The charity will travel across NI to urge patients and professionals to catch it early
OG Cancer have launched their new mobile drive to raise awareness of esophageal and stomach cancer at an event in Stormont that will see their signature vehicle on the first of many trips around Northern Ireland.
Funding for the vehicle was provided by the National Lottery Community Fund, made possible by National Lottery players.
Backed by this fund, and further backed by Ford, the van will support those already being treated, those who are concerned about symptoms or those who have recently been diagnosed.
Helen Setterfield MBE, president of OG Cancer NI, said that with around 400 people diagnosed each year, it’s important to make sure people know what to look for.
“I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer 18 years ago,” he said. “I’m only here today because I had a chance to ‘catch him early.’ However, this type of cancer is extremely aggressive. I have seen firsthand the difference in the cancer journey for patients diagnosed at an early stage.
In addition to the mobile unit, and with the support of National Lottery funds and funds raised by supporters, OG Cancer will launch a targeted advertising campaign on ADshel radio, various digital platforms and bus stops, ensuring that the message of the association reaches as many people as possible. possible. people as possible.
The campaign aims to improve the prognosis for patients in Northern Ireland by raising awareness of oesophageal cancer and encouraging people to notice the symptoms and seek advice from their GP as soon as possible before the cancer develops. develop and not spread.
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Early diagnosis is key to tackling this disease, so raising awareness of the symptoms of esophageal and stomach cancer is essential. For anyone worried or worried, talk to your GP.
“This new mobile unit will not only help raise awareness, but will also be a very important source of support for people in Northern Ireland who have been diagnosed with this type of cancer.”
The campaign will also work to raise awareness of esophageal cancer in the medical and nursing professions.
The event to launch this new initiative is hosted by Stewart Dickson MLA, himself an esophageal cancer survivor, who urged people to know what to pay attention to.
“Symptoms of esophageal and stomach cancer include persistent heartburn or acid reflux that doesn’t go away, difficulty swallowing, sudden weight loss, vomiting, or hiccups that don’t go away,” he stated. “I personally know how important it is to catch this type of cancer early.”
According to the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, only 10.4% of upper gastrointestinal cancer patients are diagnosed at the earliest stage. The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed at the earliest stage is 68%, compared to 2% for those diagnosed at stage four.
Leanne Molloy, 37, is a mother of two and an esophageal cancer survivor. Commenting on the new OG Cancer campaign, she said: “The campaign is brilliant. Esophageal cancer is not common, I had never heard of it before it was diagnosed.
“If you google it, the stats show older men, so it’s very important to put that out there, for people and GPs. Know that anyone can get it.
Leanne emphasized the importance of taking action if you notice symptoms. “If you have symptoms, get it checked out,” she said, adding, “Do not continue to take tablets if you have persistent hiccups or belching.” Go see your doctor. That’s what doctors are for.
Adrian Hale, 55 years old, who is also a survivor of cancer of the sophage and directs a group of supporters against cancer dans son église locale pendant son temps libre, s’est joint à Leanne pour souligner l’importance d’être diagnostiqué early.
“I was lucky to be in the minority percentage of people eligible for surgery because I was diagnosed early,” Adrian said.
“If I see someone with constant heartburn, I will encourage them to see a doctor. If you have symptoms, see a doctor and get an endoscope.
This latest initiative will bring much-needed awareness to people who have never heard of the disease. Not only will this help raise awareness, but it will also provide essential support in hard-to-reach areas.
Dr. Andrew Kennedy, Consultant Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeon, said, “As a surgeon who treats patients with gastroesophageal cancer, I cannot emphasize enough the vital role OG Cancer NI plays with my patients.”
Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of the National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“We look forward to seeing the difference the £100,823 National Lottery grant will make to local people, raising awareness of OG cancer symptoms through this dedicated campaign, helping to improve early detection and survival rates across Ireland. from North. Congratulations to all involved.
“Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £30 million are raised every week for good causes like this across the UK.”
OG Cancer’s new mobile unit will ensure that rural areas as well as urban centers can be targeted. The van can be located in different locations and can be booked to attend key events across the country.
If you would like to volunteer or organize an event that the OG Cancer Mobile Unit can attend, please contact us at email@example.com.