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  • 1 April 2018 to 31 December 2018
  • Project No: 394
  • Funding round: FR 15

This study aims to find out how people change their normal food and eating habits to manage symptoms that might be linked to cancer of the oesophagus (gullet), stomach or pancreas, and how this affects when, how and what people tell their family doctor. This is important because over 25,000 people in the UK each year are diagnosed with these cancers and their treatment and survival can be improved if the cancer is diagnosed before it has spread. Symptoms of these cancers can often be similar to other problems that affect the gut, making it hard for people to decide whether their symptoms are serious or not. We want to look at what people do to manage their symptoms, how this is different from their normal behaviour and how this affects when they decide to see their doctor.

We will use data collected from two previous studies where researchers talked with 52 people living in the East or North East of England. These people either had symptoms of cancer or had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas or another cancer type with similar symptoms. Three members of the public helped to develop the previous research and two will work with researchers on this study to understand the data.

Results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented to doctors, researchers and the public. Through the research we hope to encourage people to recognise when they are making changes to manage symptoms, which may help them to go to their doctors sooner. This could mean these cancers are found earlier when they can still be treated, therefore helping more people to live longer.

Amount awarded: £43,040