Why Heartburn Cancer UK Exists

We raise awareness about the dangers of persistent heartburn, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and Barrett's oesophagus.   Sometimes these conditions can lead to more serious conditions such as oesophageal cancer. Many people are unaware of this and we are trying to change that.

The media clip below explains the importance of public awareness and early diagnosis.


The Facts

  • Raising awareness can mean earlier diagnosis which helps save lives.
  • 10% of people suffer with heartburn every week
  • 10% of people with heartburn unknowingly have Barrett's
  • Half a million people in the UK have Barrett's without knowing and 50,000 of these may go on to develop oesophageal cancer.  That's 1 in 10.
  • Around 8,000 people will die of oesophageal cancer each year.
  • About 22 people die each day of oesophageal cancer
  • Overall, oesophageal cancer is the 7th most common cause of cancer death in the UK and in males in the UK its the 4th most common cause of cancer deaths.
  • The UK has the worst survival record in the world for oesophageal cancer.
  • Oesophageal cancer rates in men have risen by 57% since the early 1970s. In women the rates increased by 9%.

As a recognised and trusted authority in the field of cancer of the oesophagus, we know that with your help we can make significant inroads in the prevention, detection and treatment of this disease by focussing on 5 key areas of action: 


Education leads to a lasting change. We are working hard to influence public and social policy, to lobby politicians, to campaign for change, to promote greater collaboration amongst the medical profession, the public and the government. We are already in the process of developing a network of effective partnerships with businesses, the pharmaceutical industry, medical professionals and other like-minded groups. We intend to effect change and influence how this disease is perceived, detected, diagnosed and treated.


Our aim is to significantly reduce incurable oesophageal cancer in the UK.

Our renowned medical professionals, all experts in the field of oesophageal cancer, will continue to play a key role in research and trials designed to reduce the incidence of this appalling disease.


Early detection rates are vital to ensure a positive outcome. We are creating a communication network to facilitate greater awareness of the importance of diagnosing the disease early, identifying the symptoms associated with the disease and seeking medical help quickly. Oesophageal cancer affects everyone regardless of their race, gender or age.


We will ensure consistent support is available to everyone affected by Barrett’s oesophagus, regardless of who they are and where they live. Information and advice is available to all those affected by the disease and to the people who support them, on our website or by telephone.

We need your help to bring this to the attention of your employees, friends & family or indeed anyone who might suffer from persistent heartburn!

You can make a difference. Perhaps you know someone who has suffered from persistent heartburn, Barrett’s oesophagus or oesophageal cancer. Perhaps you run an organisation and would like to help. Why not make it your company’s corporate responsibility?


We are not content with standing still; we are determined to develop and grow a sustainable UK charity which continually re-invests to maximise the impact of its resources.

Working with UK businesses and voluntary organisations' our outward facing collaborative approach will ensure we are the first place to come to for reliable, up to date information about heartburn, Barrett’s and oesophageal cancer.

Our Mission...

"...to be an authoritative UK source of information and awareness on the dangers of persistent heartburn,  encouraging sufferers to seek medical advice and to support those diagnosed with heartburn and its complications.  To create wider awareness within the medical profession of heartburn as a possible symptom of more dangerous conditions, whilst also ensuring pharmaceutical and retail industry responsibility in the sale of antacids.”