Cowden syndrome (CS) is a hereditary condition that predisposes an individual to several different cancers and tumors. The most common cancers are breast, thyroid, kidney, and uterine cancers, though Cowden syndrome also increases the risk for colon cancer and melanoma.
CS also can cause benign bumps to grow under the skin and on the face. Identification of Cowden syndrome is important because steps can be taken to reduce a person’s risk for developing cancer. For people who already have been diagnosed with cancer, steps can be taken to reduce the risk of other cancers.
Each child of an individual with CS has a 50 percent chance of having the condition. Other relatives are at increased risk as well. Genetic counseling, and possibly genetic testing, can clarify who in your family has CS.