Oesophageal cancer rise prompts GP visit advice

Patients with persistent acid reflux are being encouraged to visit their GP to check for signs of oesophageal cancer, after figures revealed rates of the disease have risen 50% in the past four decades.

Patients with chronic heartburn are urged to visit their GP (Photo: iStock)
Patients with chronic heartburn are urged to visit their GP (Photo: iStock)

Rates of the disease have risen from eight per 100,000 in 1971 to 13 per 100,000 today, according to the latest figures from Cancer Research UK.

The charity has urged patients with persistent acid reflux – an important risk factor for oesophageal cancer, alongside smoking, drinking and obesity – to contact their GP.

Mr Tim Underwood, an oesophageal surgeon and a Cancer Research UK researcher at the University of Southampton, said: ‘People should be aware that persistent heartburn is not normal. If this is happening to you, you need to see your GP.

'The vast majority of people won’t have anything seriously wrong with them, but it’s important to get it checked out.’

He added: ‘These figures are a clear reminder that we’ve still a long way to go with oesophageal cancer. We must do more to diagnose the disease as early as possible.’

Almost 8,000 people die each year from the disease, which is now the fourth most common cause of cancer death among men in the UK.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Face-to-face GP appointments on demand 'unachievable', warns RCGP chair

Face-to-face GP appointments on demand 'unachievable', warns RCGP chair

Calls for general practice to offer face-to-face appointments to all patients who...

Cornwall PCN wheels out electric car fleet to reduce carbon footprint

Cornwall PCN wheels out electric car fleet to reduce carbon footprint

Staff at a primary care network (PCN) in Cornwall have committed to reducing their...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Repeat prescribing and SMR overhaul as review finds one in 10 scrips unnecessary

Repeat prescribing and SMR overhaul as review finds one in 10 scrips unnecessary

Repeat prescribing and use of structured medication reviews in general practice are...

BMA demands emergency meeting with government over GP abuse

BMA demands emergency meeting with government over GP abuse

BMA leaders have requested an emergency summit with the government to discuss ‘unacceptable...

Millions of pounds lost to general practice as flagship recruitment scheme falls short

Millions of pounds lost to general practice as flagship recruitment scheme falls short

Tens of millions of pounds in funding from a flagship recruitment scheme set up to...