NNUH backing “Be Clear on Cancer” campaign for Oesophageal and Gastric cancer

The 2015 national “Be Clear on Cancer” campaign is focussing on oesophageal and gastric cancer. Mr Edward Cheong, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Oesophago-gastric and Laparoscopic Surgeon, and Upper GI Cancer Lead is backing the campaign on behalf of his top cancer centre team.

Oesophageal cancer is a very aggressive cancer that affects the oesophagus (gullet). The incidence of oesophageal cancer due to Barrett’s has risen by 500% in the last 4 decades. The incidence is rising faster than any other cancer in the Western world, and UK has the highest incidence in the world (Norfolk has the fifth highest incidence of oesophageal cancer in UK).

The main aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about oesophageal cancer and help people to notice the signs to pick up the cancer earlier. This will make it more treatable and ultimately, it will lead to a better outcome. The earlier this cancer can be diagnosed the better chance there is of curing it. Some of the early oesophageal cancer can be treated by endoscopic resection or radiofrequency ablation (RFA) by using a flexible camera. This is performed in a day procedure at NNUH, instead of a long complex operation after many months of chemotherapy.

The OG cancer team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is one of the leading cancer centres in the country with excellent outcomes after oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery.

Mr Edward Cheong said: “We are very fortunate to have an excellent and forward thinking cancer team at NNUH. We have been performing minimally invasive oesophagectomy with enhanced recovery after surgery for the last four and half years and have found that this brings enormous benefits to patients.

“The 2014 National Oesophago-gastric Cancer Audit independently showed that we have the lowest mortality rate (0.5%) and shortest hospital stay (eight days) in the country after major complex cancer surgery. In addition we have been performing RFA and endoscopic resection for the last five years to treat the early oesophageal cancers.”

The key messages of the campaign are to see your doctor if you have one of the two most common signs; having heartburn, on most days for three weeks or more, and if food is sticking in your throat when you swallow.

The key risk factors for both oesophageal and stomach cancers is increasing age, with more than 95% of oesophago-gastric cancers diagnosed in people aged 50 or over in England. It is also more common among men (particularly white British men), than women. Other risk factors include:
• Smoking – the biggest lifestyle risk factor for both oesophageal and stomach cancers, accounting for nearly 7 out of 10 cases of oesophageal cancer and nearly 1 out of 5 cases of stomach cancer
• Alcohol – around 2 in 10 cases of oesophageal cancer are linked to consuming alcohol on a regular basis
• Being overweight or obese is linked to around 2 in 10 cases of oesophageal cancer
• Barrett’s oesophagus: chronic and severe reflux can lead to Barrett’s oesophagus and, in a small number of cases, can develop into oesophageal cancer.
• Diet: approximately 1 in 5 cases of stomach cancer are associated with a consuming too much salt (more than 6g per day on a regular basis)
• Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infections are linked to nearly 1 in 3 cases of stomach cancer
• Heartburn/regurgitation – A strong association has long been identified between these symptoms and oesophageal cancer

Editor Notes
• Wednesday 4th February is also World Cancer Awareness Day.
• We do have a case study available to interview on Tuesday 3rd Feb and Wednesday 4th Feb who has received the surgery.
• We also have OG Consultant Surgeon Ed cheong available to interview Tuesday 3rd Feb and Wednesday 4th Feb
• Please call 01603 289821 to book interview slots with both interviewees
• NNUH was named the top cancer centre for OG Cancer in January 2015.

Monday 2nd of February 2015 02:00:44 PM