Lynch Syndrome Program

Approximately 5% of all colon and endometrial (uterine) cancers are caused by an inherited cancer syndrome known as Lynch Syndrome. Individuals who have Lynch syndrome have an increased risk to develop colon, endometrial, stomach, ovarian, and other cancers. Increased screening and preventative surgeries can be used to help manage these risks.

The majority of individuals with Lynch Syndrome do not know they have it until they develop a cancer. Even then, some cases can go undiagnosed. To better identify individuals with Lynch Syndrome, St. Luke’s Cancer Center has initiated the Lynch Syndrome Screening Program. All colon cancers and selected endometrial cancer diagnosed at St. Luke’s will be screened using a test called immunohistochemistry (IHC). IHC can help identify if a cancer may have been caused by Lynch Syndrome. Genetic testing can then be used to determine if an individual has Lynch Syndrome so that appropriate screening and management recommendations can be made.

IHC is a screening test that helps to determine if an individual has a high likelihood of having Lynch Syndrome. IHC is not a genetic test or a diagnostic test for Lynch Syndrome. Not all individuals whose tumor testing indicates a high risk will have Lynch Syndrome.

Genetic counseling is available through the St. Luke’s Family Cancer Risk Evaluation Program for individuals whose personal history, family history, or tumor testing is suspicious for Lynch Syndrome or other hereditary cancer syndromes.

For more information regarding the Lynch Syndrome Screening Program, please contact St. Luke’s genetic counselor at 484-526-7553.

St. Luke’s Family Cancer Risk Evaluation Program is available to individuals concerned they may be at increased risk of developing cancer based on their family history. A certified genetic counselor is available to meet in an individual or family setting to provide education, testing, and discussion of results.

At the initial education session, a certified genetic counselor will review the family history and draw a family tree. The genetic counselor with then discuss:

  • Basic genetics and hereditary cancer syndromes
  • Personalized cancer risks
  • General recommendations for screening and cancer risk management
  • The benefits and limitations of genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk
  • Legal and social concerns
  • Support and educational resources

All of the above information can be presented in a group family session. Additional appointments may be necessary to discuss the results of genetic testing.

Is a Physician Referral Required?

Those interested in the program may be self-referred or referred by their physician.

For more information regarding St. Luke’s Family Cancer Risk Evaluation Program, please call 610-628-8011.