Development & Alumni Relations Office 

SUPPORTING OG CANCER RESEARCH AT QUEEN’S  OGCancerNI present gift to NI Cancer registry, pictured with research staff at Queen's in front of Lanyon Building

01 October 2020

OGCancerNI, a local charity set up to support patients and carers affected by Oesophago-Gastric (Oesophageal and Stomach) Cancer, has handed over a cheque for £10,000 to the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, which is based in the Centre for Public Health at Queen's.

The donation through the Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation will enable the NI Cancer Registry to measure the care of patients diagnosed with stomach cancer in the last two years and to provide evidence to help improve services and overall survival, in their oesophageal audit.

Oesophageal cancer is found in the oesophagus – more commonly known as the gullet or food pipe – the long tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach.

Gastric cancer is cancer of the stomach and combined, they are medically known as oesophago-gastric (OG) cancer.

Over 200 people were diagnosed with stomach cancer each year in the period 2014-18 in Northern Ireland. More common in men (127 cases) compared to women (80 cases), at present 661 persons here are living with a stomach cancer diagnosis.  

Speaking about the contribution to the NI Cancer Registry, Helen Setterfield, Chairperson of OGCancerNI said:

“OGCancerNI is delighted to be involved in this project.

“The audit will inform clinicians and promote further improvement in the quality of care and the overall survival rate for oesophago-gastric patients in Northern Ireland.”

Most common in more deprived groups in the population, OG cancer survival is lowest among older persons. While rates have improved in recent years, survival remains poor with 41% alive at one year and only 16% at 5 years.

OG Cancer was last measured in 2005 and much has changed since then. For example, multidisciplinary teams are functioning, surgical services have been centralised, clinical nurse specialists, and PET-CT scanning and new treatment regimens have been introduced.

The audit will allow the NI Cancer Registry to compare local services with those of England and Wales and with that provided in the past. It will also measure similar items for cancer of the oesophagus which is closely linked with stomach cancer.

The NI Cancer Registry is responsible for the production of official statistics on cancer incidence, prevalence and survival in Northern Ireland, which helps inform decision making about cancer services, and is crucial, particularly as society deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Teresa Sloan, Head of Health Fundraising at Queen’s University Belfast added:

“On behalf of Queen’s we would like to thank OGCancerNI for the gift of £10,000 donated to facilitate the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry at the University to do an audit of stomach cancer.

“The funding will enable the Registry team to measure the care of patients diagnosed in the most recent two years and provide evidence to help improve services and overall survival.

“There has never been a more crucial time to get behind our world-class researchers and to support cancer research here at Queen’s.”

OGCancerNI was set up in 2018 after the committee and volunteers who previously worked under the auspices of Oesophageal Patients Association Northern Ireland (OPANI), recognised the benefit in creating a separate Northern Ireland charity to maximise support locally.

Established in 1999, The Queen’s University of Belfast Foundation advances the strategic goals and objectives of the University. Its primary function is to generate philanthropic financial support for Queen’s agreed priorities, across capital development programmes and academic initiatives, from private individuals, charitable trusts and corporations.

OGCancerNI offers a range of one-to-one and group patient support services and can be reached at any time on 07776 152 275.

To support health-related research projects at Queen’s, visit the Development and Alumni Relations Office website or contact Teresa Sloan, Head of Health Fundraising.

For general enquiries about this story, or to submit a graduate news item, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen’s University Belfast. 

Pictured (L-R) are: Dr Richard Turkington – Clinical Senior Lecturer (Medical Oncology) | Honorary Consultant Northern Ireland Cancer Centre; Sinéad Lardner –Research Assistant, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences (MDBS); Deirdre Fitzpatrick – Biostatistician, MDBS; Helen Setterfield – Chair, OG Cancer NI and Colin Fox – IT Manager, MDBS.


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