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Aurora magazine

More genetic tests for Lynch syndrome, more lives saved

Genetic tests for Lynch syndrome could save thousands of people. Unfortunately, the hospitals that perform them are still too few, at least in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 British hospitals are ignorant of official guidelines.

Those suffering from Lynch's syndrome have 80% more chance of developing bowel cancer. The genetic anomaly makes standard therapies less effective and therefore requires more energetic treatments. For this reason, British hospitals should carry out a genetic test to all those diagnosed with bowel cancer. In fact, in most cases this does not happen.

It is estimated that there are 175,000 carriers of the Lynch syndrome gene in the United Kingdom. Many of these do not know this and, in the case of cancer, they risk wasting time on unnecessary treatments. The genetic test would allow to identify the anomaly in the early stages of the tumor and to act accordingly.

The Bowel Cancer UK Association investigated how many hospitals follow the guidelines set up by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. According to the data collected, 83% of the facilities do not carry out genetic tests for Lynch syndrome where it is needed. A very serious fact, considering that only 5% of people with Lynch syndrome are aware of it.

According to the study, in 91% of cases the lack is due to the absence of funds. In second place there is the absence of qualified staff, followed by the lack of knowledge of the guidelines.