Origins of Lynch Syndrome

July 13, 2019
Douglas H Kirkpatrick, MD
Douglas H Kirkpatrick, MD

Douglas H Kirkpatrick, MD, is Past President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and practices in Denver, Colorado.

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Victor R Cotton, MD, JD
Victor R Cotton, MD, JD

Victor R Cotton, MD, JD, is President of Law and Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Although the syndrome is named after the "father of hereditary cancer," it hasn't always been referred to as such.

Henry Lynch has been considered the "father of hereditary cancer" and a pioneer in the study of cancer and genetics. Dr. Lynch received his doctorate degree in human genetics at the University of Texas, Austin, in 1960, while completing medical school there. In 1966, while a professor at Creighton University, he characterized the syndrome and named "Cancer Family Syndrome." Later in 1984, the term Lynch syndrome was coined by other authors, and in 1985, Dr. Lynch named the condition HNPCC (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer). Since then, the two names have been used interchangeably. Lynch syndrome families are born with a predisposition to develop colorectal, endometrial ovarian, or other cancers. 

 

For more information on Lynch syndrome: Keys to identifying Lynch syndrome