What Are The First Symptoms Of Lynch Syndrome?

What Are The First Symptoms Of Lynch Syndrome?

There are no first symptoms for Lynch syndrome. Lynch syndrome (LS) or Hereditary Non-polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) does not cause any specific symptoms, but people with Lynch syndrome are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, endometrial (womb) cancer, ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, small bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney & urinary tract cancer, sebaceous gland cancer, liver & bile ducts cancer. Symptoms of these cancers can manifest in patients with Lynch syndrome. In this article, I will be talking about symptoms of some of the cancers.

What Are The First Symptoms Of Lynch Syndrome?

Approximately 3% to 5% of all cases of colorectal cancer & 2% to 3% of all cases of endometrial cancer are thought to be due to Lynch syndrome.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancers are usually occur in people older than 50. But people who have lynch syndrome tend to develop colorectal cancers before the age of 50, at around 40 years. According to 2018 statistics colorectal cancer is the second highest cancer in women & third in men

If you have lynch syndrome or if you have a family history colon cancer that occur at a younger age, its best you are aware about the following symptoms, if any of these symptoms occur you need to consult your doctor for further management.

  • Blood mixed with stools – this is the usual symptoms of colorectal cancer but even on stools, sometimes can be a symptom of colorectal cancer
  • Tenesmus – painful straining to defecate without resultant stools
  • Sense of incomplete evacuation
  • Alteration of bowel habits – constipation with spurious diarrhea
  • Blood & mucus diarrhea
  • Change in bowel habits – any change from the normal bowel habits.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight

Endometrial Cancer

Women with lynch syndrome needs to be cautious about endometrial cancer. It is the second commonest cancer that lynch syndrome people are increased risk & sometimes the risk is as same as colorectal cancer. If you have any of the following symptoms consult your doctor

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge – this can be heavy bleeding associated with menstruation (periods), bleeding in-between menstruation, bleeding after menopause
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, back or knees
  • Pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse

Ovarian Cancer

  • Ovarian cancer symptoms are very non-specific.
  • Changes in menstruation
  • Increased abdominal girth
  • A more frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • indigestion or abdominal bloating, nausea
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Pressure in the pelvis or lower back
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Heartburn
  • Persistent indigestion
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling full after eating small amounts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Melena – black, tarry stools (due to blood leaking from upper gastrointestinal tract & mixing with stools)

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer will not give rise to early symptoms, the below mentioned symptoms present in the late stages.

  • Hematuria – blood in your urine
  • Persistent back pain – just below the ribs

Pancreatic Cancer

  • Like in kidney cancers symptoms does not occur until the tumor is advanced.
  • Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to your back
  • Depression
  • New-onset diabetes
  • Blood clots
  • Fatigue
  • Yellowing of your skin & the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of weight

Summary

Lynch syndrome (LS) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) does not have symptoms, it is a genetic mutation that is either inherited or acquired, which increase their risk of getting certain types of cancer mostly at a younger age. Lynch syndrome people are at increased risk of getting these cancers colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, stomach, small bowel, kidney, urinary tract, & pancreatic, liver, bile duct & sebaceous gland cancers. The important message is if you have lynch syndrome, you should be vigilant about the above cancers & if you get any symptoms of any of the cancers you should consult your doctor. Also you should do regular screening tests to detect cancers at an early stage.

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