Jimmy died on September 11, 1995 from colon cancer – he was only 36. He died almost two decades ago and yet not a day passes without thoughts of him. Unbeknownst to us as siblings, he and I had much in common, but most of all, we shared a genetic nemesis called Lynch syndrome.
His death, and the fact that Lynch syndrome plagues me and other members of family, was the impetus for my blog: ihavelynchsyndrome.com
. Cancer destroys families in unimaginable ways and if I can encourage just one person to take charge of their health through my work, especially if they have Lynch syndrome, or any other deleterious gene mutation, then perhaps Jimmy’s death will not be in vain.
Aside from genetic testing, I emphasize a holistic approach to living life and fighting cancer; annual screening, good nutrition, exercise and stress reduction. I believe, and mounting scientific evidence supports this, there is a constellation of factors that contributes to whether or not one will develop cancer; it is simply not genetics. Your genes do not have to determine your destiny.
Lynch syndrome can be deadly. If you have early onset cancers, typically before the age of 50 in your family, specifically of the colon, or gynecological cancers, you may have Lynch syndrome. Please know your family’s medial history and talk to your doctor about any early onset cancers amongst you or your relatives.
The life you may be saving may be your own.
Georgia M. Hurst, MA