Henry T. Lynch Found Cancer’s Family Ties

After a storied 6-decade career, Henry T. Lynch—“the father of cancer genetics”—died Sunday in Nebraska at the age of 91.

Known in his Navy days as “Hammerin’ Hank,” Lynch was convinced about the heredity of cancer at a time when most scientists blamed it on environmental causes. From Nebraska to the Middle East, Lynch studied 3,000+ families, charting cancer’s course through family trees.

Years before genetic testing would prove him right, Lynch found hereditary links to various forms of cancer including colon, breast and ovarian. His discoveries spurred early screening practices that are credited with saving thousands of lives.

The Washington Post

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