The 2nd Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT) Awareness Day took place on the 11th January 2023.  The aim of the day was to raise LSCT OC Symptoms awareness of the symptoms of the 6 deadliest cancers and warn people that late diagnosis can drastically affect survival chances.  The cancers in question are Liver, Brain, Oesophageal, Pancreatic, Lung and Stomach. 

New data released by LSCT on the day, shows that only 1% of people in the UK have symptom awareness.  It also shows that close to 1/3 of people in the UK delayed seeking medical advice for a less survivable cancer.  Of those, 67% were told by medical professionals that this delay had an impact on the treatment options for their cancer.  

In 2022, the LSCT reported that many patients with a less survivable cancer will only be diagnosed after an emergency admission to hospital or an emergency GP referral after symptoms have become severe. [2] These late diagnoses account, in part, for the catastrophic prognoses for thousands of people each year as patients with cancers that are diagnosed in an emergency, suffer significantly worse outcomes [3]. 

As part of the awareness day, LSCT hosted MPs at an event in Westminster where they talked to plenty of engaged parliamentarians who were keen to learn more and hear from those who have been affected. The day itself received amazing coverage and some of the highlights are listed below:

  • 235 media stories including with the Sun, Mail, Telegraph, BBC Wales, Times, Independent and the Mirror.
  • 112 supportive social media or local media stories from politicians across the UK.
  • Buzzing events with advocates at Holyrood (with 21 MSPs including the Public Health Minister Maree Todd) and Westminster (with 44 MPs / Peers / staffers).
  • #LessSurvivableCancersAwarenessDay was the second most used hashtag by MPs that week, and we had a social media reach of more than 80,000.

The full LSCT article report is available here.

Heartburn Cancer UK are a registered supporter of LSCT and their awareness day and will continue to raise awareness of the main symptoms of oesophageal cancer. 

Here's a list of what to look out for:

  • difficulty swallowing, indigestion or heartburn, loss of appetite, vomiting, stomach, chest or back pain, a persistent cough, hoarseness, tiredness and shortness of breath. 

If you, or anyone you know, experiences these symptoms for 3 weeks or more, please visit your GP to get checked out.  It may be nothing to worry about but please get an appointment to be sure.

[2]The Emergency Presentation Route comprises different emergency pathways into secondary care, including A&E attendance, emergency GP referrals to an inpatient setting (non–two week wait referrals) and emergency admissions to either an inpatient or outpatient setting. 

[3] Data obtained from National Cancer Registration and Analysis Services (NCRAS)