Persistent heartburn must never be ignored since it could be sign of cancer, a new campaign warns.
The national ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign by NHS encourages people who have heartburn most days for three weeks or more to visit their doctor.
It warns that persistent heartburn could be a sign of oesophageal or stomach cancer.
It is crucial to diagnose oesophageal or stomach cancer early since this makes it possible to successfully treat it.
Professor Chuka Nwokolo, Gastroenterologist, Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital: “The campaign message is clear – you should go and see your doctor if you have heartburn most days for three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer. You won’t be wasting the doctor’s time – you will either get reassurance that it isn’t cancer, or if it is, you will have a better chance of successful treatment.”
Professor Nwokolo observed that many Africans and Caribbeans who are used to eating spicy food which can sometimes cause heartburn, may easily ignore it.
Difficulty in swallowing food is another symptom of cancer.
Dr Jane Scott, a GP said: “If you’ve had heartburn most days for three weeks or more, tell your doctor. Chances are it’s nothing serious, but you’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting it checked out. Call your GP today.”
To learn more about the signs and symptoms of oesophageal and stomach cancers, please visit nhs.uk/ogcancer.