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designated cancer center

Diagnosis and Treatment of Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)

Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is the name of a syndrome (also called Lynch syndrome) that predisposes people to develop colon cancer, as well as a number of other cancers. HNPCC is caused by mutations in any of a handful of genes that protect your DNA from accumulating mistakes when cells divide.

The risk of developing cancer when you have HNPCC is high. There are a number of rare cancer that HNPCC increases the risk of developing, although the main risks are:

HNPCC accounts for about two to five percent of all incidences of colon cancer.

Stanford Expertise

When you are being treated for cancer you want a physician who is familiar with your particular disease. Yet because HNPCC is rare it can be difficult to find a doctor who has treated patients with this condition. Our specialists at the Cancer Center not only treat HNPCC, but have expertise managing complex cases, and offer the most advanced diagnostic technologies and treatments available today.

Surgery to remove parts of the colon that develop cancerous polyps is the first line of defense against the development or progression of HNPCC.

The colorectal surgery program at the Cancer Center is one of the most distinguished programs in the nation, and can provide you the most skilled and least invasive surgery possible for your condition.

A Multidisciplinary Approach
Multidisciplinary teams with expertise in radiology, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, medical oncology, pathology, and genetics meet weekly in a multidisciplinary gastrointestinal-colorectal tumor board, where they can provide a thorough and collaborative review of your records, radiographs, and pathology results.

In collaboration with your referring physician and with you, this team of experts will work together to determine the best care plan for your specific situation.

Genetic Analysis and Counseling
Because HNPCC is caused by genetic alterations it is very important for HNPCC patients and their families to be evaluated by a genetic counselor. The risk of passing the mutations on to your children is 50 percent.

Stanford Cancer Center's genetic counselors who specialize in HNPCC genetic mutations can determine who in your family is at risk and needs to be closely monitored to prevent the development of advanced colon cancer.

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