Lifestyle choices and avoidable factors contribute to more than 50 percent of cancer deaths, according to AACR status report.

September 23, 2014

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) issued its latest Cancer Progress Report on September 16, 2014. The report suggests that “most cancer deaths – more than 50 percent – in the United States can be avoided.” The AACR report indicates that certain lifestyle choices and other avoidable factors contribute to more than 50 percent of cancer deaths.”

American Assocation of Cancer Research- Preventable Cancer - Esophageal Cancer - Awareness- Research

 

“Many of the greatest reductions in the morbidity and mortality of cancer have resulted from advances in cancer prevention and early detection. Yet more than 50 percent of the 580,350 cancer deaths expected to occur in the United States in 2013 will be related to preventable causes” the AACR report stated.

It is certainly true that one can lower their risk of developing cancer, including cancer of the esophagus. Unfortunately, not all esophageal cancer diagnosis can be prevented. In fact, researchers currently do not yet know exactly what causes most esophageal cancers. However, the AACR does outline several risk factors that can attribute to a decrease in the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

The AACR report states: “…most notable among these causes are tobacco use, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity…and failure to use or comply with interventions that treat or prevent infectious causes of cancer.”
The AACR report states, for instance, that “you are 50 percent less likely to develop mouth, throat, esophageal and bladder cancer five years after stopping smoking.”

In addition to smoking, the report indicates that “obesity increases risk for a growing number of cancers, most prominently the adenocarcinoma subtype of esophageal cancer” along with a number of other cancers.

Other known risk factors of esophageal cancer include Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which is also known as acid reflux disease (chronic heartburn), poor nutrition, excessive alcohol use and Barrett’s esophagus.

The report does highlight positive news regarding a significant decline in the number of cancer deaths since past decades. Charles L. Sawyers, M.D., AACR President and Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D.(h.c.), AACR Chief Executive Officer, credit scientific discoveries for a “decrease in the incidence of many of the more than 200 types of cancer, cures for a number of these diseases and higher quality and longer lives for many individuals whose cancers cannot yet be prevented or cured.”

Esophageal cancer, however, has not seen such decreases, cures or higher quality and longer life for those whose cancers cannot yet be prevented or cured.

As the fastest growing cancer in the United States, esophageal cancer has instead seen an increase of over 600% in the past decades. Esophageal cancer is also one of the most deadly of cancers, with an overall 5 year survival rate of only 17.5%.
What is worse is that there is no standard or routine screening to detect esophageal cancer in its earliest stages and symptoms often arise once the cancer has spread.

This contributes greatly to the fact that esophageal cancer, which has no known cure, is often diagnosed in later stages reflecting on the fact that Stage IV esophageal cancer has a survival rate of only 3.8%.

The culprit? A tremendous lack of public awareness regarding risk factors and symptoms, no standard or routine methods for early detection and very little government or private research funding allocated for esophageal cancer.

As we continue to rally efforts in favor of awareness, early detection and research for esophageal cancer, we urge you to join this mission. Educate yourself regarding risk factors and symptoms of esophageal cancer and tell everyone you know.

The more that people know about esophageal cancer, the better the chances of saving lives. Visit us on Facebook to help spread the message and invite your friends to “like” the page. To contribute directly to life-saving research projects, click here. Remember, only through awareness and precious research funding of esophageal cancer will we ever see a cure.

 

Sources:

American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)
American Cancer Society
Baptist Health South Florida
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
National Cancer Institute (NIH)

Can An Alkaline Diet Prevent Esophageal Cancer?

August 26, 2014

An alkaline diet, also known as an acid alkaline diet, resembles the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Consisting of mainly fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes, the alkaline diet typically only includes small amounts of meat and dairy products.

Our bodies digest, absorb and metalbolize the foods we eat and then release either an acid or an alkaline base into the bloodstream. A Western diet, which is high in processed foods and decreased amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, is more acid producing. Alkaline supporters believe that our diets should reflect a pH level that is alkaline and to maintain a diet which is low in acid-producing foods. Many believe that an alkaline diet can help to lose weight, increase energy levels and reduce the risk of disease and some cancers.¹

It is important to note that there is no specific evidence supporting the use of an alkaline diet or alkaline supplements in cancer.

