2017 Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

4/1/2017

WHEREAS, esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in the tissues of the esophagus and grow outward through other layers of tissue; and

WHEREAS, esophageal cancer is 3 to 4 times more common among men than among women, with the lifetime risk being 1 in 125 for men, and 1 in 435 for women; and

WHEREAS, 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, esophageal cancer can be a silent killer with patients often unaware that the heartburn, difficulty swallowing, cough, hoarse voice, sore throat or chest pain they suffer can be reasons to discuss screening for esophageal cancer with their medical care professional; and

WHEREAS, esophageal cancer is often discovered during advanced stages, but if discovered early, chances for recovery and survival are far better, and treatments for the disease include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, laser therapy, and electrocoagulation; and

WHEREAS, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2017 more than 16,500 new esophageal cancer cases will be diagnosed nationally, and more than 15,500 deaths will be caused by esophageal cancer in the United States alone; and

WHEREAS, Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to improve public awareness of the cancer and support advances in early detection and the treatment of esophageal cancer, thereby improving the health and well-being of individuals across the Commonwealth and the nation; 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize April 2017 as ESOPHAGEAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

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