New campaign to reduce cancer cases in Norfolk and Waveney
Steps are being taken to raise awareness of two relatively unknown forms of cancer which claim the lives of hundreds of people in Norfolk every year.
The Be Clear on Cancer campaign was launched today (Monday).
The regional pilot, led by Anglia Cancer Network, is aimed at increasing public awareness about the symptoms of cancers of the oesophagus, the long tube which carries food from the throat to the stomach, and stomach cancer.
Nearly 300 people in Norfolk and Waveney are diagnosed with the two cancers every year – and in 2010, they caused 236 deaths across the Norfolk and Waveney area.
People are being urged to go to their doctor if food ever feels like it is sticking in their throat when they swallow or if they have had heartburn or indigestion on and off for three weeks or more.
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Paul Lesslie, from Overstrand, near Cromer, was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus last year.
He underwent chemotherapy and non-invasive keyhole surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and was home from hospital within five days of the operation, a record for the hospital.
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The 61-year-old said: 'I was swallowing food but it wouldn't go down into my stomach and I would encourage anyone who thinks they have symptoms like this to see their doctor. Don't just think it will go away, because the longer you leave it, the worse it will get.'
For more information on the Be Clear on Cancer campaign, go to www.nhs.uk/ogcancer.
Have you got a health story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org