Together with Pfizer and the other member charities of Cancer 52, Heartburn Cancer UK are supporting the Do You C Us campaign to raise awareness of rare and less common cancers and highlight the need for people to come forward and let GPs know if they any concerns.

Rare and less common cancers are defined as all those outside the big four – breast, prostate, lung and bowel.  These cancers account for nearly half of all cancer diagnosis in the UK and more than half of all cancer deaths There is more information in this excellent infographic which you can download and share.

Pfizer and Cancer52 have embarked jointly on this campaign to raise public awareness of the challenges facing people with rare and less common cancers in England.

The impact of COVID-19 means that some cancer centres paused their services, moved consultations to video or online, or offered different treatments. The overall number of people going to their GP with symptoms fell and in turn led to fewer diagnoses. This means it is more important than ever to raise awareness of rare and less common cancers, so people seek medical advice for any concerning symptoms.

“It is always true with cancer that early diagnosis is key. Rare and less common cancers can present themselves in a variety of ways. Symptoms are often vague such as back pain, fatigue, weight-loss or nausea. Any new or unusual changes to your body should prompt a discussion with your doctor particularly if they are prolonged. More often than not, symptoms are not anything sinister, but if it is cancer, the chances of effective treatment are always higher when they are detected early…..we know people have held back from speaking to a GP or attending scans, not wanting to come forward about seemingly trivial symptoms like those often experienced with rare and less common cancers. This needs to change. We all need to work to ensure we are more aware and empowered to diagnose all cancers as early as possible.” Dr Ellie Cannon

Oesophageal Cancer is one of the rare and less common cancers being referred to – and as explained by Dr Ellie Cannon, early diagnosis is key.  If you suffer with persistent heartburn, unexplained weight loss or any other symptoms that concern you – please speak to your GP, it could save your life.