A recent campaign, launched across Dudley borough, urged people to get clued up about the symptoms of two types of cancer which kill 10,000 people a year nationally - oesophageal and stomach cancer, together known as oesophagogastric cancer.

This followed a recent survey which suggested that almost half of Dudley residents aged 55 – 59 did not know the signs and symptoms of oesophagogastric cancer.

And there is a lack of awareness generally about the main symptoms, which include indigestion or heartburn for three weeks or more and difficulty swallowing food.

But cancer caught early is easier to treat which is why it is so important to get possible symptoms checked out quickly. An estimated 950 lives could be saved each year if England’s survival rates matched the best in Europe for such cancers.

Oesophagogastric cancer affects both men and women, although men are more frequently affected, and nine out of 10 people diagnosed with this form of cancer are over 55.