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Mike Thornton MP leads campaign to stamp out killer cancer

January 22, 2015 10:42 PM
Originally published by South Central Region Liberal Democrats

Local MP Mike Thornton is leading on the campaign to help save the lives of more people with oesophageal cancer in Eastleigh and across the UK.

Mike has this week welcomed members of the Oesophageal Cancer Westminster Campaign (OCWC) for their first ever AGM in Westminster. The campaign was launched last year, following Mike's meeting with Tim Underwood consultant and oesophageal cancer specialist at Southampton General Hospital.

Mike's said: "When I met Tim, I was shocked to hear that awareness among the public about the causes of oesophageal cancer is very low. Few people will know that acid reflux leading to heartburn could predispose to this cancer.

"Yet all the available data shows that treatment is far more effective when given in the early stages and public awareness of symptoms will increase our chances of catching cancers early."

"I am honoured to be have been able to facilitate the Oesophageal Cancer Westminster Campaign. I will continue to support the group in their efforts to tackle this cancer and save lives."

Tim Underwood said: "The UK has the highest incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma in the world and rates are rising rapidly. Survival is poor and we must do better for patients and their families. With Mike's help the OCWC is pushing oesophageal cancer up the political agenda."

"Detected at an early stage oesophageal cancer and its precursor, Barrett's oesophagus, can be cured. We must ensure that people know the symptoms and have access to the best treatments wherever they live. That's why the OCWC fully supports initiative like the Be Clear on Cancer Campaign that will be running from January 26th."

The OCWC is a coalition of patient groups and senior cancer specialist, chaired by Tim Underwood. The group has come together to campaign on raising awareness of oesophageal cancer and improving diagnosis and patient access to treatment.

Over 8,000 people diagnosed with oesophageal cancer every year in the UK yet the survival rate for this cancer is one of the worst of any cancer, with only 15 per cent survival after five years.


Notes to editors:

About the Oesophageal Cancer Westminster Campaign

The OCWC is a new patient-led initiative designed to improve the awareness and treatment of oesophageal (gullet) cancer.

The Oesophageal Cancer Westminster Campaign is a group comprised of several patient groups and charities in collaboration with clinical experts, industry and families bereaved by oesophageal cancer campaigning at Westminster and throughout the NHS. The campaign aims to raise awareness and work together with policy makers and politicians to increase patient survival rates through better prevention, earlier diagnosis and increased patient access to the best treatment.

These include Heartburn Cancer UK - Barrett's Oesophagus Campaign -

Oesophagoose - Barrett's Wessex - Oesophageal Patients Association - Action Against Heartburn.

For additional information please contact:

Mike Thornton

Tel: 020 7219 7334

Email: mike.thornton.mp@parliament.uk