Every so often we have had discussions about how important it is to catch this cancer early - when the outcomes are likely to be so much more positive, and the idea of encouraging the public to go to their doctor when they have problems. There have been adverts about going to your doctor with blood in your poo, blood in your urine, coughs etc that do not clear up after 3 weeks. Now, after a lot of discussions, it looks like the Government are going to include oesophago-gastric cancer as a regional campaign in this 'Be Clear on Cancer' advertising strategy. This is because local pilot campaigns were successful in detecting more cancers. It looks like it might be taking place in February, and would involve TV and radio advertising, with posters and shelf wobblers (those little adverts between the shelves on plastic stalks) in pharmacies. So let's hope that this will be just as positive. There will be quite a bit of work done with GPs in the region so that more referrals for endoscopy are catered for.
The Director of Cancer Services, Sean Duffy, who took over from Sir Mike Richards a few months ago, is pushing these campaigns along. There will be a similar venture for ovarian cancer in the North West of England next year as well, and if they are successful, they may end up as national campaigns.