015 – Lynch Syndrome & Hereditary Non Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC) | Premonitions of a Seamstress

Travis Brown This Medical Life Lynch Syndrome podcast

This is the story of Lynch syndrome.

Pauline Gross was a seamstress in 1895 who had seen family members die at an early age from cancer. At the time, one of her clients was a pathologist by the name of Dr Aldred Scott Warthin and confided in him her fear that that this would be her fate too. The two combined to record the most comprehensive family history ever created. Dr Warthin called them ‘Family G’.

In the 1960s, Dr Henry T Lynch who revived the search for the members of Family G. Through family gatherings and meetings, he managed to track down over 650 family members, of which, 95 had a history of cancer. He noted that they had an Autosomal Dominant disorder that increased their incidence of uterine and gastrointestinal cancers. Dr Lynch called it a ‘Cancer Family Syndrome’. Today, it is known as Lynch syndrome.

Our special guests include:

  • Ami McKay: an award winning novelist who has written ‘Daughter of Family G/Before my time: a memoir of love & fate’. Ami has also produced the radio documentary ‘Daughter of Family G’ available at amimckay.com

  • Dr Tristan Rutland: Anatomical pathologists at Liverpool hospital and based at Western Sydney University with a PhD in colorectcal cancer. Dr Rutland was the recipient of the Konrad Muller RCPA Outstanding Teaching Award

  • Professor Graeme Suthers: National Director of Genetics for Sonic Pathology Australia who trained in clinical and laboratory genetics in Sydney, Adelaide, and Oxford.