Oesophageal Cancer is the seventh most common Cancer in the UK. 

  Early Diagnosis Saves Lives.

We are Heartburn Cancer UK


At HCUK we want you to know that, despite the unprecedented global situation regarding Covid-19, we are still available at Heartburn Cancer UK if you have any questions or concerns about Barrett’s Oesophagus or Oesophageal Cancer. As per the government advice regarding social distancing we are working remotely, however, we can still be contacted by email If you prefer to call on 01256 338668 our staff are able to take a message and we will call you back as soon as we are able

For up-to-date advice regarding the situation as it applies to cancer patients please follow this link to advice produced by the One Cancer Voice partnership

The following two websites also have some information which you may find useful. However, if you have any questions about your care at this time then please do contact your GP



In 2002 Michael McCord died from Oesophageal Cancer. His death, like so many, was preventable. Had he known at the time about the dangers of Long Term and Persistent Heartburn he could have sought medical help, and the outcome might have been completely different. It was his tragic death that brought about the McCord Fund, which has grown today into the national charity, Heartburn Cancer UK (HCUK).

Cancer of the Oesophagus is growing rapidly in incidence across the UK and is currently the sixth biggest cancer killer. Despite the best modern treatments, survival rates after diagnosis with Oesophageal Cancer are appalling. This is due in part to diagnosis being made when the condition is too advanced to be treated; the early symptoms are few and are on the whole ignored. Long Term Persistent Heartburn is a significant symptom of both a type of Oesophageal Cancer called Adenocarcinoma as well as the pre-cancerous condition known as Barrett’s Oesophagus.

Heartburn affects 1 in 10 of us and is often dismissed as a harmless problem, easily treated with off-the-shelf antacids. It is estimated that around 500,000 people in the UK have the pre-cancerous condition Barrett’s Oesophagus, and most are totally unaware of it.

Around 10% (50,000) of those will develop Oesophageal Cancer

Why Heartburn Cancer UK Exists

As a recognised and trusted authority in the field of Cancer of the Oesophagus, we know that with your help we can make significant inroads in the Prevention, Detection and Treatment of this disease by focussing on 5 key areas of action:  


Education leads to a lasting change. We are working hard to influence public and social policy, to lobby politicians, to campaign for change, to promote greater collaboration amongst the medical profession, the public and the government. We are already in the process of developing a network of effective partnerships with businesses, the pharmaceutical industry, medical professionals and other like-minded groups. We intend to effect change and influence how this disease is perceived, detected, diagnosed and treated.


Our aim is to significantly reduce incurable oesophageal cancer in the UK.

Our renowned medical professionals, all experts in the field of oesophageal cancer, will continue to play a key role in research and trials designed to reduce the incidence of this appalling disease.


Early detection rates are vital to ensure a positive outcome. We are creating a communication network to facilitate greater awareness of the importance of diagnosing the disease early, identifying the symptoms associated with the disease and seeking medical help quickly. Oesophageal cancer affects everyone regardless of their race, gender or age.


We will ensure consistent support is available to everyone affected by Barrett’s Oesophagus, regardless of who they are and where they live. Information and advice is available to all those affected by the disease and to the people who support them, on our website or by telephone.

We need your help to bring this to the attention of your employees, friends & family or indeed anyone who might suffer from persistent heartburn!

You can make a difference. Perhaps you know someone who has suffered from persistent heartburn, Barrett’s Oesophagus or Oesophageal Cancer. Perhaps you run an organisation and would like to help. Why not make it your company’s corporate responsibility?


We are not content with standing still; we are determined to develop and grow a sustainable UK charity which continually re-invests to maximise the impact of its resources.

Working with UK businesses and voluntary organisations' our outward facing collaborative approach will ensure we are the first place to come to for reliable, up to date information about Heartburn, Barrett’s and Oesophageal Cancer.

HCUK - Information Centre

All you need to know about Heartburn, Barrett's Oesophagus, Oesopageal Cancer. If you need support we can offer advice. Please contact us on the "Ask our Doctor a Question" form, or you can join one of our Local Support Groups. You can also buy Heartburn Cancer UK Clothing and other HCUK Merchandise to help Raise Awareness and of course we would very much welcome a Donation to allow the charity to carry on offering free advice, Raising Awareness, Changing the Future and Saving Lives.

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HCUK Founder to be part of Grand Challenge

Mimi McCord is part of the team led by Professor Sir Mike Stratton at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute...


John Gorham RIP

It is with great sadness that we have to report that John Gorham lost his heroic battle against oesophageal cancer on Tuesday 8th May. John, with Chrissy his wife alongside him, championed HCUK at every opportunity; a wonderful man whose determination and humour will be greatly missed. Our sincere condolences go to Chrissy and his family.


Lucy’s Challenge

Lucy Luckhurst our inspirational patient who joined us for the HCUK Awareness Day on the 14th December...


Mudathon - A great success

Paragon Building & Project Consultants held their second hugely successful Mudathon on the 23rd September. Thanks to Simon Webster...


Useful Links and Information

A great list of useful links and more information on Barrett's Oesophagus, Heartburn ans Cancer of the Oesophagus...


HCUK Latest Newsletter – please sign up to keep in touch

HCUK news and Events"...


Trustee conquers Mont Ventoux for HCUK

Read Tim's story and see the video of how he raised funds for HCUK...


All the latest HCUK News & Events

News relating to Heartburn, Barrett's Oesophagus and Oesopageal Cancer...


Supporters & Donors to HCUK

Thank you to all those who continue to support Heartburn Cancer UK...


HCUK Founder helps prepare new NICE guidelines for Oesophageal Cancer

Mimi McCord the founder of HCUK is as a patient representative on NICE...