What is Lynch Syndrome?
Lynch syndrome is a condition that makes the sufferer vulnerable to certain types of cancer. Lynch syndrome includes congenital or hereditary diseases. It is usually passed down from parents to children due to the presence of abnormal genes.
Other forms of the syndrome include Muir-Torre syndrome and Turcot syndrome, both of which can trigger the possible risk of developing other cancers, such as Muir-Torre cancer, which is the cause of skin lesion cancer.
People with Lynch syndrome are at high risk of hereditary colorectal (colon) cancer.
It is suspected that at least about 40% to 80% could develop colorectal cancer by the age of 70 years and the possibility of being diagnosed with other cancers such as; uterine, ovarian cancer, or abdominal cancers. The condition does not cover the possibility for those in their 30s and 40s will also develop these cancers.
The way to diagnose Lynch syndrome is quite simple. The doctor will usually ask the patient if they have ever suffered from Lynch syndrome-related diseases such as colon cancer, or gastric tumors, small intestine tumors and others.
From the results of the interview, if the doctor finds any suspicious indications regarding Lynch, it will be done in the next stage of the examination.
Lynch Syndrome Cause
Is lynch syndrome a hereditary disease? This syndrome is a congenital / hereditary disease. Under normal circumstances, the body’s cells have the ability to know and make repairs in case of errors in DNA codes. In lynch syndrome, the affected abnormal genes are unable to correct minor errors in their DNA code.
The accumulation of small errors in the DNA code of these genes can make the body’s cells turn into cancer.
Indeed, there are some other hereditary diseases that can also increase the risk of colon cancer. But lynch syndrome has the greatest risk of colon cancer. Doctors predict that 3 out of 100 cases of colon cancer are caused by this congenital disease.
People with the disease with another name hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) have a risk of 40 to 80 percent to get colon cancer by the age of 70 years. If one of your parents has this disease, then there is a 50 percent chance you have the disease.
Lynch Syndrome Symptoms
People with Lynch syndrome may experience:
- Colon cancer that occurs at a younger age, especially before the age of 50
- Family history of colon cancer that occurs at a young age
- Family history of cancer affecting the uterus (endometrial cancer)
- Family history of other related cancers, including ovarian cancer, kidney cancer, stomach cancer, small intestine cancer, liver cancer, sweat gland cancer (sebaceous carcinoma) and other cancers
When to see a doctor?
If you have concerns about your family history of colon or endometrial cancer, talk to your doctor. Together, you and your doctor may consider conducting a genetic evaluation of your family history and your cancer risk.
If a family member has been diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, tell your doctor. Have a genetic counselor referred. Genetic counselors are trained in genetics and counseling.
They can help you understand Lynch syndrome, what causes it, and what types of treatments are recommended for people who have Lynch syndrome. A genetic counselor can also help you sort out all the information about the disease and help you understand if genetic testing is right for you.
Complications for your health from genetic disorders such as Lynch syndrome may raise other concerns. Genetic counselors are trained to help you navigate areas of your life that may be affected by your diagnosis, such as:
The results of the genetic test will be listed in your medical records, which can be accessed by your insurance company and boss. You may be concerned that being diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome will make it difficult to change jobs or health insurance providers in the future.
The American federal law protects against discrimination. A genetic counselor can explain legal protection.
If you have this syndrome, your children are at risk of inheriting your genetic mutation. What is the chance of inheriting a genetic mutation? If one parent carries a genetic mutation to this syndrome, each child has a 50 percent chance of inheriting that mutation.
The diagnosis of Lynch syndrome has implications for the whole family. You may be worried about the best way to tell a family member that you have genetic testing. A genetic counselor can guide you through this process.