The number of people surviving after treatment for oesophageal or stomach cancer has risen significantly in the last 10 years, according to new figures.
Nearly 50% of patients with stomach tumours and 45% of those with an oesophageal tumour live for three years after diagnosis compared with only about one third of patients a decade ago, an audit of thousands of sufferers found.
Together, oesophageal and stomach cancers are the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
They affect around 13,500 people each year.
The new statistics are taken from the National Oesophago-Gastric Cancer Audit. It is the first time national data on three year survival rates for this patient group have been published.
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) said the audit includes information on more than 17,000 patients in England and Wales diagnosed between October 2007 and June 2009 and is largest audit of its kind in the world.
Surgeons said the figures show that if patients are diagnosed early enough and have curative treatment their chances of long-term survival are stronger.
Stuart Riley, consultant gastroenterologist and member of the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), said: "Unfortunately, most patients with oesophageal or stomach cancer still report symptoms too late.
We need to improve the early diagnosis of the disease to increase the proportion of patients eligible for curative treatment and improve survival rates even further."
The RCS said the improved results reflect better organisation of NHS cancer services in England and Wales.
It said the centralisation of cancer services has allowed patients to have better access to the best available treatment.
Richard Hardwick, consultant surgeon and member of the Association of Upper GI Surgeons (AUGIS), said: "Survival of patients undergoing curative surgery for oesophageal or stomach cancer has improved significantly.
"Our next challenge is to reduce the rates of complications following these major operations so that our patients recover more quickly from their surgery."
Tom Crosby, consultant clinical oncologist and member of the Royal College of Radiology (RCR), said: "Chemo-radiotherapy is now a well-established option in the treatment of oesophageal and stomach cancer.
"Combining it with surgery has helped improve the time patients survive; indeed in some cases surgery is not necessary. We must ensure all patients have access to equally excellent services."
The audit was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and carried out by a partnership between the Association of Upper Gastro-Intestinal Surgeons, the British Society of Gastroenterology, the Royal College of Radiologists, the Health and Social Care Information Centre and the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
The RCS said the audit also show a pattern of referral from general practice to hospital which varies significantly by region in England and Wales.
The proportion of patients who were diagnosed after an urgent GP referral ranged from 88% to 38% among the regional cancer networks.
And 16% of patients were diagnosed with cancer after an emergency hospital admission. These patients are less likely to benefit from treatment than patients diagnosed after a GP referral as the disease has advanced considerably, the RCS said.
INC- Network of Local Radio Stations in cooperation with in total 15 local radio stations from Kosovo broadcasting in Serbian language and five local radio stations in Serbia including Radio Presheva, Albanian local broadcaster, with the support, of BTD, Austrian.., KFOS Soros Fund and NED, in the period of July-September 2011, produced and broadcast weekly shows titled The Bridge, Prishtina - Belgrade Civil Dialogue which as the main objective had promotion of ethnic tolerance, intra-ethnic and regional cooperation between Albanians and Serbs i.e. Kosovo and Serbia. The motivation for the initiation and then implementation of this unique project which involved in total 15 local broadcasters from Kosovo and Serbia was the beginning of the technical dialogue between two capitols with the mediation of European Union. As the opinion is aware these ongoing talks as the main objective had solving of issues that remains an obstacle in normalization of relations between two capitols. The project was unique for couple of reasons which will be elaborated in this report, however we need to underline here the fact that ‘The Bridge” is the first project which saw such close cooperation and joint work between local broadcasters from Kosovo and Serbia, i.e. for the first time local broadcasters from these two countries together produced and broadcasted same weekly shows, a fact that in itself is an indicator of the conclusion that this project was unique and that was successful in its implementation.