This is to let everybody know that we are planning an awareness campaign for oesophageal & gastric cancer, and have combined with some other charities to try and take up the cause.
Basically, early diagnosis makes such an enormous difference to the outcome of treatment that we want to encourage those with symptoms to visit their GP earlier, and for all GPs to send people for tests more promptly.
The Department of Health are actively pursuing this too as part of their 'Be Clear on Cancer' campaigns and there are going to be some pilot schemes around Easter time.
We have website actionagainstheartburn.org.uk so if you have time, please visit it - at the very least it will help to push up our google ratings!
70% of the oesophageal cancer cases in the UK are linked to heartburn and Barrett's oesophagus and it is this type of cancer (ie adenocarcinoma) that is increasing more quickly. So as well as the danger signs of having difficulty swallowing food etc we want to try and get more people who have Barrett's Oesophagus diagnosed, into the system, monitored and treated before they have any further trouble. It can take many years, and it is only a small proportion who do develop cancer, but we think it is really worthwhile to concentrate on this aspect because it is a genuine early warning sign that other types of cancer do not necessarily have.