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  • Writer's pictureKim Horner

What Do You Know About Lynch Syndrome?

Changes in BRCA genes aren't the only mutations associated with hereditary cancer.

Inherited mutations in the MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2 and certain mutations in the EPCAM gene are associated with Lynch Syndrome, hereditary non-polyposis collectoral cancer (HNPCC).

Today is Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day. Did you know that:

  • Lynch Syndrome is the most common cause of hereditary colon cancer and also raises the risk for several other types of cancers. CDC

  • One in 279 people have Lynch Syndrome but 95 percent do not know it. (An advocacy organization for people with Lynch Syndrome)

  • People with Lynch Syndrome are more likely to get colorectal cancer and other cancers, and at a younger age (before 50), including uterine (endometrial), stomach, liver, kidney, brain, and certain types of skin cancers depending which mutations they carry. CDC

  • Lynch Syndrome causes about 4,000 colorectal cancers and 1,800 uterine cancers per year. CDC

  • See the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for people with Lynch Syndrome.

Like people with inherited BRCA mutations, people with Lynch Syndrome can get more frequent screenings to detect cancer early. Doctors recommend women with Lynch Syndrome, like women with BRCA and other inherited mutations that can increase the risk of uterine or ovarian cancers, to consider having their uterus and/or ovaries removed after they are done having children or around age 35.

I had a hysterectomy and had my ovaries removed after discovering that I carry a BRCA2 mutation. I hope my book, Probably Someday Cancer, can help others facing these types of agonizing decisions. Order a copy at Amazon for $13.95 hardcover or $13.29 Kindle.

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