OCCTOPUS, Oxford Colon Cancer Trust is a local charity with an influence across Oxfordshire and beyond. Founded in 2003 its aim is the better diagnosis, treatment and education for diseases of the bowel, often a bit of a Cinderella subject. There are 110 new cases of colon or bowel cancer diagnosed in the UK every day and it is the fourth most common cancer. Ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease affect young people at a crucial time in their life and can run a long term debilitating course. A seemingly normal delivery of a baby can damage the pelvic floor and incontinence can be devastating. OCCTOPUS is the champion for all these sometimes neglected problems and helps the team at the Oxford University Hospitals with the funding for research into new treatments, education for the doctors of the future, and purchase of new equipment for keyhole surgery which the NHS cannot afford.
OCCTOPUS has raised around £1m during the last 10 years enabling the Oxford group to become one of the best in the country with benefits for patients from all walks of life in our area. Some 800 patients a year are indirectly affected by our work. One recent US visitor remarked that the influence of the group was international with such a tiny infrastructure. There are minimal running costs, and we employ a part time administrator working from an office provided by the hospital.