Lynch Syndrome

Also known as

  • Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)

Lynch Syndrome (HNPCC) is an autosomal dominant genetic condition that predisposes those affected to a number of cancers - particularly colorectal & endometrial cancers - which are often aggressive & occur at a young age.

Condition details

Lynch Syndrome is passed from parent to child, with each child having a 50% chance of inheriting it. A sufferer has a faulty gene, which means they have a highly increased risk of getting a number of cancers. However, not all of the people who carry the gene will go on to have cancer. Those that do are at particular risk from are of getting colon/rectal cancer (up to 80% lifetime risk) and womb cancer (up to 60% lifetime risk). Other cancers associated with Lynch syndrome include ovarian, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, small bowel, prostate, brain & skin cancers. There are no symptoms of Lynch Syndrome, other than a family history of Lynch-type cancers. There is no cure available, but those carrying the faulty gene should undergo regular medical screening,which can detect cancers at an early stage, or even at a pre-cancerous stage. enabling effective treatment.

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Photos of affected individuals

Click images to enlarge.

  • No baby imageBaby
  • No toddler imageToddler
  • No child 4-10 imageChild 4-10
  • No child 10-18 imageChild 10-18
  • No adult imageAdult

Typical age range of first manifestation

  • Can manifest in Baby
  • Does not manifest in Toddler
  • Does not manifest in Child 4-10
  • Does not manifest in Child 10-18
  • Does not manifest in Adult


Lay terms Clinical terms
  • A pattern of family history of certain cancers - particularly bowel & womb cancer.

Affected genes identified to date

  • MLH1
  • MSH2
  • MSH6
  • PMS2

Inheritance patterns

Is Autosomal dominant

Are carriers affected?

Carriers have a greatly increased risk of various cancers.

How many are affected?

Estimated at between 1 in 500 - 1 in 1000

Support groups and organisations

Lynch Syndrome UK

Known experts

Professor Sir John Burn
Field of interestClinical genetics
Newcastle University
Dr Ian Frayling
Field of interestCancer & genetics
Cardiff University School of Medicine
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