Lynch syndrome is the most common cause of hereditary colorectal cancer. This syndrome results from changes in your genetic makeup that can allow cancerous cells to grow more easily.

Lynch syndrome increases your risk of colorectal cancer. You can also experience other cancer types with this syndrome, including, but not limited to, The brain., and The person has a kidneys cancers.

Identifying the syndrome can be a key to establishing a cancer screening plan.

Read on to learn more about Lynch syndrome, including how it is diagnosed and what the long-term outlook is.

“Lynch syndrome doesn’t cause a specific set of symptoms It increases your risk of certain cancer.”

The cancer most often associated with Lynch syndrome is colorectal cancer. This type often begins as a polyp, a small growth in the colon.

Symptoms associated with colorectal cancer can be present.

  • Your stool has blood in it.
  • Changes in your stools are common.
  • “It doesn’t go away on its own or get better with treatment.”
  • unexplained weight loss

If you start to notice any of the symptoms, you should see a doctor.

Lynch syndrome is a hereditary condition, which means that you inherit certain genetic changes from one or both of your parents. The genes that are affected by these are those that help protect your organs.

You can receive a mutated copy of one of the genes typically involved in Lynch syndrome (MLHL, MSH2, MSH6, The second part of the book, called “PMS2.”, and EPCAM) from your biological mother or father. Typically, you’ll also have a non-mutated copy of that gene from the other parent.

If you have a certain type of genetic abnormality, it can increase your risk of cancer in the colon.

Lynch syndrome increases your risk of experiencing multiple cancer types before age 50. Along with colorectal cancer, Lynch syndrome can increase a person’s risks of cancers that affect the:

Lynch syndrome causes an estimated 4,200 colorectal cancers and 1,800 uterine (endometrial) cancers annually.

“It is important to gather your family’s history of cancer. If your family members have had colorectal or endometrial cancer at an early age, it is possible that they have Lynch syndrome genes.”

Sharing this information with a doctor can help you assess your risk and determine if you should get genetic or diagnostic testing.

Doctors can diagnose Lynch syndrome through genetic (blood) testing. Through these tests, doctors can identify mutations in one of the following genes:

  • MLH1
  • MSH2
  • MSH6
  • The second part of the book, called “PMS2.”
  • EPCAM deletion

A doctor will consider a diagnosis of Lynch syndrome if a person has a tumor that is associated with the condition.

If you have a relative with Lynch syndrome or a relative that also developed cancer at a young age, your doctor may test for Lynch syndrome if you are diagnosed with colorectal or endometrial cancer before 50.

There is no cure for Lynch syndrome. If you have also been diagnosed with cancer, treatment for Lynch syndrome depends on when you are detected.

If you have Lynch syndrome, you will likely be required to follow a plan that includes:

  • Colon cancer surveillance. You’ll usually begin undergoing a colonoscopy at regular intervals. This is a test that examines the lining of your colon for pre-cancerous polyps using a thin, lighted tube with a camera on the end. These will typically start at age 20 or 25. These tests may start earlier if you had a family member diagnosed at a young age. You will repeat these tests every year or every two years.
  • Endometrial or ovarian cancer surveillance. If you have a The uterus., a doctor may recommend yearly transvaginal ultrasounds to look for tumors, along with a yearly biopsy of your endometrial lining. When you’re older, your doctor may also recommend preventatively removing your The uterus., ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
  • Gastric cancer surveillance. You may have regular upper endoscopies to examine the lining of your esophagus and The stomach., starting around age 30. This is especially important if you have a family history of gastric cancer or if you’re of Asian ancestry, which increases risk.

It is important to create a plan with a doctor, but also to avoid lifestyle factors that could increase your risk of cancer. These risk factors include:

Eating a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity can help reduce these risks.

A person with Lynch syndrome has an estimated 80 percent lifetime risk of colorectal cancer and a 60 percent lifetime risk for endometrial cancer, which is why identifying Lynch syndrome by genetic testing is important.

If a doctor discovers a gene abnormality associated with Lynch syndrome or if you are diagnosed with cancer caused by Lynch syndrome, the part of your body where the abnormality occurs can affect your outlook.

Here are some examples:

  • People with MLH1 and MHS2 variants tend to have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to other variants. Doctors also tend to diagnose colorectal cancer patients with these variants at a younger age.
  • The risks for gastric and small bowel cancer for those with MLH1 or MSH2 variants range from 8 to 16 percent but is significantly lower for those with MSH6 or The second part of the book, called “PMS2.” variants.
  • Those with Lynch syndrome who experienced a The brain. tumor primarily had the MSH2 variant.

If you have Lynch syndrome and have had colorectal cancer, the risks of your cancer recurring can be high. Recurrence is estimated to be around 23 percent for people who have had a portion of cancerous colon tissue removed.

Lynch syndrome can cause colorectal and other cancers.

If you have a relative that was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a young age or has Lynch syndrome, talk to a doctor about your risks.

A doctor may recommend genetic testing or further tests to look for genetic defects that may be linked to Lynch syndrome, as well as other factors that may put you at risk of developing cancer.