MIL-OSI UK Cities: Stop. Look. Listen… can you spot the five signs of upper GI cancer?

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Source: City of Salford

To support World Cancer Day and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer in the City of Salford, a new campaign called Stop. Look. Listen… to Your Body has been launched. The campaign aims to educate Salford men over 40 about the importance of being persistent if they notice ongoing symptoms and to encourage them to speak to their GP practice to get checked out.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, according to World Cancer Day. In Salford, over 64% of people get diagnosed with upper GI cancers (also known as stomach and oesophageal or gullet cancer) at a late stage, with the data showing many men presenting later compared to women. 

The Stop. Look. Listen… to Your Body campaign seeks to change this by providing information on the top five signs and symptoms of upper GI cancer. These include:

  • Difficulty or discomfort swallowing
  • Ongoing indigestion or heartburn
  • Unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Bringing up food after eating
  • Constant pain in your upper tummy, chest or back

The campaign also emphasises the importance of being persistent if these symptoms are ongoing for more than three weeks and speaking to your GP practice to support early cancer detection. 

Working with Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, Answer Cancer, and local community groups in Salford, the campaign will help men be more aware by stopping, looking, and listening out for Cancer’s signs and symptoms. 

Councillor John Merry, Deputy City Mayor and Lead Member for Adult Services, Health, and Wellbeing, said: “We are delighted to support the Stop. Look. Listen… to Your Body campaign. Many people are not aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease, which can lead to delayed diagnosis and treatment. This important initiative will help raise awareness and encourage men to seek medical attention if they have any concerns.

“Salford has many services that can help reduce people’s risk of cancer, for instance, by encouraging them to be more physically active, quit smoking, and limit their alcohol consumption. So, it’s good to see so many organisations collaborating to raise awareness of cancer and promote resilience among residents.”

Javed Sultan, Clinical Lead for Upper GI Cancer at Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, said: “Further research is required to help diagnose gullet and stomach cancers at a much earlier stage. However, we do know that there are certain risk factors which put you at higher risk of the cancer. These include obesity, reflux, smoking and alcohol.

“If you think something is amiss, it’s very important to see your GP as soon as possible. On many occasions it won’t turn out to be cancer, but we know that if a patient has symptoms that do turn out to be cancer, it is better to find it at the earliest stages when chances of successful treatment are more likely.

“There are many treatments for cancers including surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted therapy such as radiotherapy.

“It’s also always worth taking steps to give up smoking and to become more active. This helps to reduce your overall risk of developing cancer and means if you do need treatment your body will be better able to handle this.”

For more information about the Stop. Look. Listen… to Your Body campaign in Salford, please visit our cancer awareness page.

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Date published
Monday 5 February 2024

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