March 22, 2019: Lynch Syndrome Hereditary Cancer Awareness Day

WHEREAS, Lynch syndrome, formerly known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), is a hereditary condition that causes greater risk of developing colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, stomach, small bowel, hepatobiliary tract, urinary tract, prostate, and brain cancer; and,

WHEREAS, Lynch syndrome not only increases the likelihood of developing cancer at a young age, it also increases the likelihood of developing cancer throughout a lifetime; and, for individuals with Lynch syndrome, the lifetime risk for developing cancers is up to 82 percent for colorectal cancer, up to 60 percent for endometrial cancer, up to 24 percent for ovarian cancer, up to 30 percent for prostate cancer, and up to 13 percent for stomach cancer; and,

WHEREAS, one in about 300 to 400 people in the U.S. are estimated to have Lynch syndrome; and, many do not know they have the condition and are vulnerable to developing cancer; and,

WHEREAS, every person should know their family history and share it with their healthcare provider to determine their personal and familial risk of developing hereditary cancers, and for them to be appropriately referred to genetic services, if necessary; and,

WHEREAS, newly diagnosed colorectal and endometrial cancer patients should be screened for Lynch syndrome to prompt proper cancer risk assessment, and genetic counseling and testing; and,

WHEREAS, genetic testing may determine if a cancer is hereditary and encourage regular preventative cancer screening tests to detect and remove any growths, polyps, or tumors before they can become life threatening; and,

WHEREAS, knowing about a Lynch syndrome diagnosis can increase cancer prevention through regular screening measures and lead to earlier cancer detection and treatment; and,

WHEREAS, on this day, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Cancer Genetics Alliance, and Lynch Syndrome International join together to raise awareness for Lynch syndrome in Michigan by encouraging all residents to learn more about Lynch syndrome, to document their personal and family health history, and to share this information with their health care providers in order to understand their individual risk and take necessary steps to protect family members and save lives from hereditary cancers;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 22, 2019, as Lynch Syndrome Hereditary Cancer Awareness Day in Michigan.