People with Lynch syndrome may experience:
- Colon cancer that occurs at a younger age, especially before age 50
- A family history of colon cancer that occurs at a young age
- A family history of cancer that affects the uterus (endometrial cancer)
- A 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, bring it up with your doctor. Discuss getting a genetic evaluation of your family history and your cancer risk.
If a family member has been diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, tell your doctor. Ask to be referred to a genetic counselor. Genetic counselors are trained in genetics and counseling. They can help you understand Lynch syndrome, what causes it and what type of care is recommended for people who have Lynch syndrome. A genetic counselor can also help you sort through all the information and help you understand whether genetic testing is appropriate for you.
Mar. 13, 2015
- Genetics of colorectal cancer (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/genetics/colorectal/healthprofessional. Accessed Feb. 17, 2015.
- Lindor NM, et al. Concise handbook of familial cancer susceptibility syndromes. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs. 2008;38:1.
- Genetic/familial high-risk assessment: Colorectal. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Feb. 17, 2015.
- Lindor NM, et al. Recommendations for the care of individuals with an inherited predisposition to Lynch syndrome: A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2006;296:1507.
- Giardiello FM, et al. Guidelines on genetic evaluation and management of Lynch syndrome: A consensus statement by the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. Gastroenterology. 2014;147:502.
- Syngal S, et al. ACG clinical guideline: Genetic testing and management of hereditary gastrointestinal cancer syndromes. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2015;110:223.
- AskMayoExpert. Lynch syndrome. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Making sense of your genes: A guide to genetic counseling. Genetic Alliance. http://www.geneticalliance.org/publications/guidetogeneticcounseling. Accessed Feb. 17, 2015.
- Lynch HT, et al. Milestones of Lynch syndrome: 1895-2015. Nature Reviews Cancer. http://www.nature.com/nrc/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nrc3878.html. Accessed Feb. 17, 2015.
- Thibodeau SN, et al. Microsatellite instability in cancer of the proximal colon. Science. 1993;260:816.
- Vasen HF, et al. Revised guidelines for the clinical management of Lynch syndrome (HNPCC): Recommendations by a group of European experts. Gut. 2013; 62:812.
- Burn J, et al. Long-term effect of aspirin on cancer risk in carriers of hereditary colorectal cancer: An analysis from the CAPP2 randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2011;378:2081.
- Lindor NM. Lynch syndrome 101 (years, that is). American Society of Clinical Oncology. http://meetinglibrary.asco.org/content/114000027-144. Accessed Feb. 20, 2015.
- Lindor NM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. Feb. 19, 2015.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.