The Upper Gastro-Intestinal (UGI) Cancer Service at Chesterfield Royal Hospital (CRH) offers investigation, treatment planning and support to patients who are suspected or proven to have tumours affecting the oesophagus (gullet), stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder or bile ducts.

The UGI Cancer Service at CRH follows a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) model and works in conjunction with the regional specialist cancer teams based in Sheffield. This means that all patients who are found to have an UGI cancer benefit from the opinion of a panel of experts when their treatment is planned.

The diagnosis of an UGI cancer and the assessment of its extent (staging) is organised from CRH whilst definitive treatment is usually provided in Sheffield. Operations are performed at the Northern General Hospital and chemotherapy or radiotherapy is delivered at Weston Park Hospital.

The precise treatment offered depends on the cancer type and its extent at the time of diagnosis.

Once staging is complete, patients are provided with full information to help them decide which of the choices in treatment they prefer.

The investigation of UGI cancers often involves multiple tests and the UGI Cancer Team at CRH recognises that this can be a challenging time for patients. The Team works hard to ensure that tests are performed in a co-ordinated fashion as quickly as possible. Cancer Nurse Specialists (CNSs) play a central role in keeping patients informed of their progress during this period. They are also readily available to contact by telephone to answer questions or provide general support.
 

Essential Information for New Patients

Patients are referred to the Service via a number of routes depending on their symptoms. Some, for example patients with swallowing difficulties, will be sent an appointment to attend for an endoscopy; others, for example patients who are jaundiced, will come to an outpatient clinic in the first instance.

Whatever the type of the first attendance, all appointments are at the CRH main site.


Straight-to-Test Endoscopy

The procedure only takes a few minutes but patients should expect to be in the Endoscopy Department for 2-3 hours. Patients who are having an endoscopy will need to stop eating and drinking for a period of four hours before hand and it is important that this advice is followed. Most patients find the procedure easy to manage without sedation. If you do wish to be sedated for the procedure, please recognise that you will not be able to return home unsupervised. 

For the majority of patients who are referred directly for endoscopy, the test is reassuring and no cancer is found. However, if cancer is detected, the endoscopist will discuss this with you at the time and will arrange any further tests as required.

New Out-Patient attendance

Other patients will be asked to attend for a consultation before any specific tests are booked. Outpatient attendances usually last for 15-20 minutes but you should plan to be at the hospital for longer. Depending on symptoms, some patients will be offered further investigations which can be performed on the day of their attendance, for example an ultrasound or CT scan.


General Points

Please bring a full list of any medication you are currently taking to your first appointment.

We realise that this can be a stressful time for patients and their families and we aim to ensure that every patient who receives a new diagnosis of likely cancer will be able to meet with a CNS at the time that diagnosis is given. The CNS will provide details of how you can keep in contact whilst your investigations continue.

Further tests are frequently necessary and we will ensure that these are completed as quickly as possible. We can keep you informed by telephone or by clinic review. We are happy to follow whichever method you prefer.

The exact sequence of tests varies depending on the type of cancer and we realise that the period whilst these are completed is often stressful. However, in order to be able to offer the best treatment, it is important that the investigations are performed. Patients suspected of having cancer are given the highest priority and their tests are completed as soon as possible. It is unlikely that any cancer will spread significantly during this period and so the chances of successful treatment are not reduced by the time which it takes to be fully staged.

Since treatment is usually offered in Sheffield, it may be that once your investigations are complete, your next appointment will be at another hospital. If this is the case, we will inform you accordingly. Our aim is to avoid unnecessary delay but we are always happy to see you again in CRH if you prefer to discuss things further before visiting Sheffield.

How do I change my appointment?

You can contact the hospital on the following numbers

Endoscopy appointments 01246 516002
New Outpatient  appointments 01246 512673

Alternatively, you can telephone the number on your appointment letter.

Can I bring someone with me?

Yes, please do.

We appreciate the need for patients to be fully supported and our aim is to enable this whenever possible. Please be aware that our consultation rooms are often small and we cannot accommodate large numbers of family members or friends under normal circumstances.

It is helpful if you can ensure that you are accompanied by the same family member or friend on each attendance.

COVID restrictions place extra challenges and the Trust must follow whatever national guidance is in place at the time you attend. Nevertheless, we have managed to continue to enable one relative or friend to be present during clinical consultations. However, waiting areas are small and your companion may be asked to wait outside the hospital until you are actually seen.

Please note, even under non-pandemic conditions, relatives or friends are not able to be present whilst endoscopy, or CT or MRI scans are performed.

For more information on Coronavirus whilst attending the hospital please click here.

Useful Links

NGS Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
01246 516406   Mon – Fri   0830-1630
Email crhft.macmillaninfo@nhs.net 

Macmillan Cancer Support
Oesophageal Patients Association
Pancreatic Cancer UK

Meet the team 

Cancer Nurse Specialists  

Emma Wooliscroft, Jessica Rouse and Julia Tramontano

Lead Clinician 

Mr N Everitt

Contact Information

Hospital main number 01246 277271  
CNS office number 01246 513772 Mon-Fri 0900-1600 Out of hours / answerphone
Endoscopy appointments   01246 516002  
New Outpatient appointments 01246 512673  

Alternatively, you can check your letter for further contact details