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Case study: Bromley grandad urges others to support genetics research

Bromley grandad urges others to support genetics research

A devoted grandfather has spoken about how south London research has given him peace of mind regarding his increased risk of being diagnosed with cancer.

Andrew Robinson, 68, is taking part in the CaPP3 trial at Guy’s Hospital. The trial looks at three different aspirin doses to stop cancer from developing in people with Lynch syndrome. According to the NHS website, Lynch syndrome is an inherited condition that causes an increased risk of bowel cancer. The National Institute for Health and Care Research Clinical Research Network South London supported recruitment to the CaPP3 trial.

The 68-year-old from Bromley, south London, who has Lynch syndrome, is urging others to take part in health and care research to help future generations. Andrew said:

"I was diagnosed with Lynch syndrome 16 years ago. My responsibility as soon as I was diagnosed was to let my family know so they could get tested. I have a twin sister who was tested and was negative. The eldest of my three children was diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, but neither of us has gone on to develop bowel cancer. The knowledge is reassuring as it allows us to plan our lives, reduce potential risks such as processed meats, and manage a healthy diet.

"The syndrome is genetic and comes from my father's side of the family. My aunt on my father's side died of cervical cancer, and my brother died of bowel cancer in 2014. My brother's eldest son, who has inherited the syndrome, was diagnosed with bowel cancer via his regular colonoscopy test; this was caught early thanks to the testing. My wife is a keen family tree researcher. When I was diagnosed with Lynch syndrome, she looked back at the history on my father's side to find cancer cases going back to at least 1890.

"I joined the CaPP3 trial in 2015, and the results should be published in 2024. I learned about the trial through the Genetics Unit at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust. The trial has given me peace of mind because taking aspirin helps stop the progress of cancer and holds back the process of getting cancer. I want to thank the research team for the outstanding care I've received and their work, which will help others with Lynch syndrome.

"I urge others to take part in research because it has a long-term benefit. You can help your children, grandchildren and future generations. The results can also help the NHS by ensuring earlier diagnosis of cancer, which means more lives can be saved. I have taken part in research four times, and I will keep volunteering to get involved in studies to help medicine and others."

Andrew must take aspirin once a day, have regular blood tests and attend follow-up appointments at Guy’s Hospital as part of his involvement in the trial.

It is estimated there could be over 175,000 people living in the UK with Lynch syndrome, but just five per cent of people are aware they are living with the condition, according to the Bowel Cancer UK website.

Visit the Be Part of Research website to find out about the latest Lynch Syndrome research taking place in London and across the UK.