Hospital launches campaign to raise awareness of oesophageal cancer

Edward Cheong, consultant oesophago-gastric and laparoscopic surgeon at the N&N.

Edward Cheong, consultant oesophago-gastric and laparoscopic surgeon at the N&N. - Credit: Archant

Patients who have survived oesophageal cancer will take part in a 'blow your whistle' awareness day at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

The aim of the event is to encourage whistles to be blown at all sporting events in future so that it becomes an established way to raise awareness for oesophageal cancer.

NNUH Consultant Surgeon Mr Edward Cheong said: 'Oesophageal cancer is a very aggressive cancer that affects the gullet and it is vital that it is caught early when treatments are more likely to be effective. Many patients ignore the symptoms such as persistent indigestion, acid reflux and difficulty swallowing. We are launching this awareness campaign to encourage people to be aware of symptoms and seek medical advice at an early stage.

'This is the first event of its kind and we hope it will grow every year and become part of sporting events.'

The incidence of oesophageal cancer has risen by 500pc in the last four decades due to obesity, smoking and poor diet and lifestyles.

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This is rising faster than any other cancer in the western world, and UK has the highest incidence in the world, while Norfolk has the 5th highest incidence of oesophageal cancer in UK.

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 minimally invasive oesophagectomy where the entire operation is done by keyhole surgery (laparoscopic and thoracoscopic oesophagectomy).

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The keyhole or laparoscopic surgery is less traumatic to the body allowing the patient to recover from a major complex cancer operation is significantly faster.

The event will be held at 11am on Saturday, April 29.

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