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Galway University Hospitals raises awareness of Oesophageal Cancer

Galway University Hospitals recently held a very successful oesophageal cancer awareness day in the foyer of UHG. At the information day, Clinical Nurse Specialists in Upper GI Cancer and Colorectal Cancer met with members of the public to discuss concerns and to answer questions.
Anna O’Mara, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Upper GI Cancer says, “Our aim was to raise awareness of this type of cancer which affects over 400 people on average in Ireland every year. I would like to thank the members of the public for their support on the day.
“Oesophageal Cancer can affect both men and women however the risk is higher with males and as is the case with many cancers, smoking is a significant factor. The risk of developing oesophageal cancer does increase with age but we have seen cases in young people also
“The oesophagus, also known as the gullet, is the connective tube between your throat and stomach. All food and liquids we swallow are pushed to the stomach by the contraction of the oesophageal muscles. Oesophageal cancer is caused when the lining of the oesophagus experiences abnormal cell growth. There are two main symptoms that may indicate oesophageal cancer and these are difficulty swallowing and weight loss.
“Oesophageal Cancer is a treatable condition if caught early enough and we hope that our awareness day helped people to understand what to look out for and what lifestyle changes can help reduce the risk.
“Our information day in UHG was just one of many events which took place around the country as part of ‘Lollipop Day’ which is organised by the Oesophageal Cancer Fund, a registered charity set up in 2001 to raise awareness of the symptoms of oesophageal cancer and to provide money for research so as to improve the journey and outcomes for people with oesophageal cancer and their families.
“The advice for anyone who is worried about symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing or sudden weight loss, is to talk to your GP. Your GP can then refer you on to the hospital for investigations and treatment if required.
“In 2012, GUH was designated by the National Cancer Control Programme as one of three national satellite centres for Oesophageal and Gastric Cancer Care. Patients have access to a full range of treatment options under a multidisciplinary approach including radical surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.”
Photo Details:
At the recent Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Day at UHG, from left: Olive Dunleavy, Colorectal Clinical Nurse Specialist; Mr Chris Collins, Consultant Surgeon, Upper GI; Anna O Mara, Upper GI Clinical Nurse Specialist; Brid Ni Fhionnagain, Bowel Screening Clinical Nurse Specialist; and Prof McAnena, Consultant Surgeon, Upper GI.