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The 2015 upper gastrointestinal “Be Clear on Cancer” campaign: its impact on gastroenterology services and malignant and premalignant diagnoses


Objective To assess the impact of the upper gastrointestinal ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign launched by Public Health England between January and February 2015 on open-access gastroscopy referrals, incidence of target diagnoses (oesophagogastric cancer and Barrett’s oesophagus), cancer staging at presentation, 1-year survival and cost per additional diagnosis.

Design We performed a retrospective study of patients referred for 2-week-wait (2WW), open-access endoscopy 3 months following the campaign with diagnoses, endoscopic findings, staging and 12-month survival compared with data from corresponding months in 2014.

Setting Three adjacent National Health Service trusts in the West Midlands with a combined population of 1.34 million in 2015.

Results 2WW open-access referrals increased by 48% (95% CI 1.35 to 1.61, p<0.001). The proportion of target diagnoses fell from 6.7% to 6.1% (p=0.62). There were no significant overall increases in target diagnoses (OR 1.35, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.92, p=0.11) or cancer (OR 1.30, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.30, p=0.29). There was no change in tumour, node, metastasis (TNM) staging for oesophageal or gastric cancer. Overall 1-year survival did not alter significantly (HR 1.10, 95% CI 0.56 to 2.19, p=0.76).

Discussion The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign led to a 48% increase in demand for 2WW gastroscopies but did not significantly affect the incidence of target diagnoses, cancer staging or 1-year survival.

  • be clear on cancer
  • screening
  • upper gastrointestinal cancer
  • barrett’s oesophagus

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