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Sir Ian Botham to open new research centre on Teesside

The former England and Durham cricketer Sir Ian Botham will officially open a new centre for medical research into cancer and diabetes in Darlington.

Sir Ian Botham described the new unit as a "fantastic asset" for Teesside Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS

The sportsman, known as 'Beefy', will cut the ribbon on a new Centre for Clinical Research and Innovation at Darlington Memorial Hospital. The £285,000 unit is one of the biggest in the North East of England. It has been funded by research already being undertaken by the NHS Trust.

Parents delighted after daughter's "unbelievable" cancer recovery

The parents of a girl who has been fighting a rare form of cancer say they are shocked and relived as scans now suggest the disease has disappeared.

Six-year-old Fraja Simpson, from North Yorkshire, has had extensive treatment and surgery for neuroblastoma after being diagnosed with the disease early last year. The aggressive childhood cancer targets the nervous system.

Her parents, Garry and Michelle Simpson, say doctors have told them her treatment seems to have worked.

Following Fraja's diagnosis, the Simpsons started a campaign to raise half a million pounds to take her to America for treatment she cannot receive here.

The family say their fundraising will continue in case Fraja suffers a relapse, something they say happens in about 60% of patients.

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Costs of cancer as high as average mortgage payment

Research carried out by Macmillan Cancer Support found that 4 out of 5 cancer patients are hit by additional costs of around £570 per month because of their illness. That figure is the same as the average monthly mortgage payment.

The costs of cancer can include taking time off work, travelling for treatment, and changing cicumstances Credit: ITV

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What causes Oesophageal cancer?

When cancer of the oesophagus first develops it rarely causes any symptoms. This is because the tumour is very small. It is only when the cancer starts to become larger and more advanced that symptoms will start to develop. Those might include:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • unexplained weight loss (caused by a combination of difficulties swallowing and the cancer’s harmful effects on your body)
  • pain when swallowing (odynophagia)
  • throat pain and discomfort
  • persistent indigestion
  • hoarseness
  • persistent cough
  • vomiting
  • coughing blood

North East "worst in the world" for cancer of the oesophagus

The North East of England has the world's highest rates of cancer of the oesophagus and stomach, according to Public Health England, partly due to our high levels of obesity.

However, nine out of ten of us would not recognise the symptoms.

A new TV advert showing in the North East and North Cumbria will raise awareness of what to look for.

Lucy Taylor reports.

Newcastle man urging those with cancer symptoms to get tested

A man from Newcastle is joining the campaign to raise awareness of the symptoms of oesophageal cancer.

Robert Atwell was diagnosed nine years ago after his doctor recognised the signs, when he visited her for something entirely different.

Thanks to his GP, Robert's illness was identified early, and now he is warning anyone else experiencing heartburn, indigestion or trouble swallowing to get their symptoms checked out.

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