Important News from the DPH Cancer Genomics Project and

DPH Comprehensive Cancer Program


March 19 – 25, 2017 is National Lynch Syndrome Awareness Week

Lynch syndrome (LS) is a hereditary condition that increases a person’s risk for developing colorectal and several other cancers at a younger age than average.[1] LS is the most common cause of hereditary colorectal and endometrial cancers, accounting for as much as 3% of all colon and endometrial cancers.[2] Inherited cancer syndromes are responsible for 3-5% of colorectal (CRC) cases.[3] Approximately 25% of people diagnosed with CRC have a family history of the disease.[4]

The lifetime risk of developing colon cancer before age 70 is estimated at 52 – 82% for a person with Lynch syndrome compared to 4.8% for a person in the general population.[5] LS occurs among people of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Through family health history collection and genetic counseling and testing, identifying people with LS can have substantial health benefits for them and their families.

Close biological relatives (e.g., parents, children, siblings) of persons with Lynch syndrome have a 50% chance of having LS too. It is recommended that genetic testing for Lynch syndrome be offered to all persons newly diagnosed with CRC to help efforts at cancer prevention in their close relatives.[6] A diagnosis of Lynch syndrome in individuals who do not have cancer offers opportunities to: 1) enhance cancer prevention and screening measures for patients and families; 2) prevent cancer or detect it earlier; and 3) save lives and costs.[7]

Take the opportunity this March to learn more about your family’s history of colorectal cancer and ways to lower your risk for CRC.


For the Public

CDC. Screen for Life – National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign.

CT DPH Genomics Office. Information for Patients and Their Families – Lynch Syndrome.

CT DPH Genomics Office. Síndrome de Lynch.

CT DPH Genomics Office. Genetic Evaluation and Testing for Hereditary Colorectal Cancer.

Hereditary Colon Cancer Foundation. A Patient’s Guide to Lynch Syndrome. Download available at:

American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer.

CDC. Genetic Testing for Hereditary Colorectal Cancer.

U.S. Surgeon General’s Office. My Family Health Portrait. 

For Clinicians

CT DPH Genomics Office. 2015. Cancer Genomics Best Practices for Connecticut Healthcare Providers. Hereditary breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome and Lynch Syndrome. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Department of Public Health.

CDC. Lynch Syndrome EGAPP Recommendation.

National Cancer Institute. Genetics of Colorectal Cancer (PDQ®) – Health Professional Version.

[1] American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2014-2016. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2014.

[2] Cohen SA, Leininger A. The genetic basis of Lynch syndrome and its implications for clinical practice and risk management. Appl Clin Genet. 2014; 7: 147-158.

[3] Grover S, Syngal S. Risk Assessment, Genetic Testing and Management of Lynch Syndrome. J Natl Compr Can Netw. 2010; 8(1): 98-105.

[4] Genetics of Colorectal Cancer – for health professionals (PDQ®). National Cancer Institute.

[5] Kohlmann W, Gruber SB. Lynch Syndrome. Gene Reviews®. Accessed March 8, 2017.

[6] Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP) Working Group. Recommendations from the EGAPP Working Group: genetic testing strategies in newly diagnosed individuals with colorectal cancer aimed at reducing morbidity and mortality from Lynch syndrome in relatives. Genet Med. 2009; 11:35-41.

[7] Strafford JC. Genetic Testing for Lynch Syndrome, an Inherited Cancer of the Bowel, Endometrium, and Ovary. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2012: 5(1): 42-49.