NNUH is top performer nationally for complex cancer operation

National data shows that cancer patients treated at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) have a lower risk of complications when undergoing complex operations for cancer of the oesophagus (gullet) and stomach.

Results from the Dr Foster Intelligence Unit show that the NNUH is one of the best performing hospitals in the country for oesophagectomy and gastrectomy, which are surgical operations where the oesophagus and stomach are removed, respectively. The NNUH has a significantly lower mortality and complications rates, well below the national average.

Mr Edward Cheong, Consultant Oesophagogastric Surgeon and Upper GI Cancer Lead at NNUH said: “At the Norfolk and Norwich Oesophagogastric Cancer Centre, we have a very committed, highly skilled and dedicated team, working together for the benefit of our patients. We are proud of the work we do and it is gratifying to have an independent recognition for the quality of our cancer centre.”

Each year, NNUH carries out over 60 oesophagectomies and gastrectomies. The mortality risk is 5% nationally, and at the NNUH this risk is significantly lower at 1.5%.

Mr Cheong adds: “This is a major complex operation and the outcome is a lot better if we can detect the cancer at an early stage. Patients should see their GP straight away if they are over 55 years old and have acid reflux (indigestion or heartburn) for more than 3 weeks, or if they experience any difficulty swallowing.”

If the cancer is detected at a very early stage, it can be treated with an endoscope (a camera through the mouth under sedation) using two new techniques available at NNUH. This avoids a major complex operation and its associated complications.

Notes to editors

Oesophageal and gastric cancer are the fifth commonest cause of cancer deaths in the UK. The incidence of oesophageal cancer is one of the fastest rising cancers in the west, and the UK has the highest incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (the main type of oesophageal cancer in western countries) in the world.

Friday 22nd of February 2013 10:00:03 AM