Did you know that February is oesophageal cancer awareness month? "8000 people die from oesophageal cancer in the UK every year" We quote that statistic frequently but, that’s 22 death’s every single day. 22 deaths, many of which could be prevented with better awareness of early symptoms and more early diagnosis. Let’s look at the figures: Only 15% of patients who are diagnosed with oesophageal cancer survive for 5 years. If the disease is diagnosed at its earliest stage 84% of patients will survive for one year or more. This drops to only 21% when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage. Currently 70% of cases are discovered at this late stage - too late for curative treatment. The most common symptom is persistent heartburn. Many of us suffer with heartburn occasionally but if you, or someone you know, has any of the symptoms mentioned in this image for three weeks or more you should see your GP. In most cases everything will be normal but in a few cases this 10 minute conversation could save a life. Please Don’t ignore persistent heartburn. Oesophageal cancer is so much more treatable if it is caught early. Take action this oesophageal cancer awareness month: Don't take over the counter remedies for reflux for more than three weeks. If you suffer with persistent heartburn see your GP.