Cancer is more common in some families than others. Sometimes cancer is caused by a change in a gene, called a mutation. Cancer caused by a mutation passed down from a parent is called hereditary cancer.
Lynch syndrome is the most common cause of hereditary colon and uterine cancer. A mutation in any
of several genes can cause Lynch syndrome. People with a mutation in one of these genes have a higher
risk for some types of cancer. These include cancers of the colon, uterus, ovary and stomach. A few rarer
cancers can also occur with Lynch syndrome. Although the risk for cancer is increased, not everyone
with Lynch syndrome will develop cancer.
Knowing if you have a mutation allows you and your healthcare provider to take steps to reduce your chances of developing cancer. If you already have cancer, knowing if you have Lynch syndrome allows your healthcare providers to make informed treatment decisions.