NNUH Oesophago-gastric Cancer Unit named as one of the best in UK for eighth year running
The Oesophago-gastric Cancer Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is celebrating results from the recent National Oesophago-gastric Cancer Audit (NOGCA), which names the Trust as one of the best centres in the UK for the eighth year running.
The audit highlighted how NNUH has one of the lowest mortality rates after major complex operations for cancer of the oesophagus, as well as the shortest length of stay for patients post-operation. The national average of length of stay for these patients is 12-15 days, however NNUH patients stay on average just 7 days after their operation. This means we have one of the quickest recovery rates following this type of surgery for our patients in the country.
Each year, NNUH performs around 50-60 Minimally Invasive Oesophagectomy (MIO), a procedure which removes part of the oesophagus (gullet). This means we’re continuing to perform the highest percentage in the UK.
Mr Edward Cheong, Upper GI Cancer Lead and Consultant Oesophago-Gastric Surgeon said: “This is fantastic news for both our patients and for NNUH. It’s been a massive multi-disciplinary effort from the whole OG Cancer team, and I’m so proud of what we have achieved.”
In addition to his clinical role, Mr Cheong is leading the ‘Blow Your Whistle on Oesophageal Cancer’ campaign, which seeks to raise awareness of oesophageal cancer.
He added: “If you have acid reflux/ heartburn, or difficulty swallowing, please see your doctor early as it maybe signs of oesophageal cancer. Don’t just keep taking your medications to relieve heartburn and please don’t ignore these symptoms. The earlier we pick this cancer up, the easier it is to treat it and the better the outcome. We can treat the very early cancer by a gastroscope under sedation, as a day case procedure, which means the patient can avoid a long course of chemotherapy followed by a very big operation.”
NNUH is rated as one of the top units in the country for treating Oesophago-Gastric Cancer and one of the few units in Europe to perform totally minimally invasive oesophagectomy whereby the entire operation is done by keyhole surgery (laparoscopic and thoracoscopic oesophagectomy). The keyhole or laparoscopic surgery is less traumatic to the body allowing the patient to recover significantly faster.
Mark Davies, NNUH Chief Executive said: “The results from this recent audit reflect the enormous dedication and commitment from the entire Oesophago-gastric Cancer team at the hospital. We are extremely proud of the work they do and it is fantastic to be independently recognised for the quality of our service. A massive congratulations to the team.”
British Oesopageal Group Meeting
Mr Cheong recently hosted the British Oesophageal Group Meeting, a meeting where expert Oesophago-Gastric Surgeons come from all over the world to share best practise.
The meeting, which was held at Norwich Assembly House in March 2018, has been running annually since the 1970s.
Mr Cheong said: “It was a great honour to host the Annual British Oesophageal Group meeting here in Norwich, and it was a fantastic opportunity to share best practise and to learn from the experts.”