PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Frequent cancer screening and preventive surgery are the only ways to reduce the risk of cancer in people with Lynch syndrome. No other measures have been proved to reduce your risk. Researchers are studying other ways to reduce cancer risk. One study found people with Lynch syndrome who took aspirin for two years reduced their risk of colon cancer and other Lynch-related cancers. Discuss the benefits and risks of taking aspirin with your doctor.
Taking care of yourself through diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes can help improve your overall health.
Take control of your health by trying to:
- Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables for your diet. Select whole-grain products when possible.
- Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. If you haven't been active, talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program. Try gentle exercises like walking or biking to get started.
- Maintain a healthy weight. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, talk with your doctor about your options. Eating fewer calories and increasing the amount of exercise you do can help you lose weight. Aim to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week.
- Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk of several types of cancer and other health conditions. Some evidence indicates smoking may increase the risk of colon cancer in people with Lynch syndrome. If you smoke, stop. Your doctor can recommend strategies to help you quit. You have many options, such as nicotine replacement products, medications and support groups. If you don't smoke, don't start.
- Genetics of colorectal cancer (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/genetics/colorectal/healthprofessional. Accessed Jan. 24, 2012.
- Lindor NM, et al. Concise handbook of familial cancer susceptibility syndromes. Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs. 2008;38:1.
- Colorectal cancer screening. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Jan. 31, 2012.
- Lindor NM, et al. Recommendations for the care of individuals with an inherited predisposition to Lynch syndrome: A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2006;296:1507.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:180.
- Backes FJ, et al. Lynch syndrome. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2011;54:199.
- Making sense of your genes: A guide to genetic counseling. National Society of Genetic Counselors. http://www.nsgc.org/client_files/GuidetoGeneticCounseling.pdf. Accessed Jan. 24, 2012.
- Kaltenbach T, et al. Image-enhanced endoscopy is critical in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of non-polypoid colorectal neoplasms. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Clinics of North America. 2010;20:471.
- Pande M, et al. Smoking and colorectal cancer in Lynch syndrome: Results from the Colon Cancer Family Registry and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. 2010;16:1331.
- Burn J, et al. Long-term effect of aspirin on cancer risk in carriers of hereditary colorectal cancer: An analysis from the CAPP2 randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2011;378:2081.