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February 28 - February 29
Oesophageal cancer affects up to 450 Irish people every year but it’s hoped that vital new research can improve our understanding of its causes and increase the chances of early detection. Lollipop Day was started by the Oesophageal Cancer Fund (OCF) to create awareness around oesophageal cancer and to raise much-needed funds for research into the disease. Lollipop Day takes place on February 28th & 29th and the OCF are encouraging people to donate or to get involved in their local area.
They are also looking to educate the public on the early signs of oesophageal cancer and the less-discussed Barrett’s oesophagus. Barrett’s oesophagus is an inflammatory disease of the oesophagus that’s most commonly found in people living with obesity, in smokers and in people with acute acid reflux and difficulty swallowing, with some sufferers going on to develop the early stages of oesophageal cancer. A registry of those suffering with Barrett’s oesophagus across Ireland was set up 10 years ago as a direct result of funds raised on Lollipop Day by the OCF.
The OCF supported the foundation of the registry 10 years ago across six hospitals – St. James’s Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, the Mater, St. Vincent’s Hospital, the Mercy Hospital in Cork and University Hospital Galway. Through initiatives like Lollipop Day, the OCF is funding the collection of data on Barrett’s patients in these hospitals.
The hope is that this research can help to prevent deaths from oesophageal cancer by improving our understanding of the disease