What We Offer
We make no charge to patients or their families for any support and advice provided. The OPA can only maintain its vital service through trust donations and other fundraising activities generated by the community it serves.
It costs the OPA several hundred pounds per day to run the Cancer Support Helpline, provide Zoom 1-2-1 support meetings and regional support meetings. We also produce our support literature for which there is no charge.
Support via Zoom and Physical Meetings
*subject to COVID-19 restrictions
The OPA has led the fight against oesophageal and gastric cancers for over 30 years. Our purpose is to support patients, their families and carers and raise awareness of these cancers and their prevention. Whatever stage you're at the OPA is here to help you.
Group Support (virtual since March 2020 due to COVID-19)
By sharing experiences and discussing our issues and problems, we are often able to help each other overcome areas of common concern.
Support meetings: These are held around the UK throughout the year, inevitably most patients attending these meetings have had, or are going to have surgery. The OPA's aim is to help new patients, families and carers to cope with difficulties arising as a result of treatment, giving support and encouraging patients to achieve a good quality of life.
Our patient support meetings provide the opportunity for patients to meet former patients, carers, and patient buddie some of whom are leading relatively normal lives; to air their concerns and discuss problems with members of the medical profession, including consultant surgeons, gastroenterologists, dieticians, physiotherapists and clinical nurse specialists who speak at the meetings on a voluntary basis.
One to One Support
We also offer patients the opportunity to be able to speak directly to a former patient and gain reassurance that life can again be very good.
From personal experience, we know that the first few weeks and months before and after treatment can be challenging.
Most patients find it helpful and encouraging to talk to someone who has experienced similar symptoms and has undergone the same course(s) of treatment. Our volunteers (all of whom are current or former patients themselves) are on hand and willing to offer you support, encouragement and reassurance.
Whilst The OPA does not offer counselling or medical advice, we offer general guidance and suggestions based on our own experiences. From questions to ask your GP, to tips on what to eat... plus a lot more.
We will be happy to put you in touch with someone local to talk to, or alternatively, you can contact our Awareness or Cancer Support Helpline on:- 0121 704 9860 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Sign up for our twice yearly Newsletter with articles of interest and latest news of treatments. Scroll down to the bottom of this page to register.
Booklets and Leaflets
Whether you have had surgery or not our medically approved booklets are available at no cost.
- A Guide to Life after Oesophageal/Gastric Surgery
- Swallowing Nutrition When It’s Difficult
- Recipe Book
- Notes for a Carer
- A Patients Pathway
- OPA Leaflet
Or visit the OPA Shop to order hard copies.
Dual Purpose Cards
Dual Purpose cards asking for a small portion of food due to a medical condition are available in English, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.