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Thwarting a Deadly Illness

A statewide drive being led by Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center is turning the tables on the fight against cancer. Instead of waiting for people to develop symptoms and seek out a doctor, more than 40 Ohio hospitals are sleuthing out those at risk of a particular type of colon cancer and notifying them — preventing this killer from ever taking root. The effort is based on OSU research that identified an inherited genetic mutation that causes colon cancer, Lynch syndrome, in at least 1 in 45 patients. By testing about 4,000 patients being treated at the participating hospitals through September 2014, the genetic change can be caught. Family members then can be screened to determine if they, too, have inherited the mutation.

Columbus Dispatch editorial: