Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

23 FEB 2015

MP speaks in Oesophageal cancer debate

Steve Brine took part in a House of Commons debate on oesophageal cancer on Monday 23rd February, as MPs campaign for better awareness of the disease and regional equality over treatment.

The debate was called by Mike Weatherley (Conservative, Hove) who survived the disease earlier in this Parliament due to early diagnosis, and also heard from MPs including Jim Shannon, Steve Baker and Dr Julian Lewis.

Speaking in the chamber, Steve Brine said: "I know from all the work that has been done in connection with cancer, and particularly as a result of the interest that I have taken in the House over the years in the subject of breast cancer, that early diagnosis is the key.

"However, although timely and equitable access to diagnostic tests is hugely important, there is considerable evidence that access to referral for endoscopies is not as readily available in less affluent areas, and that treatments differ widely across the country. The equity of access for endoscopies from which my hon. Friend was so lucky to benefit is the key to early diagnosis, and hence to enabling many more people to survive oesophageal cancer."

The debate also mentioned Steve's constituent, the renowned surgeon Professor Tim Underwood, who has briefed Steve on his work, who is developing a technique at Southampton General Hospital that would enable the discovery of the cancer cells earlier, and without an endoscopy being carried out.

The MPs concluded that further awareness of the symptoms of oesophageal cancer is needed by the public and medical profession, and that there is currently significant regional variation in access to diagnostic tests and the best therapies which has a direct impact on survival rates for oesophageal cancer.

They also agreed that everyone with possible symptoms of oesophageal cancer should have timely referral for diagnosis and treatment, regardless of where they live, and that everyone should have access to the best treatments, including endoscopic therapies where appropriate, regardless of where they live.

In addition, everyone diagnosed with Barrett's oesophagus should be treated in line with the NICE and British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines, and that everyone with Barrett's oesophagus and High Grade Dysplasia should be discussed by a specialist multi-disciplinary team and offered endoscopic therapies or surgery if appropriate.

Pictured; Steve Brine with Tim Underwood


More information ...

READ the debate here

WATCH the debate here (scroll to 22:27)

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