April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is working to raise awareness of esophageal cancer; a deadly cancer that is on the increase.

Online PR News – 25-March-2015 – West Warwick, Rhode Island – The month of April is dedicated to raising awareness of esophageal cancer; a cancer that is considered the fastest-growing cancer in the U.S., according to the National Cancer Institute.

The State of Rhode Island will again recognize April as “Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month” on Wednesday, April 1, 2015. This resolution was obtained through the efforts of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, a local nonprofit and Representative Patricia Serpa (D – Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry and Warwick).

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation has created an online petition to have President Barack Obama recognize and proclaim April ‘National Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month’. The petition has garnered over 2,000 signatures from across the United States and internationally. The petition can be found online: https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-united-states-proclaim-the-month-of-april-to-be-esophageal-cancer-awareness-month-in-the-united-states-of-america

The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. There are two types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma is more common worldwide and usually found in the upper and middle part of the esophagus. Esophageal adenocarcinoma usually forms in the lower part of the esophagus near the stomach and is the more common type of esophageal cancer in the United States.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, known more commonly as GERD, affects one out of five Americans (including President Obama) and is a risk factor associated with esophageal cancer. Chronic heartburn and indigestion are two common symptoms of GERD.

The United States National Library of Medicine defines GERD as “a condition in which the stomach contents leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus.” Overtime, this reflux can damage the lining of the esophagus, increasing the risk of Barrett’s esophagus, a sometimes precancerous condition, ulcers, scarring and esophageal cancer. Other factors that can increase the risk of esophageal cancer include obesity, poor nutrition, smoking, excessive alcohol use and Barrett’s esophagus.

In addition to the alarming increase of over 600% in past decades, esophageal cancer is also one of the deadliest cancers; patients diagnosed with Stage IV face a survival rate of only 3.8%. Esophageal cancer does not typically show symptoms in its early stages. Warning signs such as difficulty swallowing, sensation of food getting stuck, chronic cough, among others, typically arise once the cancer has spread to lymph nodes and other organs. Also, there are no routine or standard screenings to detect esophageal cancer in its earlier stages.

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness, encourage early detection and to fund research of esophageal cancer. “Our charity works to ensure that esophageal cancer has the same methods which have significantly helped other deadly cancers, such as breast and colon cancers,” Linda Molfesi, President of the foundation, stated.

For more information, please visit: SALGI.org

Copyright 2015 The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.