Bill Henderson first described a diet which he proposed may have the ability to treat cancer in his book “Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle Non-Toxic Healing.” This diet is known as “The Bill Henderson Protocol” (BHP). The BHP recommends restriction of some foods (acid-producing) and including some supplements which will “counter the excess acidity he believes to be a contributing factor in the development of cancer.” Again, we stress that there is little supporting evidence that shows the effectiveness of these diets to treat or prevent cancer.

Professor Justin Stebbing, an oncologist at Bupa Cromwell Hospital stated in an article from the DailyMail that “data indicates that a diet high in fruit and vegetables can improve outcomes for cancer patients going through treatment.” ²

A German study was conducted in 2009 which studied the alkalizing effects of certain supplements. This preliminary research showed that alkalizing supplementation could be useful “if bodily pH does in fact play a role in cancer.” ³
There is no question that an alkaline diet has the ability to greatly benefit health as it stresses the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods while discouraging the consumption of processed foods, dairy and meat.

An alkaline diet has also shown to benefit some acid reflux sufferers. RefluxMD suggests that alkaline water could help reduce symtoms of acid reflux disease. “Our hypothesis was that since water has the potential to reduce acid reflux symptoms by a dilution effect, alkaline water (pH 9) might provide an additional benefit to GERD sufferers due to its alkaline nature.” (Twitter: @RefluxMD)

This is especially important considering Gastroesophageal Reflux Diesase (GERD) which, if not properly treated, can lead to an increased risk of Barrett’s Esophagus and esophageal cancer. (Read more: How is heartburn linked to esophageal cancer?)

Before making any changes to your health, it is important to consult your doctor.  A nutritionist can also help guide you if you choose to go alkaline.  To get your conversation started, take a look at Alkalife’s Ultimate Acid-Alkaline Food and Drink Chart.”  (Twitter: @Alkalife)

 

alkaline diet food cancer prevention nutrition health

View the full chart here: http://alkalife.com

 

 

Sources:
 
Henderson B. Cancer-Free: Your Guide to Gentle Non-Toxic Healing. 2nd. Booklocker.com; Bangor, ME, USA: 2007.
 
Components of an Anticancer Diet: Dietary Recommendations, Restrictions and Supplements of the Bill Henderson Protocol Copyright © 2011 by Cynthia Mannion,* Stacey Page, Laurie Heilman Bell, and Marja Verhoef. ; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257729
 
Konig D., Muser K., Dickhuth H.H., Berg A., Deibert P. Effect of a supplement rich in alkaline minerals on acid-base balance in humans.Nutr. J. 2009;8:23.
 
Brewer, A. Keith PhD, Cancer, Its Nature and a Proposed Treatment, 1997; Brewer Science Library; http://www.mwt.net/~drbrewer/brew_art.htm
 
The ultimate acid-alkaline food and drink chart Alkalife; http://alkalife.com
 
The results are in! Consider drinking alkaline water to relieve your heartburn symptoms!, RefluxMD.com http://www.refluxmd.com/learn/resources/2013-12-27/6607/results-are-consider-drinking-alkaline-water-relieve-your-heartburn

Farmers Markets: Good For The Community, Great For Your Health!

August 22, 2014

Farmers markets are a wonderful way to find locally grown, nutritious and delicious foods.  A healthy, well-balanced diet is especially important in preventing cancer and a long-list of other diseases. Ensuring that you and your family are eating nutritious foods can put you on the road to optimal and long-lasting health. Not to mention, a healthy diet can combat heartburn and other Gastroesophageal Reflux Symptoms.

We were excited to read RefluxMD’s recent article “Try the farmers market to improve your GERD diet” and want to share their expert advice with all of you! (Check them out on Facebook!)

Take advantage of your local farmers markets! It is also a great way to get the entire family involved and to teach your children the importance of nutrition and suppotitg your local community.

Since our home office is located in Rhode Island, here is a link to FarmFreshRI’s list of farmers markets in Rhode Island.

“A healthy diet is critical to helping you control your GERD.” – RefluxMD

To find farmers markets in your area, ask your family or friends, visit your local library or search the web. Don’t underestimate the power of Google or Bing to find your local avenue to fresh, home-grown food!

Make sure to send us a picture of you at your local farmers market! Use the hashtag #SalgiFoundation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Don’t forget to follow us, too!


The Lower Esophageal Sphincter; An Important Muscle You Didn’t Know You Had.

August 14, 2014

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a risk factor of esophageal cancer, is also known as “acid reflux disease” or “chronic heartburn.”  GERD occurs when stomach acids flow backwards into the esophagus.

