Anyone who suspects that they may suffer with Barretts Oesophageal disease can gain advice from a regional support charity. The Barretts Wessex charity founder Chris Robinson was diagnosed with the disease and now receives frequent check-ups from the specialist team at Southampton hospital to screen for cancer.
His group meets on the first Thursday afternoon every month at the Haskins Garden Centre in West End. Chris can be spotted as he is sat with a pile of leaflets and information on his table and some flags. Anyone who has symptoms, including very frequent heartburn or the reflux of acid and stomach bile can be given friendly advice.
“Those who know they have Barretts Oesophageal disease diagnosed will generally be safer from developing Oesophageal cancer than those who are unaware because the hospital’s team can monitor the disease,” said Chris. “We refer people to the specialists and they refer those with the disease to us for advice and support. We hope that people will come and meet and not fear wasting our time should they fortunately not be diagnosed.”
Chris, who is also a trustee of the national Barretts Oesophagus Campaign, says that the relaxed atmosphere, easy to park and find meeting place at Haskins is popular with the members and thanked Haskins’ General Manager Peter Callaway for the support given to the local charity which also fundraises to purchase additional equipment for the hospital.