We may look to explore this question in more detail in future surveys; For example one key question is whether patients were offered anti-reflux surgery when it was discovered they had reflux symptoms? And if surgery was offered, what were the reasons patients did not go ahead?
The next question, which virtually every respondent commented on, was;
Is there anything you wish you'd done differently in regards to your treatment?
Around half the respondents said they would not have done anything differently, but everybody else said they would have gone to see a doctor sooner, or been more insistent about having an endoscopy, or pushed for an investigation a bit harder. We think this really shows the importance of not ignoring symptoms and reinforces the need for these types of surveys to support that message with the wider public
The last question, again answered by almost all respondents, was;
What advice - if any - would you give to someone with reflux symptoms?
Here the answers were almost all the same; get it check out, get it checked out early, insist on an endoscopy, talk to your GP, be persistent, don't delay, get help etc.
To follow up the survey and to really create some real impact around the oesophageal cancer prevention message we are looking for a few people to share their stories in more detail. If you feel that you would have benefited from an earlier investigation and you would be willing to featured on the OPA or the RefluxUK website, could you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again to everyone who took part, it is information like this that will really help us to drive home the message that prevention is better than cure!