Gorlin syndrome impacts nearly every part of the body
Gorlin syndrome is a rare genetic disorder, affecting approximately 11,000 people in the U.S. Gorlin syndrome can affect every organ system of the body, including the skin, eyes, reproductive system, hormone glands and bones.
People with Gorlin syndrome are at increased risk of developing a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma (BCCs) and other non-cancerous tumors as well. BCC is the most common manifestation of Gorlin syndrome.
There are many indicators of Gorlin syndrome. The most common include:
- Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), a type of skin cancer that appears on sun-exposed areas like the face, hands and back of the neck
- Benign cysts in the jawbone, called keratocystic odontogenic tumors (KCOTS)
- Small depressions, or pits in the palm of the hand and soles of the feet
Gorlin syndrome is caused by a mutation of one of the two genes that suppress the development of tumors in the body.
Treatment for Gorlin syndrome centers on the prevention, management and removal of tumors and cysts caused by the disease. Recognizing and coping with the psychological burden of the syndrome is also important.