ICARE Newsletter Winter 2013

Is Lynch Syndrome Associated with Breast Cancer?

The cancer spectrum typically seen in individuals with Lynch Syndrome includes cancers of the colon, endometrium, ovary, stomach, and other cancers (including cancer of the renal pelvis, ureter, small bowel and pancreas).  The issue of whether breast cancer risk is elevated in those with Lynch syndrome has been controversial, with conflicting results between various studies.  However, the largest prospective study recently reported an almost 4-fold increased risk for breast cancer.1 This same group subsequently looked at the risk for breast cancer in those with a prior diagnosis of colorectal cancer.  Their results showed an almost 2-fold elevated risk.2 However, further studies are needed to determine absolute risks and age distribution before breast surveillance guidelines can be developed for those with Lynch Syndrome.  At this time, it is recommended that women with Lynch Syndrome continue to follow the general population breast cancer screening guidelines.

1. Win AK, et al. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Mar 20;30(9):958-64. 2. Win AK, et al. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Sep 19;104(18):1363-72.