Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer
  Colon cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 cases of colon cancer are diagnosed each year. There are half that many colon cancer patient deaths reported each year, giving colon cancer the second highest mortality rate for cancer in the US (Ref. 16).  It also is one of the most common inherited cancers known (Ref. 12). Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer accounts for approximately 6% of these cases. The diagnosis of this disease is tricky since there is no morphological difference to separate HNPCC from sporadic colon cancer cases. Therefore, diagnosis is dependent on a pedigree and there is a wide spectrum of mutations involved, including 4 different genes that have been identified. (Ref. 17

    The variety of mutations have led HNPCC to be further separated into two syndromes. Lynch I (colon specific cancer) involves only  cancer of the colon and the rectum, predominately on the right side. Lynch II (non-colon specific) involves cancer of the colon and/or several other tissues including the lining of the uterus, the ovary, the small bowel, ureters, bladder, and renal pelvis of the kidney. 

    This web page provides general information about Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colon Cancer (HNPCC). The following outline can be used to guide you towards information you may find interesting.
History of HNPCC
Patterns of Inheritance
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment for HNPCC
The MLH1 Gene and How It Was Discovered
Characterization of the MLH1 Protein
Other Sources of Information
Created by:  April Bardes, Colin Connor, and Allison Niggemyer, Biology Department, DePauw University, Bios 354:  Molecular Genetics, Spring 1998.
For information about other genetic diseases, visit Chet Fornari's Homepage.