Our recent zoom was very well attended, with special guest Professor Mark Middleton, Head of Oncology at the University of Oxford, talking us through the latest innovations in development towards beating Gastro-Oesophageal cancer. Emails received after Mark's presentation described his work as 'inspiring', 'humbling', 'stunning', 'reassuring' and 'brilliant'.  On this occasion we recorded the 20 minute presentation, which you can view here if you wish. 

I asked Mark what his vision for the future and ultimate ambition is - he replied "Realistically, in the next 10 years I want to see a more than 50% survival rate, and in the long term this cancer becoming completely curable without the need for surgery."


As part of our routine zoom charity update we warmly congratulated Jackie on her prestigious and very deserved Honour, the British Empire Medal, for her dedication and service to the community, in founding OOSO, and helping people to cope with and recover from oesophageal and stomach cancers. Jackie very humbly told us "The hard work is done by Nick and his team, saving people's lives, day in and day out."

Café Catch-Ups

Earlier this week we hosted our latest café catch up at Notcutts Garden Centre, just south of Oxford, with 19 of us enjoying a good natter, sharing our experiences and generally having a relaxed lunch with new-found and old friends.

Our next café catch up will take place on Monday 6th February at 12:30, towards the north of our patch at the Bicester Avenue Garden Centre OX25 2NY, a popular venue within the 'Blue Diamond' stable. There's a big car park with plenty of shops close by. You are very welcome to join us - just let me know by dropping me a line here, so I can reserve our tables in advance.


Hopefully you'll be able to join us for our next 6-weekly zoom session on Tuesday 7th February at 7pm*. Dr. Kerry Avery, Associate Professor in Applied Health and Care Research, NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, will update us on a national project titled 'ROSE', to test the effectiveness of an online symptom reporting system to improve patients’ recovery after they are discharged home following oesophagogastric surgery. We'll aim to dedicate 30 minutes of the one hour session to Q&As of your choice. If you have a question, please email it to me here.

If you'd like to be included in the circulation of invites for these meetings - if not already - just drop me line here.

Awareness Day

Today - Wednesday 11th January - is the Awareness Day of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT). The LSCT charity was set up to drive earlier diagnosis and improved survival for those cancers with notoriously poor outcomes, e.g. those of the lung, oesophagus, pancreas, brain, stomach and liver. This year's theme is all about recognising the symptoms. There will be a high profile “Drop-In” event at Parliament, for Ministers and MPs to have their photos taken with key messages, which they will then post via their own social media outlets, and be invited to give media interviews.

The LSCT will issue a number of press releases for which professional media specialists have been engaged, emphasising the lack of awareness of cancer symptoms. What You Can Do - if you use social media please look out for and share/retweet the LSCT Awareness Day posts on their Facebook/Twitter/Instagram accounts.
But for now, keep positive and take care ...

Kind regards
Matt Carter
Chair of the Trustees
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