A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on cancer risks associated with Lynch syndrome yielded some unexpected results about increased risk of breast cancer. Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition, is caused by mutations in particular genes that are involved in repairing DNA damage, and had previously been linked to increased risk of colon, uterus, ovary, kidney, stomach, and bladder cancer. This study showed a significant increase in breast and pancreatic cancer as well.
Findings after five years showed that individuals with Lynch syndrome had a four-fold greater risk of developing breast cancer than those in the general population. The study also showed those with Lynch syndrome had a tendency to be diagnosed with these cancers at an earlier age than those diagnosed with these cancers in the general population. The findings on breast cancer suggest a need for further study to determine the optimal age for mammography for patients with Lynch syndrome and whether other tests such as breast MRI should be recommended.