The culprit?  Your lower esophageal sphincter (LES).  

The LES is a ring of muscle that open to allow food and drink to pass into the stomach from the mouth.

A normal functioning LES then closes to keep those contents inside the stomach to allow for digestion. When the LES is damaged, it becomes weak and relaxes, allowing stomach acids and contents to flow back up into the esophagus. This “reflux” symptom is known as heartburn.

Lower esophageal sphincter (LES), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Esophageal cancer, heartburn, acid reflux, reflux, chronic heartburn, awareness, education

While not all GERD sufferers experience this symptom (heartburn), people who do suffer from heartburn more than twice a week should speak with their doctor.

It has not been clearly established what causes the LES to become damaged. However, doctors have indicated that pressure on the midsection caused by obesity, frequently eating large meals and hiatal hernia can damage this important muscle.

Overtime, the reflux of stomach acids damages the lining of the esophageal wall and can cause the cells to become abnormal and potentially lead to esophageal cancer.  This change in the cells, which line the lower part of the esophageal wall, is known as Barrett’s esophagus, a sometimes precancerous condition. However, Barrett’s esophagus isn’t the only precursor to esophageal cancer.

There are no standard or routine screenings to detect esophageal cancer in its earlier stages, when the tumors can be better treated. Unfortunately, symptoms such as difficulty swallowing and food getting stuck typically appear once the cancer has spread. When esophageal cancer is diagnosed at later stages, there is a poor survival rate, as treatment options are limited and mostly used to treat cancer symptoms, not towards curing the cancer. Stage IV has a survival rate of only 3.8%. The earlier esophageal cancer is detected, the better chances for survival.

It is imperative that patients suffering from chronic and frequent heartburn be proactive and talk to their doctor. For some, lifestyle changes can help to alleviate GERD symptoms. Others may need to take medications (Please read the label on the bottle! Most medications are recommended to be taken no longer than for 8 to 12 weeks.) Some patients may be candidates for nonsurgical, less invasive options to treat GERD.

It is extremely important that patients speak to with their doctor about tests to screen for esophageal cancer.   Remember, early detection saves lives!  Feel free to share this information with your family and friends. We’ve included social media buttons below to make sharing simple.

Donations are what fuel awareness programs and research projects working to find a cure for esophageal cancer.  All donations are tax-deductible and can be made online.

Click here to make a one-time or recurring donation.  Thank you in advance for joining us in this mission to save lives and find a cure!

 

Sources:
Cancer.gov
Cancer.org
RefluxMD.com

What does a dozen eggs and esophageal cancer have in common?

July 31, 2014

The answer is twelve.  A dozen medical research groups from across the United States have requested funding for their research projects specifically dedicated to esophageal cancer.

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Research funding for esophageal cancer is crucial to saving lives and finding a cure.  Unfortunately, esophageal cancer research is extremely underfunded, both from private funders and the government.

The National Cancer Institute decreased funding for research of esophageal cancer by 15% in 2012. Esophageal cancer now receives a mere $28.0 million out of NCI’s total $5.07 billion budget. That is approximately half of one percent.

While The American Cancer Society reports that they currently fund 1,165 cancer research projects, only 8 of those research projects are related to esophageal cancer.

Diagnosis of esophageal cancer is skyrocketing, with over a 600% increase in the past decades, making esophageal adenocarcinoma the fastest growing cancer in the United States. In order to reduce these incidences of esophageal cancer, we aim to fund research projects whose emphasis is to prevent esophageal cancer and to discover innovative screening tests to detect esophageal cancer in its earliest stages, when the tumors are more treatable.

Esophageal cancer is also amongst the deadliest of cancers, with a five year survival rate of only 17.85%. In order to combat these dismal survival rates, we work to fund research that will improve current treatment options.

The survival rate for Stage IV esophageal cancer is only 3.8%. Unfortunately, at later stages, esophageal cancer can be treated but rarely cured.  Patients diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer often have widespread cancer at the time of diagnosis and cannot be cured with surgery.  Treatment options are usually to relieve symptoms caused by the cancer and to improve quality of life.

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While the ultimate goal is to prevent 100% of any diagnosis of esophageal cancer through prevention and early detection, right now there is a drastic need to discover treatment options which have the potential of curing metastatic (advanced) esophageal cancer.

Our mission is to fund research projects to save lives and find a cure. One day, esophageal cancer will be history. Any donation will help make a difference. It is through small developments which generate knowledge that guides the way to significant advances and breakthroughs.

