Lynch Syndrome, hereditary cancer, or a gene mutation – call it what you like. This is my personal story about my diagnosis and what I’ve done about it so far. Prevention is key!
I have Lynch Syndrome. Have you heard of Lynch Syndrome cancers and gene mutations?
One year ago, I was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome, which is a genetic mutation that greatly increases my personal risk of cancer. Yes, I have a mutant gene. It sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, doesn’t it? This gene’s job would normally be to repair cancer cells in my body, except this gene doesn’t work for me the way it’s supposed to.
This gene mutation is the culprit for many aggressive hereditary cancers… if certain cancers seem to run in your family, please see your doctor about a simple genetic test. It could save your life.
Since we knew there was a gene mutation in our family, my doctor was able to test me specifically for that same mutation with a simple mouth swab, which was sent in for testing. My result was positive.
Yes, I was disappointed. I’d been hopeful that somehow this mutation had passed over me, that somehow I’d get the call with happy news.
But you know what? I choose to be thankful. I’m thankful to know about it BEFORE I develop cancer. Right now, I can take steps towards learning about cancer prevention.
Getting tested may have saved my life.
After my diagnosis, the consensus from my doctors and my family were all the same. Since my mutation is related to high rates of colon cancer (my lifetime risk is greater than 80%), I learned it’s imperative for me to have an annual colonoscopy.
Perhaps the scariest implication, though, was learning that I was also likely to develop uterine cancer. Roughly 71% of women with my mutation develop uterine cancer, and also have increased risk of ovarian cancer compared to the general population. Ovarian cancer can be hard to detect in it’s early stages. All of my doctors recommended I have a hysterectomy before my 40th birthday, which is when my cancer risk would dramatically increase.
Last summer, after much prayerful consideration, I had my hysterectomy.
Since my diagnosis, cancer prevention is often on my mind. I want to be around to enjoy my children, and hopefully one day my grandchildren. I want a long, healthy marriage with my husband. I’m not taking charge of my health simply for my benefit, but for my family. They need me.
I feel like God has brought this knowledge to me and is helping me make wise choices for my family and my health.
Has your life been affected by cancer? Does a hereditary cancer or gene mutation run in your family?