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Lynch Syndrome Brochure
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Lynch Syndrome

Most cancers happen by chance and the cause is often unknown. However, 5-10% of all cancers are hereditary. Hereditary cancer is caused by a genetic change being passed on through the family. Individuals who inherit the genetic change have an increased likelihood for developing cancer compared to people in the general population. A careful review of your personal and family history will help determine whether cancer might be hereditary in your family.

Risk Factors for Hereditary Cancer

Having a family member with cancer does not automatically mean that you are in a high-risk family. The majority of cancers are not hereditary, but occur because of a chance combination of many different factors. You may benefit from an appointment in the Cancer Genetics Program if your personal or family history includes any of the following risk factors:

  • Breast, colon or endometrial cancer diagnosed before the age of 45-50
  • Invasive ovarian cancer at any age
  • Multiple relatives on the same side of the family with the same or related cancers
  • Two or more related cancers in the same person
  • Several (≥10-20) polyps in the stomach or intestines
  • Rare tumors/cancer such as male breast cancer, adrenal cortical carcinoma, medullary thyroid cancer, desmoid tumor, paraganglioma or pheochromocytoma
  • Breast, ovarian or pancreatic cancer at any age and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • A mutation in a cancer susceptibility gene within the family

 An appointment in the Cancer Genetics Program will provide you with a full review of your personal and family history.

Genetic Counseling
Genetic counseling identifies patients and families at increased risk for hereditary cancer, in order to promote awareness, early detection and cancer prevention.

Genetic counseling includes several steps and may require more than one appointment. Typically, your genetic counselor will:

  • Review your medical and family history
  • Assess your personal risk for having a hereditary cancer syndrome
  • Educate you about basic genetic concepts
  • Discuss the benefits, risks, and limitations of genetic testing
  • Verify your insurance coverage and obtain prior authorization for genetic testing
  • Explain your test results and options for cancer screening and prevention
  • Provide support to help you with any concerns related to the testing process or test result

Genetic Testing
Having genetic counseling does not obligate you to have genetic testing. A genetic test is not useful for everyone. Your genetic counselor can address your questions and help you determine if testing is right for you. Genetic testing usually requires a simple blood draw. Most insurance plans cover the cost of genetic testing when testing is appropriate for an individual based on their history.

Preparing for Your Appointment
Your genetic counselor can help you make informed, personalized decisions about your health care. A little preparation will help you get the most out of your appointment in the Cancer Genetics Program. You may not have all the details, but the more information you can share, the more your genetic counselor can help.

  • Ask your relatives about cancer in your family
  • If possible, bring with you to your appointment:
    • Medical records related to your concern
    • A copy of a family member’s genetic test result, if genetic testing has already been performed in your family
    • Insurance card(s)
    • Driver’s license or another form of identification
    • List of questions for the genetic counselor

Appointments are available in Ann Arbor and Brighton. Before scheduling an appointment, we must have a referral on file from your physician. Your physician can obtain the proper referral form from by calling 734-712-2978. 

Meet Our Team


Sommer Hayden, MS, CGC
Genetic Counselor
Sommer is a board certified genetic counselor with degrees in biomedical science and genetic  counseling.


Lindsey Blakely, MS
Genetic Counselor
Lindsey is a board eligible genetic counselor with degrees in biomedical science and genetic counseling.


Kathleen Beekman, MD
Director of Genetic Services
Dr. Beekman is a medical oncologist with IHA Hematology Oncology Consultants

Questions? Contact us at 734-712-2978