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“Demanding Hope” – The Lanesborough, London Partners with Heartburn Cancer UK

Part of the prestigious Oetker Collection, The Lanesborough, London has partnered with Heartburn Cancer UK, Cleveland Clinic and Cyted Health to offer Chefs, cabbies, concierges and local residents a free heartburn health check at one of London’s most luxurious hotels after it was hit by double heartbreak.

Workers from across London’s extensive hospitality industry have been invited to see if they’re eligible for the simple test, which takes just minutes to do, but could save lives. They’ve been asked to sign up not only because the test will be done on their doorstep - at The Lanesborough on Hyde Park Corner - but because the group can be particularly prone to chronic heartburn too.

Persistent heartburn is an often overlooked or ignored potential sign of cancer or a pre-cancerous condition - called Barrett’s oesophagus - that affects the food pipe.

Hospitality and associated staff – from kitchen porters to chief executives, cab drivers and local residents – have been invited to fill out a short form on the Heartburn Cancer UK website to check if they can get the free heartburn health check. It’s also being promoted in a short invitation video being shared on social media.

People working in the hospitality industry experience some of the risk factors of developing heartburn (such as high levels of stress and fluctuating work patterns, which means they often eat on the run).

Double heartburn cancer heartbreak at the Lanesborough

The Lanesborough team know - from first-hand experience - the dangers of ignoring persistent heartburn. They’ve had two very painful run-ins with cancer of the oesophagus in the last few years.

It first caused the death of one of their brightest and most memorable characters. Long-standing luggage porter Fernando Oliveria died in 2020 of the disease, and Dean Timini, the husband of the Executive Head of Sales and Marketing, Jo Stevenson Timini, also died of the same cancer later the same year.

Both were in their late 40s or early 50s; both were long-term sufferers of heartburn, and neither had it checked until it was too late.

The hotel has since made Heartburn Cancer UK (HCUK), the leading charity in this area, its chosen charitable cause. The team is committed to raising awareness of the issue, as well as funds.

Cancer of the oesophagus - fourth biggest cancer killer in men

Cancer of the oesophagus is the 7th most deadly cancer in the UK. It’s the fourth biggest cancer killer for men. Some 8,000 people die each year. But many of these deaths could be prevented, especially if people get their heartburn symptoms thoroughly checked out.

“Persistent heartburn is not normal. It can be a warning sign of cancer or a pre-cancerous condition in the oesophagus, called Barrett’s oesophagus, that can then be regularly monitored. But it’s often dismissed, overlooked or masked by the overuse of off-the-shelf or over-the-counter medication, such as Gaviscon and Rennie,” said HCUK’s chairman and founder, Mimi McCord.

Mimi added: “Sadly, the team at The Lanesborough know – as I do - that if persistent heartburn is ignored, it can have tragic consequences. Knowing that your persistent heartburn could be a warning sign is a gift – if you get it checked out.”

Mimi set up Heartburn Cancer UK to raise awareness of persistent heartburn and to demand earlier diagnosis after her husband, Mike, died aged 47, nine weeks after his diagnosis. He also suffered from persistent heartburn for much of his adult life without realising it was a sign of the cancer that would kill him.

New test will check early warning signs

HCUK will bring its mobile diagnostic unit to The Lanesborough to allow free health checks to be done. The tests and any initial follow-up treatment are being carried out, free of charge, by the clinical team at the nearby Cleveland Clinic. The tests are being provided for free by the gastrointestinal health company, Cyted.

The EndoSign test, developed by Cyted, is minimally invasive and used as an alternative to an endoscopy. It detects and monitors for signs of pre-cancer and other diseases. The tests can take less than ten minutes and be carried out in a mobile unit or an office-based setting rather than a hospital.

The tests will be done in February to coincide with Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Month.

The results will bring peace of mind to many, but could also pick up cancer or pre-cancer at an early stage when a cure is more possible.

Because heartburn and other symptoms are often ignored or masked, and quicker, easier and less invasive tests, such as the EndoSign, are not yet widely available on the NHS, cancer of the oesophagus is often diagnosed late. There are no official survival rates for cancer of the oesophagus after it has spread to parts of the body away from the original site.

For more information, contact Marie Spanswick on or phone 07747791724.


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