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Lynch syndrome, also called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome (HNPCC for short), is an inherited tendency to develop colorectal, endometrial (uterine) and other cancers. Inherited conditions are passed to a person through their mother or father. Although most cancers are not inherited, about 5% of people who have colorectal or endometrial cancer have Lynch syndrome.
In the United States, about 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of these cancers are caused by Lynch syndrome.