NEARLY 70 Wiganers die each year from throat and stomach cancers, new figures have revealed.
There are around 40 deaths due to oesophageal cancer – sometimes called cancer of the gullet or food pipe – in the borough with 24 deaths under the age of 75, according to research commissioned by the Clinical Commissioning Group.
And around 27 people fall victim to stomach cancer with a higher number of deaths occurring in women here than anywhere else in the country.
Now as part of the four month campaign ‘Be Clear On Cancer’ health chiefs have urged people to visit their doctor at the first sign of anything unusual.
Many people believe these two types of cancer are found in elderly people but health chefs are keen to stress that is not always the case.
Late last year Alex Turner, 15, was diagnosed with throat cancer and is undergoing radiotherapy and chemo.
Dr Tim Dalton, local GP and Chair of NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group said: “NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group supports our population to stay healthy and live longer in all areas of the Borough so we welcome initiatives such as World Cancer Day.
“There are several free national screening programmes available through the NHS that includes checks for breast cancer; cervical cancer and bowel cancer that save thousands of lives a year, so it makes sense to visit your GP if you are invited for a screening.
“You may have seen adverts for the new NHS campaign advising people over the age of 50 to tell their doctor if they’ve had heartburn on most days for three weeks or more, or if they have difficulty swallowing food.
“It may not be oesophageal or stomach cancer, but it’s best to get it checked out by visiting your local GP.
“Smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, and being overweight are also linked to the development of oesophageal cancer, and your GP surgery is an ideal place to help address these issues.
“We can all reduce our risk of most cancers by having a healthy lifestyle and making sensible changes such as stopping smoking; eating a more healthy diet, keeping fit and drinking less alcohol.”