The Lynch syndromes account for about 4 to 6 percent of the total colorectal cancer (CRC) burden. Despite more than two decades of documentation in the literature, many physicians fail to recognize the clinical features of these syndromes. The lack of premonitory physical stigmata, coupled with the absence of a biomarker of cancer susceptibility, mandates full reliance on a well-orchestrated family history for diagnosis. These deficiencies impede cancer control. Even if the diagnosis is made, proper surveillance and management measures that are responsive to the Lynch syndromes' natural history may fail to be implemented. We describe CRC occurrences in patients from four extended Lynch syndrome kindreds. Failures in cancer control were attributable to poor patient compliance and/or to limited physician knowledge about the natural history and surveillance recommendations for the Lynch syndromes. Physicians need to more effectively educate their high-risk patients about the significance of genetic risk, the natural history of CRC, and the appropriate surveillance strategies in the Lynch syndromes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes