OG Cancer NI, the oesophageal and stomach cancer charity, will hold its Spring Wellbeing meeting online on Saturday, March 27 at 11am, with leading medics and members of the charity taking part.
The meeting, which comes at a time when OG Cancer NI is undertaking its Catch It Early campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancer, is titled ‘Improving Your Quality of Life’.
Dr Inder Mainie, Consultant Gastroenterologist in the Belfast Trust and Dr Olinda Santin, Lecturer in Supportive Cancer Care will present to participants and be available to answer any questions.
The meeting is designed to support those undergoing or recovering from treatment of oesophageal and stomach cancer.
Mr Andrew Kennedy, Consultant Upper GI Surgeon said: “As a surgeon treating patients with oesophago-gastric cancer, I cannot over-emphasise the essential role provided by OGCancerNI to my patients.”
“I also know from my patients’ perspective how valuable they and their families find the services offered by OGCancerNI, particularly their bi-annual Wellbeing meeting.”
The meeting, which will take the form of a Zoom call, is an opportunity for people to get together with other people going through similar experiences or treatments and hear from medical experts.
More than 400 people were diagnosed with oesophageal and stomach cancer each year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and OG Cancer NI, chair, Helen Setterfield, feels it is now more important than ever to make sure that anyone worried seeks appropriate help.
“The Catch It Early campaign work highlights the major impact that disruption to cancer services has had on early diagnosis of oesophageal and stomach cancer.
“We urge the health service to do all that it can to enable these conditions to be monitored and diagnosed quickly, as early diagnosis saves lives.”
While the campaign continues, Helen said the charity will continue with its other work, such as the bi-annual wellbeing meetings.
“We continue to receive positive feedback from participants,” she said.
“One told us ‘It was great just to talk to other people who had been through a similar experience; it was reassuring to know what I was experiencing was normal’.”
Symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancer include persistent heartburn or acid reflux that doesn’t go away, trouble swallowing, sudden weight loss, regurgitation or hiccups that do not go away”.
“Recent figures show that there has been a drop in the number of referrals to hospitals by GPs of patients showing symptoms in 2020 compared to previous years so we want to make sure that we reverse that,” said Helen.
“Early diagnosis leads to a much better chance of survival from this cancer which has a 20% survival rate of five or more years, according to the NI Cancer Registry 2019.”
The OG Cancer NI Catch It Early campaign, funded by the National Lottery and OG Cancer, strives not only to increase the awareness of the signs of oesophageal-gastric cancers in the public but also throughout the medical and caring professions.
For more on the wellbeing meeting or the work of OG Cancer NI contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information go to ogcancerni.com, follow #OGCancerNI, call 07568 157450 or make an appointment to see your local GP today.