Screening and risk-reducing strategies
Below are some of the general screening recommendations and cancer prevention strategies for Lynch syndrome. Your healthcare professional will explain and go through your personalised cancer prevention programme with you in more detail. Your personalised cancer prevention programme will include your gene specific recommendations which are not included here. If you have any questions, get in touch with your healthcare team.
- Consider taking aspirin (NICE guidelines 2020) from the age of 25 to 65 for cancer prevention: Aspirin has been shown to reduce the long term risk of cancer in Lynch syndrome by around 50%. Trials to determine the best dose of aspirin for cancer prevention are still ongoing, so discuss with your GP whether you have any contraindications to taking aspirin before you start. If you are younger than 25 and you wish to start taking aspirin, discuss this with your medical team. [Lynch syndrome: should I take aspirin to reduce my risk of getting bowel cancer. Patient decision aid, NICE, 2020]
- One-off screening for Helicobacter pylori: H. pylori is a bacteria that 30% of the population have in the stomach. Eradication of these bacteria may reduce the lifetime risk of gastric cancer by half. To arrange testing for this contact your GP.
- General lifestyle recommendations:
- Healthy diet: High fibre, low fat, with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Try to eat less red and processed meat. It is also good for your general health that you include starchy foods in your diet such as plantains and green bananas.
- Behaviours: Limiting your alcohol intake, not smoking, and doing regular exercise is beneficial for your general health and all have a role in preventing the development of cancer.
- Body weight: Maintaining a healthy body weight is also important.
- Two-yearly check-up of your bowel: For colorectal cancer prevention.
- Gynaecological surveillance: Currently there is limited evidence to support gynaecological surveillance for the early detection of gynaecological cancer in Lynch syndrome. There are some surgical risk-reducing interventions available for women between the ages of 40 and 45 who have completed their family. Please discuss this with your healthcare professional.
- To prevent or reduce the risk of developing other cancer types, such as skin cancer, we recommend symptom awareness and to remain vigilant. If you have a new symptom that lasts for over 2 weeks, it is recommended that you seek medical advice.