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Treatment Cancer

Lynch Syndrome

Based on your family history, genetic testing results and other cancer risk factors, your counselors and doctors will provide you with an individualized risk management program that includes recommendations for cancer screening, prevention and treatment options.

Cancer Screening for People with Lynch Syndrome

If you tested positive for Lynch syndrome, but do not have a cancer diagnosis, or your doctor suspects that you have Lynch syndrome, the following cancer screening plan may be recommended.

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colonoscopy every one to two years, starting at the age of 20 to 25 years (age 30 years in families with a certain mutation known as MSH6) or 10 years younger than the youngest age at diagnosis in the family, whichever comes first.

Endometrial Cancer Screening

While there is no established screening for endometrial cancer at this time, given the high risk of developing the disease in women with Lynch syndrome, the following may be recommended:

  • Endometrial biopsy every year beginning at age 30 to 35. An endometrial biopsy is necessary in women with Lynch syndrome who report abnormal symptoms such as irregular vaginal bleeding or post-menopausal bleeding.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound for endometrial and ovarian cancer every year beginning at age 30 to 35.
  • Urinalysis with cytology every one to two years beginning at age 25 to 35.
  • Detailed medical history and examination, education and counseling regarding Lynch syndrome every year beginning at age 21.

Treatment for Cancer Patients with Lynch Syndrome

Surgery may be recommended to patients with colorectal cancer who test positive for Lynch syndrome in order to prevent additional cancer. For instance, if you have colorectal cancer and test positive for Lynch syndrome, it may be recommended to remove the majority of your colon at the time of your surgery for colon cancer, which would reduce your risk of developing another primary colorectal cancer tumor from 40 percent to 1 percent. Likewise, female patients with colorectal cancer may also want to consider having their uterus and ovaries removed to prevent the occurrence of endometrial and ovarian cancer associated with Lynch syndrome.

Your counselors and doctors can help you decide which treatment option is the best for you.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

Recommended reading

Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Screening

Colorectal cancer, which affects men and women at equally frequent rates, develops from precancerous growths called polyps. Learn more and schedule a screening.

FAQ: Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer

Do you have a family history of cancer? Genetic counselors can help you understand your cancer risk and make recommendations for screening tests and preventive treatments.

Skin Cancer Prevention

Skin cancer is largely preventable, and if caught early, it's usually curable. It's important to take precautions when spending time outdoors. Learn more.

Sunscreen for Skin Cancer Prevention

All sunscreens have a sun protection factor (SPF) rating that indicates how long a sunscreen remains effective on the skin. Learn more.

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