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Recent advances in understanding Lynch syndrome

Sherief Shawki, Matthew F Kalady
F1000Research 2016, 5: 2889
Colorectal cancer affects about 4.4% of the population and is a leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Approximately 10% to 20% of cases occur within a familial pattern, and Lynch syndrome is the most common hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome. Lynch syndrome is a hereditary predisposition to forming colorectal and extracolonic cancers, caused by a germline mutation in one of the DNA mismatch repair genes. Identifying at-risk patients and making a correct diagnosis are the keys to successful screening and interventions which will decrease formation of and death from cancers. Knowledge of the genetics and the natural history of Lynch syndrome has continued to be uncovered in recent years, leading to a better grasp on how these patients and their families should be managed. Recent developments include the approach to diagnostic testing, more precise definitions of the syndrome and risk stratification based on gene mutations, surgical decision-making, and chemoprevention.

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