- Men with LFS have a 73% chance of developing cancer in their lifetime.
- Women with LFS have almost a 100% chance of getting cancer in their lifetime.
- The risk of developing a second cancer is 57%. The risk of a third, 38%.
On Pediatric Cancer
To me, one of the most devastating parts of LFS is the minis who get cancer. There are only a few hereditary cancer syndromes that include the amount of pediatric cancer. -Trishia
- 50% of LFS cancers occur before age 30.
- Tumors such as adrenocortical carcinoma and choroid plexus tumors are highly correlated with LFS.
- Other childhood cancers frequently seen in LFS children are brain tumors, soft tissue sarcomas and osteosarcomas.
On Breast Cancer
It's BRCA, on crack. -Courtney
- Although it is estimated that LFS is responsible for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases, 4% of women who had breast cancer before age 36 tested positive for LFS.
- The median age LFS women develop breast cancer is 33 years with 32% of the breast cancers occurring before the age of 30.
On Treatment and Screening
Sometimes a treatment used to fight cancer in the general population can actually cause cancer in mutants. -Trishia
- Since radiation therapy is a standard of care for many cancers, it is important to know if one is at risk for LFS since individuals with LFS are at higher risk to develop secondary malignancies from radiation.
- Although a formal screening protocol for LFS has not officially been adopted in the US, many mutants follow the Toronto Protocol and participate in screening studies available at the NIH and MDAnderson.
- These protocols involve bloodwork, clinical exams, ultrasound, colonoscopy, and MRI to try and catch cancers early.
- Many pay for these tests out of pocket.
- LFS "core" cancers are Brain, Breast, Adrenocortical, and Sarcoma, but a person with a TP53 mutation can have cancer develop anywhere at any age.
- Screening can give those with LFS a sense of control over their body. Sometimes this sense of control feels lost with the diagnosis of LFS, like cancer can strike at any time. It does not mean they enjoy going to the doctor, it is a necessity for emotional and physical well being.
While LFS clearly has physical manifestations in the form of every weird cancer you can imagine, the mental or emotional component, of managing worry, of managing to LIVE, as you track down things in yourself or your children, this is what makes Mutants remarkable. And they are pretty amazing. -Ann
I want people to know that a single error in a base pair on a tiny part of one gene (p53) could cause so much cancer and have such an enormous impact on a family. I would also want people to know that the people with LFS, their caregivers and those involved in its research are HEROES, persistent, resilient, empowered, knowledgeable and inspiring! -Linda
I'd like everyone to know just how serious this Syndrome is.. and that knowledge is power.... my family that wants to just stick their heads in the sand are playing with fire.... -Deborah
I would want people to understand that LFS is not only a topic the time you are actually fighting cancer. It is still there and still a challenge without a new cancer diagnosis. It is a ongoing and steady physical and emotional fight. -Sonja
I think the way I described it to my family was like this. You know how if you have any kind of minor malady and look it up online you invariably find references to cancer? It is like if you started looking online about cancer and ended up finding references to LFS. -Jennifer
I hate being told "well at least you know how you're going to die "??
I'm not contagious. -Nancy
It turns your life into one crazy roller coaster ride. -Brandi
As Mutants, we would never wish a LFS diagnosis on anyone. It is difficult to see many of the cancer campaigns, not knowing which one to support as we have so many different cancers. It is also difficult to experience the 'in between times,' feeling grateful that you are not fighting cancer, but often witnessing family members or friends who are. In the back of your mind you often wonder when the next tumor will drop.
Yet these are the times that this community rallies and lives to the fullest, because we know first hand that there is no time like the present to live, even with LFS. We live.
NIH Genetics Home Reference - Li Fraumeni Syndrome Gene Review http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1311/