About the High Risk GI Cancer Clinic

The High Risk GI Cancer Clinic at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is for people with a higher chance of getting gastrointestinal (GI) polyps and GI cancers due to genetic mutations or a family history of cancer. If you are at high risk for GI cancers, we can create a plan to help lower your risk and watch for cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can visit the clinic?

The High Risk GI Clinic is for men, women, and children with one or more of these factors:

  • Higher risk for Lynch syndrome due to genetic mutations in the EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2 genes
  • Higher risk for colon and upper GI polyps and cancer due to mutations in genes such as APC, BMPR1A, SMAD4, GREM1, MUTYH, and PTEN
    • Mutations in these genes are known to cause familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), juvenile polyposis syndrome, hereditary mixed polyposis syndrome, MUTYH-associated polyposis, Cowden syndrome, and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
  • Higher risk for diffuse gastric cancer due to genetic mutations in CDH1
  • Higher risk for pancreatic cancer due to these factors:
    • Mutations in genes such as ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PALB2, and TP53 as well as a family history of pancreatic cancer
    • Mutations in CDKN2A or STK11 regardless of family history
    • A diagnosis of pancreatitis when this runs in your family
  • Higher risk for colon cancer due to a diagnosis of serrated polyposis syndrome
  • Unexplained, multiple precancerous colon polyps

When I visit the clinic, what will I do?

  • Review your personal health history, family health history, and lifestyle factors that may add to GI cancer risks.
  • Get a physical exam by a doctor.
  • Talk with a clinic team member about a personal screening plan and follow-up care based on your test results.
  • Talk with a doctor or genetic counselor about the chance to take part in a research study about cancer risk.

Do I need genetic testing before I come?

Yes, in most situations. You may qualify for this clinic based on your family history of cancer. If you have not had genetic testing, our clinic staff may decide to schedule you with a genetic counselor before you come to the High Risk GI Cancer Clinic.

About Lynch Syndrome

Mutations in any of these genes can cause Lynch syndrome: EPCAM, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, and PMS2. Lynch syndrome raises the risk for certain cancers. It passes down through families. Between 1 in 300 to 1 in 440 people are thought to have Lynch syndrome. These are signs:

  • Cancer at a young age such as colorectal or uterine cancer before 50
  • More than one kind of Lynch syndrome-related cancer in the same person
  • Several members on the same side of the family have Lynch syndrome-related cancers
  • Tumor testing that shows a high risk for Lynch syndrome

Some people with Lynch syndrome do not get cancer at all. However, they can still pass the condition to their children. Read this Lynch syndrome factsheet to learn more about cancer risk and screening recommendations.

HCI Patients Diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome

If you are an HCI patient diagnosed with Lynch syndrome and would like to learn more, we invite you to visit the Information for Patients about Lynch Syndrome web portal.

If you have questions about Lynch syndrome, you can complete this patient questions form. If you are interested in connecting with others, please complete our patient connection form. If you'd like to share your story about living with Lynch syndrome, visit the share your story form.

Contact Us

If you or a family member would like to learn more, please call us to get in touch with a genetic counselor: 801-587-9555