Cancer

Should I Be Tested for Lynch Syndrome?

Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition that increases your risk for developing colon cancer and other cancers, like uterine, ovarian and stomach. "We see the variety but the primary cancer is colon," Courtney Rice MS, Licensed Genetic Counselor at TriHealth, tells Local 12's Liz Bonis.

While a variety of inherited syndromes can increase your risk of colon, Lynch syndrome is the most common.

How Does Testing for Lynch Syndrome Work?

It's a simple blood test that looks for an abnormal version of a gene passed down in families that ups the odds of developing colon cancer and some others.

What Does a Lynch Syndrome Diagnosis Mean?

A Lynch syndrome diagnosis isn't meant to cause panic; but instead, empower people to be proactive about their health. In fact, Rice says if you have multiple family members with colon cancer or someone in your family is diagnosed at 50 or younger, you may benefit from genetic testing for Lynch syndrome.

If you're diagnosed, your doctor may recommend getting colonoscopies at a younger age than what's generally recommended for the whole population (every 10 years, starting at age 50).

A colonoscopy is a preventive exam that views the inside of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, which allows your doctor to remove precancerous polyps while screening. This brings the odds of getting colon cancer back down. "The good thing about colon cancer risk is that colonoscopy is very effective at preventing or catching cancers early," Rice points out.

Why Is it Called Lynch Syndrome?

It gets its name from a doctor named Henry Lynch that started noticing a pattern in families.

Sources

Local12.com

Colon Cancer Alliance

Tags Cancer

Last Updated: August 10, 2015