#43 Lynch Syndrome
March is colorectal cancer awareness day and March 22nd is Lynch Syndrome awareness day! Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), more commonly known as Lynch syndrome, is an inherited condition that greatly increases the risk of many cancers, most notably colorectal cancer. This condition also increases the risk for other cancers such as endometrial, ovarian, and gastric cancer. Cancers that have a less severe risk increase include hepatobiliary tract, urinary tract, small bowel, pancreatic, brain/central nervous system, and sebaceous neoplasms.
Not all people with Lynch syndrome have the same elevated risks. Risk levels depend on which gene(s) have mutations. Lynch syndrome is caused by mutations in the following genes,MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, and/or EPCAM. This paper will explore the differing risks of types of cancers between genes along with how those gene variants are identified and measures that can be taken to reduce those risks. To learn more about Lynch Syndrome you can go to the Genetics Home Reference at ghr.nlm.nih.gov. Hear from Lynch syndrome patient, Georgia Hurst, who is also an advocate and has her own support group, "I Have Lynch Syndrome" on episode 25.