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Home Industry News Oesophageal cancer symptoms ‘endured for up to a year’

Oesophageal cancer symptoms ‘endured for up to a year’

21st April 2008

People with oesophageal cancer often endure serious symptoms for over a year before seeking help, a new report warns today.

A study from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) at Queen’s University Belfast revealed that people were waiting for more than 12 months with health concerns, with 80 per cent of oesophageal cancer patients in the province eventually reporting difficulty swallowing to their GP.

The researchers say the earlier this problem is raised with a doctor, the greater the chances of survival from oesophageal cancer.

Their report compared care for patients diagnosed with cancers of the oesophagus and stomach in 1996, 2001 and 2005.

They found a ten per cent increase in observed survival rates for oesophageal cancer patients one year after surgery.

Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of patients operated on in 1996 were alive a year after their operation while those who underwent surgery in 2005 had 79 per cent survival rates one year later.

NICR director Dr Anna Gavin said the improved survival rates reflect “enhanced use of sophisticated diagnostic facilities which have allowed clinicians working in expert teams to select those patients who are most likely to benefit from surgery”.

“Anyone experiencing difficulty swallowing should contact their own doctor and have their condition assessed, as early diagnosis of any cancer improves the survival,” she added.

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