Mr Sarela specialises in surgery for cancer of the oesophagus (gullet) and stomach. Mr Sarela trained in cancer surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York USA. Mr Sarela is a core member of the Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Multi-Disciplinary Team in the NHS at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds.
Cancer of the oesophagus is the 13th most common cancer in the UK. The risk for cancer of the oesophagus is increased by cigarette smoking, acid reflux, excessive alcohol and obesity (BMI more than 30). Obesity increases the risk of cancer because obese people are more prone to acid reflux. Acid reflux damages the cells of inner lining of the lower end of oesophagus and causes a condition called Barrett’s oesophagus, which is a pre-malignant disorder. Each year about 1 in 860 people with Barrett’s oesophagus will go on to develop a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma. Barrett’s oesophagus can develop also in non-obese people with acid reflux. The risk of cancer is an important reason to get proper treatment for acid reflux.
Cancer of the stomach (called gastric cancer) is the 15th most common cancer in the UK. The risk for stomach cancer is increased by cigarette smoking, excessively salty food, processed meats, infection of the stomach lining by a bug called Helicobacter pylori, some types of operations on the stomach, and a family history of stomach cancer.