Oesophageal Patients Association
3,377 members2,109 posts


Dont worry Im not with child, wrong gender anyway but I have read a story in the Radio Times about Jennifer Worth who wrote the books on which the BBC series is based that she died last year of cancer of the oesophagus & did not go for surgery. While as a health profestional & in fact a Marie Curie nurse for many years hopefully she did not fit the profile of the smoking drinking image of famous people who get our special cancer my support group seem all very health sober people. With the awareness campaign running from April until June we can get the people who do not abuse their bodies to know they can have symptoms that doctor must check out.today. Good luck & love to you all BRUCExxxxx

6 Replies

Thank you Bruce.

I am sure that you are right about Jennifer Worth and her lifestyle. It probably undelrines the message about eraly diagnosis as you quite rightly say.

Best Wishes



I would say that even when and if people "abuse their bodies" as Bruce puts it, those who are couch potatoes, smokers, drinkers etc and those who are just plain unlucky, we are all just people with all the frailities and problems life brings. People are as they are because of what life chucks at them and some have it really hard at times. Winston Churchill smoked and drank his way to become a hero of the UK. Some brilliant people are in a lifestyle that may not be healthy and produce fantastic work. Politics, Medicine and Music come to mind. Two people can live the same lifestyle and 1 get cancer but not the other. Cancer is no respecter of anyone. No one "deserves" to get it! I dislike the stigma of the hard drinking, smoking attitude but I equally dislike an attitude that might imply some are "better than others". We are all valuable, all vulnerable and untill you walk in someones shoes............!

Charlie x


I started out as a community midwife at the same time as Jennifer Worth although not in the east end. Cycling round the patients in all weathers both day and night was a very healthy life style.Discipline on drinking was very strict.

As a non smoker or drinker I still got a squamous cell cancer, a nd was operated on. Jennifer as I understand it decided not to go for surgery and let nature take its course. Sadly cancer does not always respect life style but perhaps the problem is people's perception of a cure for oesophageal cancer.



Are we saying that the people who abuse their bodies are not entitled to same early diagnosis as those of us havent smoked or drunk alcohol in large amounts??


Sorry if I gave the impression that smokers & drinkers "deserve" to get cancer no one does but did feel people who did not thought ours was a cancer they were unlikely to contract & are slower to seek treatment & doctors did not quickly respond to patients with health lifestyles Im sure it did in my case as it took 3 visits to the doctor & a change in doctor within the practice before I was sent to hospital for tests by which time the problem was worse. I pray that the awareness campaign can bring to the public & doctors a need to get diagnoises & treatment early. with a satisfactory results.Hoping I have not upset to many people & wish us all good health & happiness BRUCE


i think that the problem lies with lack of experience a lot of GP.s have of this cancer its rare, my gp has only ever treated 1 other person in his 30 year career. when i went to see him with issues re swallowing he sent me urgently for endoscope 14 days after visiting him i was diagnosed. if i had have been seen by one of the other practice doctors i may not have been so lucky. i had been taking gaviscon for 20 years had never had this investigated. i had a barium swallow years ago at another surgery which revealed a hiatus hernia. as it was more trouble to get the gaviscon on perscription and i had to pay for it anyway i used to just buy over the counter. i got used to living with the condition and never knew i was at a high risk of developing cancer. my barretts was the whole length of my gullet and i never knew i had it untill i was diagnosed. i know lots of people whom live with heartburn and acid reflux and dont know that if not treated it can cause damage long term. so bring on the awareness campaign.


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