Friday, March 20, 2015

Lynch Syndrome Awaeness Day is March 22nd

It is time for me to talk about Lynch Syndrome again.

Those who know me, know I do tend to get on this soap box often. I strongly believe that anyone with a strong family history of any kind of cancer or multiple kinds of cancer as the case with my family, need to be aware of hereditary issues that can cause a predisposition to cancer. 

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. Lynch Syndrome Awareness day is March 22nd every year.  Here is a link to a video that will educate you about Lynch Syndrome. Many states have proclaimed March 22nd as Lynch Cancer awareness day.

Be your own health-care advocate and research whatever medical conditions you have or suspect you could have.

Find a family physician who is interested in taking care of you and will coordinate all of your care. In the case of Lynch Syndrome, not only are you at risk for colon cancer and uterine cancer but also for ovarian cancer, skin cancer, urinary tract cancer, and essentially any gastrointestinal tract cancer when you have a defective gene associated with Lynch Syndrome.

Sometimes health insurance does not pay for the testing that is recommended by the medical specialty. When an adverse determination is made regarding a health benefit, appeal the determination. In most states there is more than one level of appeal level for benefit determination.  The second level of appeal is often reviewed by a case matched specialist. That means a specialist for the condition in question. Remember not all specialist know everything about conditions in their field. For example, endometrial, also known as uterine cancer, is one of the sentinel cancers for Lynch Syndrome. Many OB/Gyn. physicians do not know about Lynch Syndrome and don't know that any endometrial cancer for a woman under 50 years old would be suspect for Lynch Syndrome.

For those of you reading this post that have a personal or family history of colon cancer be sure and get your colonoscopy as recommended by national guidlines.  The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends colon cancer screening beginning at age 50 for those in the general population but for a person who has a first degree relative with a color cancer diagnosed at a younger age it indicates it is reasonable to start colon cancer screening earlier. Here is the Link for colon cancer screening recommendation published by the US Preventive Services Task Force. The CDC addresses getting tested for Lynch Syndrome for every person who is diagnosed with colon cancer. Here is the Link for the CDC article on Lynch Syndrome testing for persons diagnosed with colon cancer. 

Studies have shown that early detection of colon cancer has a better outcome. For people with Lynch Syndrome is important to know that a colon polyp can turn into a cancer much earlier than for a person without a gene defect. For this reason it is important to get frequent screening to remove any polyp that can potentially cause a cancer.  

You can learn more about Lynch Syndrome on the Lynch Syndrome International Facebook page as well.

Thank you for letting me share with you the importance of early detection of colon cancer.