Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC)

HNPCC (Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer) or Lynch Syndrome, is a condition caused by an inherited genetic mutation. People with the condition may or may not be aware of other family members with Lynch Syndrome.  The inherited mutation varies and it is that variation that will determine if the carrier is likely to develop bowel cancer. Other variations are associated with different cancers but the mutation associated with colon cancer is the most common.

If you have family members with the condition, a simple genetic test will determine whether you too have inherited the condition.

Colon cancers caused by Lynch Syndrome tend to be more common on the right side of the colon and develop much more quickly than in the general population (one to two years versus 10 years). In addition, people who have colorectal cancer have an increased risk of developing a second colorectal cancer. This risk is approximately 15% within 10 years after the original surgery to remove the first cancer, 40% within 20 years and 60% after 30 years.

For those with this mutation, frequent monitoring by colonoscopy is necessary. If you live in Surrey or surrounding counties, our Colon Cancer Family Clinic may be able to offer support.

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