Be Clear on Cancer oesophago-gastric cancer roadshow to visit Bristol next week

Event aims to raise awareness that heartburn most days for three weeks or more could be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancer

A Be Clear on Cancer roadshow is set to visit Bristol next week to raise awareness of the symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancers. In particular, the roadshow aims to increase understanding that heartburn most days for three weeks or more could be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancer and anyone who notices the symptoms should see their doctor.

The most recent data reveals that in Bristol, 88 people are diagnosed with oesophageal or stomach cancer (also known as oesophago-gastric cancers) each year, and approximately 64 people die from these diseases annually.

A new survey commissioned by Public Health England has found that nationally only 1 in 2 people (55%) would visit their doctor if they had heartburn most days for three weeks or more.

According to the survey, 59% of respondents did not know that heartburn could be a sign of cancer with just 15% saying they were certain that it is a symptom.

Another symptom highlighted by the roadshow is that of difficulty swallowing food. Here the survey found that 70% did not know food sticking in the throat could be a sign of cancer and just 13% of those surveyed said they were sure it is a symptom.

Early diagnosis is crucial: around 67% of people diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers at the earliest stage survive for at least five years. This figure drops to around 3% for those diagnosed at a late stage.

The Be Clear on Cancer roadshow has been visiting shopping centres across England since 28 January and will be in Bristol on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 February at the Broadwalk Shopping Centre in Knowle.

At the event, leaflets will be distributed that provide information on oesophago-gastric cancers and a nurse will also be on hand to talk to anyone who has any questions.

Dr Shona Arora, Centre Director for the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Public Health England Centre said:

“People may be reluctant to visit their doctor about persistent heartburn, thinking that it’s something they just have to live with, but heartburn most days for three weeks or more could be a sign of cancer.

“The Be Clear on Cancer roadshow in Bristol is a great way for individuals from the local area to find out more about the signs and symptoms of oesophago-gastric cancers. The earlier these cancers are diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival.“

For further information about the signs and symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancers, click here.

 

Be Clear on Cancer campaign in Wiltshire to raise awareness that ongoing heartburn can be a sign of cancer

Latest data reveals around 530 people in Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire are diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers each year.

A ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign in Wiltshire urging people from the area to visit their doctor if they have heartburn most days for three weeks or more, as this can be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancer.

The campaign launch coincides with results of a new survey commissioned by Public Health England, which reveals that nationally, only 1 in 2 people (55%) would visit their doctor if they experience the above symptom.

The most recent data has revealed that in Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, around 530 people are diagnosed with oesophageal or stomach cancer each year and approximately 438 people die from these diseases annually.

Early diagnosis of oesophageal or stomach cancer (also known as oesophago-gastric cancers) is crucial and means treatment is more likely to be successful. Nationally, around 67% of people diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers at the earliest stage survive for at least five years. This figure drops to around 3% for those diagnosed at a late stage.

According to the survey, 59% of respondents did not know that heartburn could be a sign of cancer with just 15% saying they were certain that it is a symptom.

Another symptom highlighted by the campaign is that of difficulty swallowing food. Here the survey found that 70% did not know food sticking in the throat could be a sign of cancer and just 13% of those surveyed said they were sure it is a symptom.

Dr Shona Arora, Centre Director for the Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Public Health England Centre, explains the importance of this campaign:

“People may be reluctant to visit their doctor about persistent heartburn, thinking that it’s something they just have to live with. But heartburn most days for three weeks or more could be a sign of cancer.

“The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival. If we’re to improve early diagnosis rates, we need to encourage people with symptoms to go to their doctor, which is what this latest Be Clear on Cancer campaign aims to do.”

It has been estimated that around 950 lives could be saved in England each year if our survival rates for oesophago-gastric cancers matched the best in Europe.

Of those diagnosed with oesophago-gastric cancers, more than 9 out of 10 people are over the age of 50,0 making this the target age group for the campaign.

The four-week campaign will see adverts running nationally throughout England on TV, radio and in the press.

A local roadshow will also be visiting the Broadwalk Centre in Knowle, Bristol on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 February to raise awareness of oesophago-gastric cancers.

For further information about the signs and symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancers, please visit www.nhs.uk/ogcancer

For more information, see this page

 

Movember

Steve-Rowlands-2014_WEBOver the last eight years or so, at this time of the year, I have used my time off over half term as a chance to get a sneaky start to Movember, in an attempt to get a head start on my colleagues in the moustache growing department.

Movember is a an annual event that started in Adelaide in 1999 in order to raise awareness of men’s health issues, and involves all participants growing a moustache in November. (Hence me starting in October was a definite Unfair Advantage!)

But how can growing a moustache help men’s health?

In short it is an awareness that helps to educate and empower men to take responsibility for their own health.

As a GP it seems iniquitous that women have screening programmes that are hugely beneficial and yet there was nothing in place for screening men’s health.

Movember started with a conversation between friends and it’s a conversation that remains integral to how the Movember Foundation is changing the face of men’s health.

Today, it is just many more conversations. When you count the online and in-person chat that takes place each Movember, it’s literally billions of conversations. These conversations transcend a casual discussion about moustache growth into serious conversations about men’s health.

Does it work?

It has been shown that the Movember campaign is having a positive impact on getting men engaged and thinking about their health and taking preventative action.

  • 99% of participants talked to someone about their health
  • 75% became more aware of the health issues they face
  • 62% had seen or were intending to see a medical professional to get their key personal data checked (blood pressure, cholesterol, waistline, weight)
  • 50% told someone they should take action to improve their health
  • 75% said they were more likely to tell someone they knew to seek professional health if they thought it was needed
  • 1.7 billion conversations were had

So not only should we think about testicular and prostate cancer, which are peculiar to men, but we should all be thinking about lifestyle choices ie diet, smoking, drinking and exercise, all of which can have an impact on all of our long term health issues.

Those of you that have heard me talk will know how I go banging on about personal responsibility and the need for every one of us take control of our health where at all possible

So if anyone you know is starting to sprout hairs around their top lip it will hopefully be with an ulterior motive of not only becoming more aware of their own health but also making you aware of yours and is to be applauded.

As Chairman of this Health organisation, I will be encouraging those of us that can to join in and support Movember and you never know I may yet again try and gain a small advantage next week.

Today, Tuesday 14 October, sees the start of the Be Clear on Cancer campaign being run again this year by Public Health England.

People are being urged to go to their doctor if they see blood when they pee, even if it’s just once.

For more information, click here.

The Salisbury Journal has launched a new appeal for Salisbury District Hospital’s breast cancer unit.  Their aim is raise £750,000.

The new facilities will make it possible to deliver care for breast cancer patients in one place and enable the dedicated team to deliver a diagnosis on the same day.  Clinics and counselling rooms will also be on hand, which will reduce the number of visits to the hospital and provide a positive environment that will aid recovery.

So far, over £190,000 has been raised.

See also Salisbury Journal: http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/11464003.Bid_for_new_breast_cancer_unit/

Salisbury District Hospital

 

It’s been a year since Salisbury District Hospital began offering the Macmillan Cancer Support programme.  The programme lasts for eight weeks and is offered to all cancer patients at the hospital.

A Macmillan adviser is on hand to go through exercise plans, relaxation techniques, discuss any financial worries, diet and any problems with sleeping.

For further information about how Macmillan can help you: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/HowWeCanHelp/HowWeCanHelp.aspx

Salisbury District Hospital: http://www.salisbury.nhs.uk