Survivor Spotlight: Chris Abel

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is honored to share Chris’s story. He is a husband, father and EIGHT-year survivor! Thank you, Chris for sharing your story!

“8 years ago, I came face to face with Stage 3 esophageal cancer. My amazing wife was one week away from giving birth to our daughter and our world was instantly turned upside down.

After intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments, surgery, and post-surgical chemotherapy, I’m here today. We recently celebrated our daughter’s 8th birthday!

There is hope! And with groups like The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation leading the charge, the strides being made in the medical field give all of those affected by esophageal cancer a chance to be where I am today: cancer FREE!

Early detection is key. If you or a loved one suffers from consistent heartburn or has trouble swallowing, please make an appointment with a Gastroenterologist.”

Learn the facts about esophageal cancer:

-Esophageal cancer has increased over 733% in the past four decades and is considered the fastest growing cancer in the US and western world.

-Risk factors include:

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD, acid reflux, chronic heartburn),
  • obesity,
  • poor nutrition,
  • tobacco use,
  • excessive alcohol use,
  • Barrett’s esophagus.

-As one of the deadliest cancers, esophageal cancer has a 5-year survival rate of only 20.6%.

-There are no routine or standard screenings to improve early detection of esophageal cancer.

-Symptoms often arise late once the cancer is considered advanced or “distant” (spread to lymph nodes and other organs.)

-Stage IV esophageal cancer has a survival rate of only 5.7%.

-In 2023, an estimated 21,560 will be diagnosed and there will be an estimated 16,120 deaths.

-Despite all these facts, esophageal cancer research is extremely underfunded.

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation awarded two research grants, the first in 2015 and the second in 2018.   The research awarded in 2018, a breath test for esophageal cancer, is currently underway.   The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation opened our Grant Program for the third time and plan to award funding in 2023.  All grants are awarded in honor of all the men and women affected by esophageal cancer. 

For more information about esophageal cancer, please visit the following links:

To donate to our April fundraiser, please visit:


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