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The significance of multiple hyperplastic polyps in relation to the risk of colon cancer is unknown although recent investigation suggests a causative link. We have prospectively identified a small but distinct group of patients that also suggests an association. These patients have either numerous (usually more than twenty, in sites other than the rectosigmoid alone) or large (greater than 1 cm) hyperplastic polyps, in association with either adenomatous polyps, polyps of mixed pathology or carcinoma of the colon and rectum. Additionally, there is frequently a first or second degree family history of colorectal carcinoma.