According to a study, Lynch syndrome is the most common inherited cancer syndrome, affecting as many as 1 in every 370 people in Western countries. Lynch syndrome causes about 4,000 colorectal cancers and 1,800 uterine cancers per year. This condition is a type of inherited cancer syndrome associated with a genetic predisposition to different cancer types. Lynch syndrome is diagnosed by DNA analysis and genetic testing.
What is Lynch Syndrome?
Lynch syndrome, also known as "hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer", is a type of inherited cancer syndrome associated with a genetic predisposition to different cancer types.
Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition that increases a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer and other forms of cancer.
The signs and symptoms of this condition may include:
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
Lynch syndrome is a genetic disorder and it occurs when a person inherits a mutated gene. Lynch syndrome happens as a result of inherited changes in genes that affect DNA mismatch repair.
Lynch syndrome is caused by a harmful change (mutation) in one of five genes: MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, or EPCAM. The most common mutations occur in MLH1 and MSH2. Lynch syndrome runs in families in an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern. This implies that if one parent carries a gene mutation for Lynch syndrome, there's a 50 percent chance that mutation will be passed on to each child. However, not everyone with Lynch syndrome will get cancer.
More about Treatment
Certain people are prone to be affected by the condition considering the following factors:
- Colorectal or endometrial cancer diagnosis before the age of 50.
- Diagnosis of colorectal or any other cancer associated with Lynch syndrome.
- A family history of colon cancer that occurs at a young age
- A family history of other related cancers, including ovarian cancer, kidney cancer, stomach cancer, small intestine cancer, liver cancer, sweat gland cancer, and other cancers
The main complication of Lynch syndrome is colorectal cancer. However individuals can also develop noncancerous colon polyps and if ignored, colon polyps can cause the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
Lynch syndrome is diagnosed by DNA analysis and genetic testing and this is done after a review of the individual's personal and family medical history to determine their likelihood of having lynch syndrome.
The type of treatment for Lynch syndrome varies and it depends on whether a person shows signs of colorectal cancer. The specific treatment will depend on the stage of diagnosis and the patient’s overall health.
- Regular colonoscopies and cancer screenings are carried out on people who have Lynch syndrome but have not developed cancer. Prophylactic colectomy (removal of the colon before colon cancer develops) is also an option.
The following treatments are available for people who have Lynch syndrome and have developed colorectal cancer.
Polypectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of cancerous polyps lining the colon.
Colectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing all or part of the colon as well as any affected lymph nodes.
Ablation is a procedure that involves the use of radiofrequency waves, including microwaves, to destroy small tumors.
Cryosurgery is a procedure that involves the use of a thin metal probe to administer cold gas to the surface of a tumor to kill the cancer cells.
Embolization is a technique that involves the use of a thin tube inserted into an artery to block the flow of blood to a large tumor
- What causes Lynch Syndrome?
Lynch syndrome is caused by a harmful change (mutation) in one of five genes: MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, or EPCAM. The most common mutations occur in MLH1 and MSH2.
- Is Lynch Syndrome hereditary?
Yes, Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition that increases a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer and other forms of cancer.
- Does having Lynch syndrome mean I will have cancer?
No, not everyone with Lynch syndrome will get cancer.
- What are the Signs of Lynch Syndrome?
Having colon cancer before that age of 50 is a possible sign of Lynch syndrome. Also, another sign that may suggest a risk of Lynch syndrome is if people in your family had colon cancer when they were young.
- What are the treatment options for Lynch syndrome
Treatment for Lynch syndrome varies depending on whether the patient has colon cancer. Lynch syndrome can be treated via:
- Chemotherapy and
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