Upper GI Cancer Patient Support Group

On Saturday 30 October the Oesophageal and Gastric Cancer Patient Support Group met for the first time since the pandemic hit at The Old Joint Stock in Birmingham. 

The meeting included a welcome and thank you from Les Woodhall and a presentation from Consultant Upper GI Surgeon, Ewen Griffiths.  His presentation included information on the effects of the pandemic on the hospital and his department’s work, exciting new research, a new immunotherapy drug and the introduction of the cytosponge - an alternative procedure to the endoscopy in some circumstances. 

The morning also included presentations from three medical students who had received summer grants from the Oesophageal and Gastric Cancer Patient Support Group’s charity fund.  Fourth Year Medical Student, Rosemary Burke, spoke about how her project focused on patients who has been re-admitted post operatively after oesophagectomy.  This cohort of patients typically have poorer outcomes so to understand these outcomes could lead to areas of focus and, therefore, improve re-admission numbers in the future. Fifth Year Medical Student, Caroline Evenden, reported on looking into the quality of life of patients following oesophagectomy.  Identifying anastomotic leaks or post surgical complications early potentially through inflammatory markers would certainly provide better outcomes for patients. Finally, Sixth Year student, Daoud Chaudhry explained how esophageal and gastric cancers were one of the hardest cancers to treat.  His research had led to identifying 10 markers that would help benchmark success and offer quality assurance indicators. 

Les Woodhall from the Support Group commented, “We are so pleased that the support group not only provides support to each other but can provide funding to some really interesting research projects. It’s been really encouraging to hear of the work being undertaken and the potential support to oesphogeal and gastric patients this may bring about now and in the future”. 

For more information on the Oesophageal and Gastric Cancer Patient Support Group please contact Les Woodhall on 0121 477 5922. 

You can donate to the fund here.

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