Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lynch Syndrome

What is Lynch syndrome?

Lynch syndrome, often called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), is a type of inherited cancer of the digestive tract, particularly the colon (large intestine) and rectum. People with Lynch syndrome have an increased risk of cancers of the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder ducts, upper urinary tract, brain, skin, and prostate. Women with this disorder also have a high risk of cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) and ovaries. Even though the disorder was originally described as not involving noncancerous (benign) growths (polyps) in the colon, people with Lynch syndrome may occasionally have colon polyps. In individuals with this disorder, colon polyps occur at an earlier age than in the general population. Although the polyps do not occur in greater numbers than in the general population, they are more likely to become cancerous.

How common is Lynch syndrome?

In the United States, about 160,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year. Approximately 2 percent to 7 percent of these cancers are caused by Lynch syndrome.

What genes are related to Lynch syndrome?

Variations in the MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 genes increase the risk of developing Lynch syndrome.

All of these genes are involved in the repair of mistakes made when DNA is copied (DNA replication) in preparation for cell division. Mutations in any of these genes prevent the proper repair of DNA replication mistakes. As the abnormal cells continue to divide, the accumulated mistakes can lead to uncontrolled cell growth and possibly cancer. Although mutations in these genes predispose individuals to cancer, not all people who carry these mutations develop cancerous tumors.

How do people inherit Lynch syndrome?

Lynch syndrome cancer risk is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which means one inherited copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to increase cancer risk. It is important to note that people inherit an increased risk of cancer, not the disease itself. Not all people who inherit mutations in these genes will develop cancer.

11 comments:

  1. I haven't heard about this disease and so don't have much knowledge. You have explained everything but one thing that I would like to know is that are there any preventive measures for this disease.

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  2. There is nothing to prevent you have having this genetic disease; however, if you know you have it (can confirm this with genetic testing) you can have certain life saving preventative screenings to prevent Cancers or at least catch them early.

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  3. Well, the real thing is that I don’t know much about that. But I just read some important things here that can help me to understand the Lynch syndrome better. Thanks!!

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  4. Its my pleasure to look at your page and to enjoy your excellent topics, I appreciate it very much. I feel great that about these articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful.Yes and I agree with suggestion.

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  5. I found your article very interesting and useful. I really appreciate your effort you have put in. Great Work.

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  6. Wow, nice and informative information you share in this post.Thanks for sharing this post.

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  7. Lynch syndrome have an increased risk of cancers of the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder ducts, upper urinary tract, brain, skin, and prostate. It's really good information.

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  8. I have Lynch syndrome. I am a 48 year old female in good shape.I had endometrial cancer at 36 and colon cancer at 41. Both were detected early and in stage 1 and successfully removed. I am grateful for early detection and pray for more research. I now and have concerns of where will the next cancer be. Early detection is key. Thank you for the posts. My father died at 67 and his father at 54 and the family history is startling. Most family members that are affected have more than one cancer and usually lose the battle in 60's or earlier. Every day is a gift.

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    1. Dear Anonymous
      I read your post and it brought tears to my eyes because I know exactly how you feel. Each day is a gift. My family history is startling too and the nearest of my relatives with Lynch Syndrome included my brother (41), my Mum (50), Mum's sister (55), Mum's cousin, Mum's mother - her father and three of his siblings. On my father's side we lost my father, his mother, and his father to cancer. So if the Lynch doesn't get me, the increased risk from my father's side may!! I've had precancerous cells of the cervix, cysts in my ovaries, endometriosis twice and colon polyps. Hence, I've had a full hysterectomy and colonoscopies every other year. I've reached 47 and am grateful for all the research that goes into genetic testing. Hopefully further knowledge will save my children when they reach their 30s/40s. Keep living - you are not alone x x

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