Lynch Syndrome

What is Lynch syndrome?

Lynch syndrome, also called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), is an inherited disorder that increases the risk of colon cancer (large intestine) and rectum. People with Lynch syndrome are much more likely to develop colorectal cancer, especially at a younger age (before 50), and women with Lynch syndrome are much more likely to get endometrial (uterine) cancer. Patients with Lynch syndrome also have an increased chance of getting other cancers, including ovarian, stomach, liver, kidney, brain, and skin cancer. Symptoms, similar to colon cancer, do not present themselves until the condition has advanced. It is important to get screening to test for Lynch syndrome or other complications. 
Risk factors
  • Family history. A history of colon cancers or other related cancers, including ovarian cancer, kidney cancer, stomach cancer, small intestine cancer, liver cancer, and sweat gland cancer.
  • Genetics. Inheriting a mutated gene for Lynch syndrome. 
Diagnostic procedures include:
  • Genetic testing. Patients with a family history of Lynch syndrome can have a gene test to determine whether they are at risk for developing cancer(s).
  • Microsatellite instability testing. Microsatellite instability testing screens to see how likely it is that your cancer was caused by one of the Lynch syndrome genes. 
  • Colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is the best way to detect polyps (growths) or cancer and allows the doctor to see the entire bowel.
Treatment for Lynch syndrome involves screen tests in hopes to prevent the condition from progressing to cancer. Surgery may be an option to eliminate the chances of cancer occurring. 
  • An estimated 800,000 people in the United States have Lynch syndrome.
  • Lynch syndrome occurs in approximately 1 in 400 individuals. 
  • About 3% of colorectal cancers and 2-5% of uterine (endometrial) cancers are due to Lynch syndrome.
  • Doctors estimate that about 3 out of every 100 colon cancers are caused by Lynch syndrome.
lynch syndrome about

  • "Lynch Syndrome." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 13 Mar. 2015. Web. 19 June 2017.
  • "Lynch Syndrome." Lynch Syndrome | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Health System, n.d. Web. 19 June 2017.
  • "Center For Inherited Colon Cancer." Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic, n.d. Web. 19 June 2017.
  • "Lynch Syndrome - Genetics Home Reference." U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 19 June 2017.
  • "Have You or a Family Member Had Colorectal (Colon) Cancer?" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 Mar. 2017. Web. 19 June 2017.


Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, affects the large intestine, which is found in the lower part of your digestive system. Aside from skin cancers, colon cancer is the third most common cancer among men and women in the United States. Most cases of colon cancer begin with adenomatous polyps, a benign clump of cells. Eventually, these noncancerous polyps develop into colon cancers. While genetic mutations responsible for colon cancer can be inherited, there are a handful of lifestyle strategies that can lower your risk of developing the disease. Here are eight tips for preventing colon cancer:
colon cancer prevention - eight tips


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