London,
04
February
2015
|
17:05
Europe/London

Be clear on stomach and throat cancer

Have you had heartburn most days for three weeks or more? Chances are it’s nothing serious, but it’s worth making a trip to your Doctor’s surgery.

Public Health England is asking you to be aware of the signs and symptoms of oesophageal (throat) and gastric (stomach) cancer as part of the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign, running until 22 February.

Heartburn and indigestion on most days for three weeks or more is a key symptom, and you should see your GP as soon as you can, especially if you are over 50. Other symptoms include feeling like food is sticking in your throat when you swallow, losing weight for no reason, trapped wind, and feeling bloated after eating.

There are around 12,900 new cases of these two cancers in England every year. Together, they cause over 10,000 deaths annually.

Both cancers affect men and women, but are more common in men. More than nine out of 10 people who get oesophageal-gastric cancer are over 50.

It is important to speak to your GP if you think you have any of the symptoms as getting help early can make treatment easier.Smokers have twice the risk of oesophageal-gastric cancer compared to non-smokers, with other risk factors including regularly consuming more than the recommended amount of alcohol, having a diet high in salt or being overweight.

Our services can help you to reduce your risk by quitting smoking, drinking less alcohol, eating healthily and maintaining a healthy weight, and being more active.If you, or someone you care for, have experienced symptoms tell a doctor as soon as possible.For further information about throat and stomach cancer visit nhs.uk/ogcancer