Our Patron Padraig Harrington
About the Oesophageal Cancer Fund (OCF)
Established in 2001 the Oesophageal Cancer Fund
(OCF) is a registered charity and voluntary organisation, which has grown to be the national voice representing oesophageal cancer in Ireland.
Our aim is to raise awareness of the symptoms related to oesophageal cancer and to provide funding for research into the disease.
Our primary goals are:
Develop and improve public awareness and understanding of oesophageal cancer.
To date OCF has invested €1 million in awareness driving campaigns to increase the public’s knowledge of the symptoms that can be early warning signs. About 450 cases of oesophageal cancer occur in Ireland each year. Approximately 70% of patients have oesophageal cancer symptoms for more than three months before talking to their GP. We want to change this; as early detection can be vital in saving lives.
Improve the outcome for people with oesophageal cancer.
To date OCF has contributed almost €1.4 million in funding for oesophageal cancer research by the country’s leading experts into this disease. We have established a scientific board to adjudicate on submissions for national, multi-centre, collaborative and clinical research into aspects of oesophageal cancer care.
Our funding has also helped establish the National Barrett’s Oesophagus Register and Bio Bank, a vital step in developing our understanding of this cancer.
Our main fundraising event is our annual Lollipop Day, which takes place at the end of February each year.
A pink lollipop is the emblem for our campaign and highlights the most common symptom of suspicion of oesophageal cancer - difficulty swallowing.
Thousands of volunteers sell lollipops throughout Ireland on Lollipop Day to help raise funds on behalf of OCF and ensure we continue to raise vital funds.
The creation of OCF and Lollipop Day was inspired by the life of Lucilla Hyland who died of oesophageal cancer in 2001. Our continued aim is to raise awareness of the symptoms and improve the outcomes of patients with oesophageal cancer in honour of our dear friend.