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Gorlin syndrome – causes, side effects and treatments at

Friday, April 06, 2018 by

Also known as nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, Gorlin syndrome is a condition that affects various parts of the body and increases the risk of developing various benign and malignant tumors. Nearly 90 out of 100 people with the syndrome develop multiple basal cell cancers. Basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, is the type of cancer that is most commonly diagnosed in people with Gorlin syndrome. Approximately one out of 31,000 people are affected by Gorlin syndrome.

One of the causes of Gorlin syndrome is genetics. Since it is a genetic condition, the cancer risk and its other feature can be passed from generation to generation in a family. Sun exposure and radiation therapy also increase the number of basal cell skin cancers that an individual with Gorlin syndrome develops.

Known side effects of Gorlin syndrome

There are several signs and symptoms of Gorlin syndrome. These may include a large head size (macrocephaly), large forehead (bossing of the forehead), coarse facial features, and/or facial milia (bumps on the skin that look like clogged pores or whiteheads); skeletal conditions of the ribs and/or spine; medulloblastoma or childhood brain tumore; multiple jaw keratocysts; basal cell carcinoma; sabaceous and dermoid cysts; and cardiac and ovarian fibromas.

Body systems harmed by Gorlin syndrome

Gorlin syndrome may harm several systems of the body. One of these is the nervous system, leading to blindness, deafness, intellectual disability, seizures, and tumors of the brain. The condition also harms the skeletal system, causing bone defects such as curvature of the back or scoliosis, sever curvature of the back or kyphosis, and abnormal ribs. The syndrome also harms the integumentary system as it commonly causes basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. Other body systems harmed by the disorder include the ocular, endocrine, urinary, and reproductive systems.

List of foods or nutrients that prevent Gorlin syndrome

There is no information on what foods or nutrients specifically prevent Gorlin syndrome. However, there are some foods and nutrients that are believed to fight against cancer, according to an article published on the website These include foods included in the ketogenic diet, such as pastured beef and dairy products, organic poultry, good fats such as coconut oil and avocados, low carbohydrates fruits, and vegetables such as asparagus, cabbage, lemon, and limes; fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, coconut water kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut; and turmeric. Intake of vitamins C, D, and K, amino acids, minerals, beta-carotene, glutathione, and sulforaphane can also help fight various cancers.

Treatments, management plans for Gorlin syndrome

People with Gorlin Syndrome needs to undergo regular skin checks by a skin specialist. Basal cell skin cancers, one of the complications of the syndrome, grow very slowly and are unlikely to spread to any other area of the body. Treatments for basal cell skin cancers include surgery, imiquimod cream, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and retinoids, which are chemicals like vitamin A.

Where to learn more


Gorlin syndrome is a rare genetic condition wherein many people develop basal cell skin cancers.

Gorlin syndrome can cause macrocephaly, bossing of the forehead, coarse facial features, and/or facial milia, skeletal conditions of the ribs and/or spine, medulloblastoma or childhood brain tumor, multiple jaw keratocysts, basal cell carcinoma, sabaceous and dermoid cysts, and cardiac and ovarian fibromas.

Gorlin syndrome can harm the integumentary, nervous, skeletal, ocular, endocrine, urinary, and reproductive systems.

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