To make a 100% tax-deductible donation to life-saving esophageal cancer research projects, please click here.

If you would like to host a fundraiser benefiting esophageal cancer research, please contact us here.

 

Sources:
cancer.gov
surgery.ucsf.edu
cancer.org 
texasoncology.com

Don’t Ignore Frequent Heartburn!

July 29, 2014

Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn each year.  Unfortunately, many of those Americans are experiencing chronic heartburn, which occurs more than twice a week.   Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.  This disease is known more commonly as GERD and is a major risk factor for esophageal cancer.

Heartburn is often ignored, disregarded and poorly managed.  Many heartburn suffers try to self-medicate through the use of antacids or acid reducing medications.  Typically, these medications do not work long-term for those whose heartburn symptoms caused by GERD.

GERD affects almost 1/3 of all Americans and is the most expensive gastrointestinal disorder in the United States, with direct and indirect costs totaling approximately $10 billion dollars each year.   

The National Cancer Institute defines GERD as the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach).   It is also known as esophageal reflux and gastric reflux.

This back flow is caused by a weakened lower esophageal sphincter, which is a ring of muscle that opens and closes the opening between the esophagus and the stomach.  The LES can’t contain the stomach contents from entering back up into the esophagus.

Overtime, this reflux of stomach acids damages the lining of the esophageal wall and can cause the cells to become abnormal and potentially lead to esophageal cancer.   This change in the cells, which line the lower part of the esophageal wall, is known as Barrett’s esophagus, a sometimes precancerous condition.

Taking medications, whether they are over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor, does not repair the LES.   These medications only treat the symptoms of the disease while the damage can continue to occur.  Also, these medications are intended for temporary relief and are not to be taken for an extended period of time.

As we mentioned, GERD is one of the risks associated with esophageal cancer, along with other factors, such as being overweight or Barrett’s esophagus.   Having one of these risk factors does not mean that cancer will result.  However, having one of these risk factors and not being proactive can significantly further the risk of esophageal cancer.

The earlier esophageal cancer is detected, the better.  Unfortunately, there are currently no standard or routine screenings to detect esophageal cancer in its earliest stages.

It is imperative that patients suffering from chronic and frequent heartburn to be proactive.   Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes to help reduce GERD symptoms.  Also, discuss the various tests used to detect esophageal cancer.  Click here for more information regarding methods used to detect esophageal cancer.

Visit us on Facebook and tell us if you or someone you know suffers from chronic heartburn. We’re here to help! Facebook.com/SalgiFoundation 

Almost one-third of Americans have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease GERD heartburn chronic acid reflux.  which is the most expensive gastrointestinal disorder in the United States US USA U.S. with direct and indirect costs totaling, $10 billion per year.

Sources:
refluxmd.com 
cancer.gov
iffgd.org 
 

Healthy and Delicious Independence Day Cake!

July 4, 2014

Stay healthy this 4th of July weekend with this delicious and nutritious “Independece Day” cake.  Here is the recipe courtesy of our Vice President!  Be sure to take a photo of your finished cake and share with us on Facebook!  Facebook.com/salgifoundation 

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Angel food cake mix -1 box
Greek yogurt- 2 cups
Lite whipped cream- 1 cup
Sliced strawberries- 1 cup
Blueberries- 1 cup

Directions:

Prepare angel food cake mix per directions on box. Pour mixture in two separate greased rectangle cake pans. (Hint: Use healthy options like coconut or canola oil to grease pans.) Bake cakes based on time and temperature specified on angel food cake mix box.

While cake is baking, slice 1/2 cup of strawberries into thin, long, oblong pieces. Then set aside 1/4 cup of blueberries. Take remaining 1/2 cup strawberries and pour into mixing bowl with remaining 3/4 cup of blueberries. Mash together remaining blueberries and strawberries.

In a separate mixing bowl, whip together the Greek yogurt and whipped cream.

Once cakes are done baking, set aside to cool. Once the cakes have cooled, place one cake on large serving dish/platter and spread 1/2 of the Greek yogurt and whipped cream mixture. Then spoon the mashed strawberry and blueberry mixture on top.

Take second cake and carefully place on top. Then spread the remaining Greek yogurt and whipped cream mixture on top. Finish by decorating the top of the cake using the remaining 1/4 cup of blueberries as the stars of the American flag and by using the remaining 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries as the red stripes.

Happy 4th of July!