Doctor who specializes in the treatment of disorders of the eye, unlike an optometrist who is skilled in testing eyesight and prescribing corrective lenses or an optician who sells/makes optical materials.

Ovaries - Two female reproductive glands producing ova or eggs after puberty.


Pelvic Pouch - Removal of the large bowel and lining of the rectum, leaving the underlying anal muscles. The last part of the small intestine is joined to the anus and an internal reservoir is created in the pelvis.

Penetrance - The frequency of expression of a particular form of a gene occurring in a population.

Peritoneum - Membrane over abdominal organs and lining the abdominal cavity.

Peutz-Jeghers syndrome - An inherited disease of the gastrointestinal tract with up to several dozen tree-like branching polyps which often cause cramping, colicky pain, rectal bleeding, or persistent tiredness and lack of energy. Small dark freckles may be present around the lips, inside of the cheek, fingertips, or toes and may fade over time. There is an increased risk of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, ovary, breast, or testicles.

Placebo - An inactive substance given to a group of patients for a controlled study. A similar group receives the drug being tested. The results obtained in the two groups are compared.

Polyp - Small mushroom-shaped growths that are noncancerous.

Proctocolectomy - Surgical removal of the colon, rectum, and anus.


Retina - Innermost part of the eye which receives an image formed by the lens and is the immediate instrument of vision.


Sebaceous Adenoma - Refers to oily fatty matter from a blocked gland. The gland continues to secrete until a tumour forms. The size of the tumour may range from a marble to a hen's egg.

Side-viewing Endoscope - Flexible tube with an optical system for examining the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine.

Sporadic – not inherited from parents.

Stoma - Artificially created opening between the intestine and the body's surface.

Syndrome - A group of signs and symptoms that collectively describe a particular disease.


Telangiectasia - abnormal blood vessels.


Information Guides

A listing of informative booklets exploring and explaining diseases such as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC) syndrome.

Please be advised that all educational resources are provided by individual Registries.

This information does not reflect national or regional standards of care.


Understanding Lynch Syndrome


FAP - A Guide for Families


Colon Cancer
Can Run In The Family


Lynch Syndrome (Chinese)


Lynch Syndrome (Danish)


FAP (Danish)


Familial Adenomatous
Polyposis (FAP) (Hebrew)


Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC) (Hebrew)


An Introduction to PJS


Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC) (Swedish)


The Familial Gastrointestinal Registry offers the following resources:

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Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex. Copyright © 1997 - 2017.
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