HOSPITAL leaders have held the first of a series of events to support patients and families following surgery for oesophagus or stomach cancer.

The new group has been named GUTSY and the first meeting was held at the Fownes Hotel, Worcester.

More than 30 patients from across Worcestershire attended the event, which was made possible by funding from Macmillan Cancer Support, and the generosity of the Fownes Hotel. It will be followed by quarterly get-togethers throughout the year.

GUTSY participants heard advice from Martin Wadley, consultant surgeon and Dr Charles Candish, consultant oncologist from Cheltenham General and Worcestershire Royal Hospital. Patients were able to share their experiences on life following oesophagectomy or gastrectomy (removal of the gullet or stomach).

The support group provides patients and their families with the opportunity to discuss the effects that this type of surgery has had on their lives. They can also share tips and advice on coping strategies, with specialists on hand providing an informal question and answer session.