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Top 5 Things to Know about Lynch syndrome

1. Colonoscopies are life savers. Even though individuals with Lynch syndrome are up to 16 times more likely to develop colon cancer compared to the average person, frequent colonoscopy starting at age 20 reduces the chances to develop colon cancer to less than that of the average person. To learn how to prepare for your next colonoscopy listen UCSF gastroenterologist Jonathan Terdiman's podcast titled, "Preparing for your colonoscopy", or visiting our Kintalk podcast library under the Resources tab.

2. Individuals with Lynch Syndrome can develop colon cancer more than once. This means that a new colon cancer can occur in the colon that is completely unrelated to the first one. Regular annual colonoscopy is important for those who have never had cancer, but also for those who have already had a colon cancer diagnosis. To learn more about why we recommend such frequent colonoscopy listen to UCSF gastroenterologist Jonathan Terdiman's podcast titled, "Why do we recommend such frequent colonoscopy in Lynch Syndrome?"or visiting our Kintalk Podcast Library under the Resources tab.

3. Although Lynch syndrome was originally thought to only increase the risk for colon cancer, it is now known that women with Lynch syndrome have just as high of a risk to develop endometrial (uterine) cancer as they do to develop colon cancer. For Lynch syndrome cancer risks click here or visit Kintalk's Overview under the What is Lynch Syndrome tab.

4. Aspirin and birth control pills play a role in reducing the risk for Lynch syndrome associated cancers. For more information go to our Managing Lynch Syndrome page.

5. Lynch syndrome does not skip generations. If your mother or father has Lynch syndrome then you have a 50/50 chance to also have Lynch syndrome. If you test positive then your children have the same 50/50 chance to have inherited Lynch syndrome as well. If you test negative for the known Lynch syndrome mutation in the family then you CANNOT pass on Lynch syndrome to your children. To learn more about inheritance click here or visit Kintalk's Genetics 101.