Lynch syndrome is a genetic disease which is caused due to the mutation in the DNA repairing gene. Thus, any mistake in the genetic information of DNA is not corrected, resulting in the increased risk of cancer. This is an autosomal dominant gene and passes on the next generation without any skip. The chances for contracting this disease in the next generation are 50:50.
How To Prevent Lynch Syndrome?
Lynch syndrome is a genetic disease and it cannot be prevented as there is no mechanism which stops the gene from passing on to the next generation. Further, it is an autosomal dominant gene which means that if a person has only single copy of the gene then also, person will be affected by Lynch syndrome. The Lynch syndrome does not skip generation rather; it may or may not be present in a particular child. The chances of disease transfer to next generation are 50:50. The people having lynch syndrome are at higher risk for developing cancer as compared to the people who does not have lynch syndrome. There are various ways that can be used to reduce the chances of developing lynch syndrome to cancer. Following are those preventive measures:
Screening And Surveillance: As the patient with Lynch syndrome carries relatively higher risk of various types of cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, the screening and surveillance should be periodically done for these patients. There are two types of methods for screening the patients. These methods are Microsatellite instability test and the immunochemistry analysis. On the basis of these screening tests, the Lynch syndrome is identified. Also, the screening methods should also be done to test for cancer. The general method used for screening is biopsy.
Diet: Diet also plays a major role in the prevention of cancer from Lynch syndrome. In the Lynch syndrome, due to mutation, the power of the cell to correct the mistakes in DNA is compromised and this leads to higher chancer of cancer. Thus, the diet should be such that it does not lead to the development of cancer. The diet may either should not contribute to cancer or may reduce the risk of cancer development. High sugar and high fat diet increase the risk of development of cancer. Thus, these ingredients should be avoided. Further, certain ingredients such as antioxidants including coenzyme Q10, resveratrol, green tea extract should be incorporated in the diet.
Surgical Management: Prophylactic surgery is done in patients who have the high risk of development of cancer. Colectomy, hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy are the types of surgery used for this purpose.
Prevention Through Drugs: The risk of cancer development from Lynch syndrome may also be reduced with the help of certain drugs. It has been found through studies that aspirin reduces the risk of cancer in patients with Lynch syndrome. Further, some researches conclude that the administration of oral contraceptives reduces the risk of development of endometrial cancer.
Lifestyle: The risk of cancer due to Lynch syndrome can also be reduced through a vigilant lifestyle. The patient should maintain a healthy body weight and avoid drinking and smoking. Further, the patient should avoid spicy food and do exercise daily. Also, the patient should completely remove the processed meat from his diet.
Genetic Testing: Genetic testing is sometimes done for the family members of the recently diagnosed cancer due to Lynch syndrome. This testing will help in strategizing the medical care and follow-up examination.
Annual Examination: Generally non-invasive examination such as pelvic examination is done once in a year to confirm the presence or absence of any type of tumor in high risk patients.
There is no way to reduce the risk of Lynch syndrome as the disease is genetically related. However, there are methods to reduce the risk of development of cancer. This can be done through proper screening and examination. Proper genetic testing methods should be used for accuracy of results. Surgical methods are also used for reduction in the risk of cancer. Diet and lifestyle also play a major role in lowering the risk of cancer.