After my Lynch Syndrome diagnosis, I’m grateful to be a previvor

When I was 6 years old, my mother died from cancer. She was only 35, and at the time, her death came as a shock to everyone in our family. About 24 years later, my maternal aunt was diagnosed with serous uterine cancer. Her oncologist noticed a pattern of cancer in our family. Genetic testing confirmed his suspicion: my aunt had Lynch Syndrome, a genetic mutation that increases a person’s for colorectal and uterine cancers. Her daughter had it, too. My sister and I started receiving calls, desperately urging us to get tested.  My Lynch Syndrome diagnosis My sister and I both saw a genetic counselor, and considering how Lynch Syndrome can be passed on to your children roughly 50% of the time, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when she tested negative and I positive for the mutation. I listened as the genetic counselor told me that my likelihood of cancer would be extremely high if I didn’t stay vigilant. She said that I would need to have my ovaries and my uterus removed, and worst of all, that my 3-year-old son could have Lynch Syndrome as well. I felt as though the air had been taken from my lungs.  The genetic counselor referred me to MD Anderson. On Aug. 23, 2016, I walked through the halls of MD Anderson for the first time since my mother’s death. I remembered visiting her there when I was a little girl. I was incredibly depressed and anxious, especially because according to the Lynch Syndrome standards, I should’ve begun my screenings 10 years earlier, when I was in my early 20s....

After my Lynch Syndrome diagnosis, I’m grateful to be a previvor

When I was 6 years old, my mother died from cancer. She was only 35, and at the time, her death came as a shock to everyone in our family. About 24 years later, my maternal aunt was diagnosed with serous uterine cancer. Her oncologist noticed a pattern of cancer in our family. Genetic testing confirmed his suspicion: my aunt had Lynch Syndrome, a genetic mutation that increases a person’s for colorectal and uterine cancers. Her daughter had it, too. My sister and I started receiving calls, desperately urging us to get tested.  My Lynch Syndrome diagnosis My sister and I both saw a genetic counselor, and considering how Lynch Syndrome can be passed on to your children roughly 50%of the time, it shouldn’t have been a surprise when she tested negative and I positive for the mutation. I listened as the genetic counselor told me that my likelihood of cancer would be extremely high if I didn’t stay vigilant. She said that I would need to have my ovaries and my uterus removed, and worst of all, that my 3-year-old son could have Lynch Syndrome as well. I felt as though the air had been taken from my lungs.  The genetic counselor referred me to MD Anderson. On Aug. 23, 2016, I walked through the halls of MD Anderson for the first time since my mother’s death. I remembered visiting her there when I was a little girl. I was incredibly depressed and anxious, especially because according to the Lynch Syndrome standards, I should’ve begun my screenings 10 years earlier, when I was in my early 20s. Focusing...