Lynch Syndrome UK

Does Cancer Run in Your Family?

Does it seem like a lot of your family have had cancer? Is there a pattern of successive generations having similar forms of it? Maybe you have had cancer yourself and felt as if you were relatively young in comparison to the rest of the patients? If so your family may have a hereditary cancer syndrome. There are several of these - inherent in the DNA you were born with - that could predispose you to a greater chance of having a cancer during your lifetime than the general population.

Lynch Syndrome is only one of these (there are multiple others) but each will produce a differing pattern of cancers. The more common cancers that may have a hereditary element are:

Colon (large bowel), rectal (anal), endometrial (womb), ovarian, breast, stomach, bladder, kidney, pancreatic, prostrate, small bowel, stomach.

There is a general rule of 3 people affected across 2 generations with 1 under the age of 50.

They all have to be the same bloodline so a husband and wife do not count together, for instance, and all 1st or 2nd degree relatives so father, mother, brother, sister, grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousin. They do not have to have had the same cancer either, though typically some will appear repeatedly. If this could describe your family then talk to your GP and ask about possibly being referred to a genetics department to have your family tree assessed. If your family does carry a hereditary risk factor then advice can be given and screening provided to reduce your risk of having cancer or being diagnosed late.

With hereditary cancer - KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

So remember the 3-2-1 rule - 3 people, 2 generations, 1 under 50 and get checked.

1 Reply

I see this original post has been awhile ago but I’m new to the site/group. I have just had genetic counseling and labs to see if I carry any traits with abnormalities I guess is how I say it? I had a large panel but testing to see about Lynch syndrome is included in that panel as well. My father had pancreatic cancer and passed at age 41. My paternal grandmother had breast cancer and a different cancer behind her left eye. My paternal grandfather had Stomach cancer. My paternal great grandmother also had Pancreatic Cancer, and my paternal great grandfather had Lung Cancer. So I’m anxiously awaiting these results. Happy to be reading/learning from posts in the group. Thank you.


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