December 12. 2013 12:01AM
Report: Screen uterine cancer patients for Lynch syndrome
A review by the researchers of current scientific evidence that warrants screening all endometrial cancers for Lynch syndrome is to be published in the January 2014 issue of the journal Clinical Chemistry.
"The reason is that there is a push to identify people with Lynch syndrome is twofold," Eleanor Riggs, a genetic counselor at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center's Familial Cancer Program, said Wednesday. "If someone with colon cancer has Lynch syndrome they are at risk for other cancers. … The second reason is for the family, because if you find out if someone has Lynch syndrome then all their first-degree relatives have a 50 percent chance of also having the condition."
A colon cancer patient's tumor is first tested for the presence or absence of the proteins that form the four possible genes that cause Lynch syndrome, Riggs said. If found the patient then meets with a genetic counselor like Riggs for further testing and possibly family testing.
Lynch syndrome also points to a predisposition to other cancers such as uterine, ovarian, stomach, pancreatic, urinary tract, kidney and biliary tract, Riggs said.
While the general population risk for uterine cancer is 1.5 to 2 percent, those with Lynch syndrome carry a lifetime risk of 25 to 60 percent.
If the patient is found to have Lynch syndrome, their family members can also be tested for the syndrome and take measures to ultimately reduce their risk for getting cancer, she said.