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Background: Oesophago-gastric (OG) cancer has a poor five-year survival. Wandsworth Public Health Department undertook a direct mail-out to raise awareness of OG cancer, highlighting symptoms and risk factors with the aim of improving survival.
Objectives: To ascertain the impact of the mail-out on respondents awareness of OG cancer and intention to make lifestyle changes and assess acceptability of the information.
Method: 5,048 men aged over 55 years in Wandsworth, London, were sent a direct mail containing a leaflet explaining the signs and symptoms of OG cancer and a flyer about lifestyle factors associated with cancer. A postal survey was then sent to assess recall of key health promotion messages and self-reported changes in knowledge, attitude and behaviour in relation to OG Cancer.
Results: A response rate of 10.5% was achieved. 68.8% respondents were interested in the information and only 11.2% were made to feel uncomfortable and 6.8% made to feel worried. Most respondents recognised the key messages (Spotting the signs and symptoms of cancer (75.8%); Finding cancer early can save lives (73.5%); See your GP if you have a symptom (69.1%)). Almost 9% of respondents reported consulting their General Practitioner after receiving the leaflet. The survey suggested the mail-out had raised awareness of OG cancer as 50% of respondents reported talking to friends and family and/or intended to make lifestyle changes. Conclusions: OG cancer awareness information by direct mail-out has shown acceptability with target recipients and a positive effect with respondents seeking advice from healthcare professionals and evidence of raised awareness of OG cancer.
Cancer, Oesophageal, Gastric, Mail-out, Awareness, Gastric Cancer, Coeliac Disease, Constipation