A Market Rasen woman is campaigning to improve local services for an inherited genetic condition that can devastate whole families with cancer.
Fiona Evans, 57, has been diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, a genetic condition which increases her risk of a bowel cancer diagnosis by up to 80 per cent, as well as increasing the risk of many other cancers.
Today (Wednesday) is Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day and Bowel Cancer UK campaigner Fiona is calling on Edward Leigh MP to ensure local hospitals test people diagnosed with bowel cancer for Lynch syndrome.
“I’ve always known that bowel cancer has been in my family; my dad died of bowel cancer at 43, my brother has been diagnosed with bowel cancer twice, my grandad died of bowel cancer at 55, my aunty (dad’s sister) died at 32 and her son had bowel cancer at 40,” said Fiona, who has taken life-saving steps to reduce her risk of bowel cancer.
“I found out I had Lynch syndrome after a blood test and, although I have not been diagnosed with bowel cancer, my risk is high, so I decided to remove part of the bowel that is affected by the gene to greatly reduce the risk of bowel cancer.”
Last month The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidelines recommending everyone diagnosed with bowel cancer is tested for Lynch syndrome.
“My worry is that lots more people will be tested for Lynch syndrome with this NICE announcement, but there just isn’t the support for those that have a positive result, and this needs to change urgently,” added Fiona.
“That’s why I’m supporting Lynch syndrome awareness day and campaigning to improve services for people with Lynch syndrome.”
As Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition, there’s a 50:50 chance of passing it on to your children.
Find out more about Bowel Cancer UK’s campaign at bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigning/take-action/