One of my main interests is oesophageal and gastric cancer. Compared to other cancers the prognosis isn’t great and doesn’t seem to be improving like it is in other countries for some reason. One of the ways we can improve the prognosis is to catch the disease at a much earlier stage.
Echoing the main messages of the UK Governments ‘Be clear on cancer’ campaign from 2015, the main messages were
1. Having heartburn, most days, for 3 weeks or more could be a sign of cancer – tell your doctor
2. Food sticking when you swallow could be a sign of cancer – tell your doctor
3. Other symptoms of cancer could be weight loss, vomiting blood, lumps in the abdomen or neck, hoarse voice
Risk factors for these cancers are smoking, regular alcohol intake, male gender, Barrett’s oesophagus, older age and a family history of these cancers.
If you have any of these symptoms please contact your doctor and ask for a Two Week Wait urgent referral for an Upper GI Endoscopy.