In the Papers
This page carries a mixture of recent stories from the popular press and from more specialised news media.




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21 October 2018 Help Raise Cancer Survival Rates 

"Currently, the combined five-year survival for people diagnosed with the less survivable cancers - brain, liver, lung, oesophageal, pancreatic and stomach cancer - stands at just 14%. This can and should be improved.

LTSC letter from MPs in the Sunday Times.





"Many people assume that heartburn is caused by an excess of stomach acid, but this is pretty rare. More likely, it’s down to a faulty valve at the top of the stomach. When operating normally, the valve prevents the acid leaking upwards from the stomach, but if the valve is too weak this can lead to acid coming up into, or ‘refluxing’ into, the oesophagus which in turn can cause the symptoms of heartburn.

"While people often blame spicy foods, these don’t actually cause heartburn, although they can aggravate the symptoms. Fatty foods are more likely to lead to an attack as they sit in the stomach for longer and increase the chances of acid spilling into the oesophagus."

(BBC2 TV, "Trust me I'm a doctor")


"A coalition of six cancer charities [including the consortium AAH of which BW are a part] has called on NHS England to commit to increasing survival of patients with the deadliest forms of cancers. The coalition—the Less Survivable Cancer Taskforce—is calling for a doubling of 5-year survival for patients with brain, lung, stomach, oesophageal, liver, and pancreatic cancers by 2029, citing unacceptably low survival and insufficient government action and investment."
(The Lancet - Gastroenterology & Hepatology)

"The researchers also hope that it may shed light on other common esophageal problems, including Barrett's metaplasia, a risk factor for esophageal cancer. 

A lot of time can pass between the discovery of Barrett's cells in the esophagus and the development of cancer, however, and doctors don't have a good consistent way of working out what will happen for each individual patient. " *Daily Mail)


17 September 2018 We need to drive up survival rates for the most aggressive cancers "Last week saw the launch of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT), which comprises six charities – Action Against Heartburn, the Brain Tumour Charity, the British Liver Trust, Guts UK, Pancreatic Cancer UK and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation." (Daily Telegraph)

19 August 2018 WEDDINGNIGHT TRAGEDY 
Bride watched groom die just 13
hours after tying theknot from the cancer he was diagnosed with SIX DAYS before ceremony 

He had earlier been complaining about bad indigestion and prescribed the drug omeprazole to treat stomach ulcers.

Michelle called an ambulance and Scott, 41, was admitted to hospital on early in the morning on Friday, August 10.

The next day an endoscopy revealed his condition was much more serious than his initial diagnosis.

By Monday, tests confirmed the couple's worst fears. (The Sun)



From America:

The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has launched a campaign to raise public awareness about the link between chronic heartburn and esophageal cancer.

Advertisements encouraging the public to visit www.asge.org/?heartburn for more information have been on display at the Dulles and Reagan National airports, outside Washington, DC, and on Amtrak Acela trains. (Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News)


"MILLIONS of fans believe country music legend Johnny Cash died of a broken heart just four months after the death of his beloved wife June. But a pathologist now believes the real cause of death was heartburn."

(Sunday Express) 


"Researchers determined that a high dose of acid suppressant was superior to a low dose, and that taking aspirin with the high dose proton pump inhibitors showed a 20% overall risk reduction."

(From The Guardian but reported in other papers, result of AspECT trial reported in the Research pages.)



Kevin discovers if the millions of people prescribed a common heartburn medication - himself included - could be risking serious side effects. He puts his stomach through a test to discover the truth.
Relevant sections are 2min 30 secs to 13min 30 secs and 36min to 42min 30 secs in the programme.
(BBC 1)


17 February 2018 Gerard Basset and wife Nina turning Hotel TerraVina into boutique B&B
"Gerard, 60, who was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus last year, has just had a major operation that will leave him unable to eat properly for at least a year."
He underwent surgery with Jamie Kelly at the beginning of February.
Nina said: "Gerard is recovering quite well. Some days are better than others and he's in a lot of pain but being brave.                                   (Daily Echo)

STOP PRESS. We are delighted Hotel TerraNova have chosen Barrett's Wessex as one of their charities for fundraising activities in 2018. We wish Gerard all the very best for a full recovery.


"People who drink hot tea are at greater risk of developing oesophageal cancer when combined with smoking and alcohol, a study has discovered." (The Independent)
(A link to the study may be found on our News/Research page.)


"EXERCISE, and the resulting weight loss, can be a good way to help prevent gastrointestinal issues. But, for some people, certain forms of exercise can have an unpleasant side effect - heartburn." (Daily Express)


"Difficulty swallowing could be a sign of oesophageal cancer, and mainly affects people in their 60s and 70s, according to the NHS.

"The cancer doesn’t usually show any symptoms at the beginning, when the tumour is small, but it can lead to difficulty swallowing - otherwise known as dysphagia - heartburn, and weight loss.

"You should see your GP if you’re struggling to swallow properly, said the NHS." (Daily Express)



Acid reflux raises the risk of cancer of the throat, tonsils and sinuses in older people, a study has found.

The condition was linked to a 2 to 3 percent greater chance of developing these potentially deadly diseases.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus, the tube connecting your mouth and stomach.

The researchers of the current study argue the results suggest elderly people suffering with the condition should be carefully screened for head and neck cancers.

(Daily Mail) 




"● Heartburn might be worse at night because gravity enables the acid to flow towards your throat. Sleep with your head propped up on pillows, or tuck a pillow under the mattress, or blocks under the bed head.
● Get moving after a meal. Stand up and do the dishes, or take a light walk – anything to kick your digestive system into gear. The longer you sit, the longer it takes your body to digest, meaning a heartburn attack is more likely.
● Stock up on heartburn remedies before Christmas Day. Over-the-counter treatments can often help, but don’t rely on these month after month without seeing your GP to get checked out."

Great article in Daily Mirror quoting Alan Moss, chairman of Action Against Heartburn.


1 December 2017

Gerard Basset, 60, co-founded the highly-successful Hotel du Vin group and now runs the award-winning Hotel TerraVina in the New Forest with his wife Nina.

But he is currently absent from the business after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus.

His illness is another devastating blow to his wife, whose mother Jean, 69, is also battling an aggressive form of the disease.

Gerard is currently receiving treatment at Southampton General Hospital and the Spire hospital in the city and is faces a major operation early next year.                  (Daily Echo)