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New analysis provides clearer picture of cancer risks associated with Lynch syndrome
Date:2/14/2012

People with Lynch syndrome have a genetic mutation that gives them a high risk of several types of cancer including bowel cancer. The genes that are damaged can't repair any errors that occur in our DNA.

The study, which has been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, confirmed the increased risk of cancers already known to be associated with Lynch syndrome, including colon, uterus, ovary, kidney, stomach, and bladder cancers. They also found those with Lynch syndrome faced a moderately increased risk of developing breast and pancreatic cancer.

The researchers, led by Dr Aung Ko Win, and Associate Professor Mark Jenkins, at The University of Melbourne's School of Population Health, followed 450 people with a mutation in one of the four mismatch repair genes associated with Lynch syndrome, and more than 1000 of their relatives who were not carriers of these mutations. Study participants were evaluated every five years at recruitment centres affiliated with the Colon Cancer Family Registry in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US.

After five years, those with Lynch syndrome had a 20-fold greater risk of colorectal cancer; a 30-fold greater risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer; a 19-fold higher risk of ovarian cancer; an 11-fold greater risk of kidney cancer; a 10-fold greater risk of pancreatic, stomach, and bladder cancers; and a four-fold greater risk of breast cancer. People with Lynch syndrome also tended to be diagnosed with these cancers at an earlier age than people in the general population.

The researchers said their findings regarding breast cancer were unexpected. They said further studies were needed to determine if ages at mammographic screening or methods such as use of MRI should be recommended for people with Lynch syndrome. Currently, individuals with Lynch syndrome typically undergo colonoscopy at an earlier age than the general population, but no other special screening regimens have been agre
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Contact: Annie Rahilly
arahilly@unimelb.edu.au
61-390-355-380
University of Melbourne
Source:Eurekalert

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