Norfolk cancer statistics highlight need for new awareness campaign
An NHS Be Clear on Cancer campaign is highlighting the need for people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the relatively unknown but increasingly common cancers of the gullet (oesophagus) and stomach. In Norfolk statistics show that 214 people are diagnosed each year with these cancers and in 2010 they caused 170 deaths.
Anglia Cancer Network, which is leading the regional Be Clear on Cancer Campaign, is aiming to raise awareness of the symptoms and highlighting the importance of going to the doctor as soon has you have symptoms because cancer caught early can be more treatable.
You should see a doctor straight away if:
Food ever feels like its sticking in your throat when you swallow, or
Youve had heartburn or indigestion on and off for 3 weeks or more
Official figures show cancer of the oesophagus, the long tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach, is now the fourth most common cause of cancer death in men (after lung, prostate and bowel) and the sixth most in women.
Edward Cheong, Consultant Laparoscopic and Oesophago-gastric Surgeon at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital added: Early diagnosis is the key to recovery and the Be Clear on Cancer message is simple; you are not wasting anyones time by getting your symptoms checked out. Seeing your doctor without delay may save your life.
For more information about the Be Clear on Cancer campaign visit www.nhs.uk/ogcancer
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Notes for editors
Notes to editors:
1. The NHS Anglia Cancer Network campaign for oesophageal cancer is a regional pilot for Be Clear on Cancer, a Department of Health and Cancer Research UK campaign which aims to improve early diagnosis of cancer by raising awareness of symptoms and making it easier for people to discuss them with their GP. See www.angliacancernetwork.nhs.uk
2. The six Primary Care Trusts in the Anglia Cancer Network that have funded the campaign are: NHS Bedfordshire, NHS Cambridgeshire, NHS Peterborough, NHS Norfolk, NHS Suffolk, NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney.
3. The aim is to increase understanding of cancer of the stomach and cancer of the oesophagus (also known as oesophago-gastric or oesophageal cancer) amongst those most at risk of developing these cancers, or who are least likely to visit their GP with symptoms.
4. Evidence shows that low awareness of cancer symptoms and late diagnosis is the main reason for the gap between UK and European survival outcomes and Anglia Cancer Networks cancer strategy Moving Forward on Cancer Services aims to match the best survival rates in Europe.
5. The Anglia region is piloting this campaign to see how people respond and what impact it has on their behaviour. The results will inform whether the campaign is continued on a wider scale.
6. In summer 2011 Anglia Cancer Network ran a pilot Breast, Bowel and Lung awareness campaign for Be Clear on Cancer and in 2012 there has been a National Bowel campaign (February/March 2012) and a National Lung campaign (May/June 2012).
7. Oesophagus is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in men (after lung, prostrate and bowel) and the sixth most common cause of cancer death in women (after lung, breast, bowel, ovary and pancreas).
Source Cancer Research UK.
8. Oesophagus cancer is the 9th most commonly diagnosed cancer (all persons). In men, it is the 7th most commonly diagnosed cancer.
Source Cancer Research UK.
Cancers of the gullet (oesophagus) and stomach (gastric)
Total cases per year*
*Source: UK CIS annual average 2004-2008, all age