Our Awareness Campaign is headed up by our Trustee Ed Cheong

We now have a dedicated Committee working for the OPA, for queries about promotion campaigns, media, marketing please contact Sammy Morgan on 01493 732 269

Oesophageal cancer is being diagnosed every day of every month of every year, please help us to raise awareness of this dreadful disease. If you would like a pack/posters please call us on 0121 704 9860 or email enquiries@opa.org.uk

Raising funds for the OPA Awareness campaign - Phil Coverdale TrekFest 'The Peaks'

Phil Coverdale raised funds for the OPA via MyDonate with a trek across the Peak District to help raise awareness of the OPA and the Ref Lux campaign. The trek tested Phil to his limits.
Find out more about Phil's inspiring story and the challenge.

Swizzels - blowing the whistle on Cancer

Football match leaves a sweet taste in the mouth

Ed Cheong and Sammy Morgan attended a local football match in Norwich. Swizzel whistles were given out both as a sweet treat and to spread the message of the OPA Ref-Lux campaign - the whistles were branded with the message to 'Blow the whistle on cancers of the oesophagus & stomach'. Ed was invited to speak to the spectators and the Swizzel whistles were blown just prior to kickoff to help promote the campaign.
Read the full story in our news section.

Ref Lux - blowing the whistle on Cancer

Consult your GP if you suffer from...

  • Difficulty in swallowing/food sticking
  • Reflux/heartburn/indigestion
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing when eating/swallowing
  • Hiccups when eating/lots of saliva
  • Change in taste/not relishing eating
  • Nausea
  • Anaemia

Symptoms above based on a survey of oesophageal patients in Q4 2016.

Download the OPA Ref Lux Leaflet as a PDF.

About Oesophageal Cancer

There are over 8000 new cases of oesophageal cancer in the UK each year. It is the sixth most common cause of cancer death.

There are two main types of oesophageal cancer:

  • Adenocarcinoma - about 70% of UK oesophageal cancer cases, and on the increase. It is associated with Barrett's Oesophagus and the effects of stomach acid on the lining of the oesophagus. So anything that increases acid reflux, like obesity, can be a factor. It tends to occur around the junction of the oesophagus and stomach.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma comprises about 30% of the oesophageal cancer cases in the UK. It tends to be higher up towards the throat. This sort of cancer is associated with high levels of tobacco and alcohol intake. If caught early enough, it can sometimes be successfully treated by chemo-radiotherapy and surgery.

In an ideal world the OPA would be pushing the early diagnosis message for all the causes/symptoms of all oesophago-gastric cancers. We have decided, for now, to concentrate all our resources on the one message that will save most lives in the short term: do not ignore persistent heartburn.

There could be tens or hundreds of thousands of people out there with undiagnosed Barretts Oesophagus. Up to 10% of them WILL go on to develop adenocarcinoma. The surest way to reach people who run this risk is to get those with persistent heartburn to see their GP. Many of those patients will be sent for an endoscopy which will diagnose Barretts, if present, leading to treatment and regular ongoing monitoring, both of which WILL save the lives of significant numbers of those patients.

Awareness Day

If you are interested in attending or organising an 'Awareness Day' please contact us for more information enquiries@opa.org.uk

Awareness Merchandise

We now have awareness t-shirts, badges and pens starting at £1.50 to help spread the message - see our Merchandise page for details.

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