Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month


WHEREAS, according to the Esophageal Cancer Action Network (ECAN), esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer diagnosis in the United States, and has increased more than 400 percent in the past twenty years; and

WHEREAS, esophageal cancer is among the deadliest of cancers, with fewer than one-in-five patients living five years after the diagnosis, due to the fact that it is usually discovered at advanced stages, with an estimate that 15,450 Americans will die from esophageal cancer in 2014; and

WHEREAS, in the United States, esophageal cancer is most often identified by symptoms of persistent heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); yet many who are at risk are unaware of the potential danger GERD can present when it occurs over several weeks or months; and

WHEREAS, a severe and persistent cough, hoarse voice, sore throat, or chest pain, can be signs of GERD, and reasons to discuss screening for Barrett’s Esophagus with a medical care professional; and

WHEREAS, esophageal cancer can be prevented through early detection of its precursor, Barrett’s Esophagus, which can be treated with new, curative techniques; and

WHEREAS, the Esophageal Cancer Action Network works to improve public awareness of the link between heartburn and esophageal cancer, and supports advancement in early detection and treatment of esophageal cancer, thereby improving the health and well-being of all Americans;  

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize April 2014 as ESOPHAGEAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.