Is Lynch Syndrome Common?

Is Lynch Syndrome Common?

Lynch syndrome involves the mutation of many genes, from which at least one gene is mutated in the patient with Lynch syndrome. Thus, it is the most common inherited cancer risk syndrome which is very closely related to the development of cancer.

Prevalence Of Lynch Syndrome

One of the common inherited syndromes that increase the risk of colon cancer is Lynch syndrome. The people with Lynch syndrome are having 40-80% chance of contracting colon cancer. Further, it has also been estimated that 4-5% of all the colorectal cancer are due to Lynch Syndrome. Also, the Lynch syndrome is responsible for approximately 3% of all the cases of endometrial cancer. Approximately 1 in 370 people are suffering from Lynch disease and the astonishing fact is that the current diagnostic technique missed 1 in every 4 of those suffering from this syndrome. According to a geographical study, the population prevalence of Lynch syndrome was found to be 0.45%. Thus, Lynch syndrome is the most common cause of colorectal cancer and other forms of cancer.

Lynch Syndrome Causes

Lynch syndrome is a genetic disease wherein there is a genetic mutation in the group of genes known as DNA mismatch repair genes. Sometimes, during the DNA synthesis, certain mistake occurs in the DNA. These genes are expressed and repair the mistake. If they are not able to repair the mistake, they encode the protein to destroy the cell thereby preventing the abnormal cell to grow further. Whenever there is any mutation in these DNA repair genes, the cell with mistaken DNA grows, thereby increasing the risk of cancer. Thus, Lynch syndrome is sometimes also referred as Cancer syndrome. The genes which are involved in the occurrence of the Lynch Syndrome are MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2 and EPCAM. These genes are located on the chromosomes, some on same chromosomes and others on different chromosomes. This is a genetic disease which may pass on to the next generation. It is an autosomal dominant trait which means that only a single copy of the faulty gene is required to express the trait. Lynch syndrome does not skip generation. The chances of passing on the disease to next generation are 50:50.

Lynch Syndrome – Prevention From Cancer

The Lynch syndrome is not a cancer rather it is the condition wherein the risk of cancer in the patient increases. Thus, if the proper care and regimen is provided to the patient diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, the progression of the syndrome to cancer can be prevented. Following are the methods implemented to reduce the risk:

Screening: Proper screening and examination of the patient is done in order to check the presence of tumor. This examination should be done periodically. Any abnormal growth in the body should be thoroughly examined for cancer through biopsy. Early the disease is diagnosed; it can be curable with less chances of relapse.

Diet: Various ingredients should be administered in the diet which reduces the chances of cancer. These ingredients include antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10, resveratrol, and green tea extract. Similarly, those ingredients which promote the growth of cancer should be avoided and removed from the diet. These ingredients include spicy food, high carbohydrate and high fat in the diet.

Surgery: In certain case, surgical intervention is required to remove the organ with high risk of cancer. This includes colectomy, hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

Lifestyle: The cancer can be prevented by making necessary adjustment in the lifestyle. The patient of Lynch syndrome should completely avoid drinking, smoking and should perform exercise. Also, the processed red meat should be completely avoided.

Prevention Through Drugs: Various drugs such as aspirin and oral contraceptives are used to prevent the progression of Lynch syndrome to cancer.


5% of all the colorectal cancer and 3% of all the endometrial cancer are linked with Lynch syndrome. Thus, it is the most common inherited syndrome that carries the risk of cancer. Approximately 1 in 370 people are suffering from Lynch disease and the syndrome has a very high risk of progression to colorectal cancer and endometrial cancer.

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