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Stories with a Purpose Podcast: Colleen, Esophageal Cancer Survivor

May 18, 2018

In 2016, Colleen C was diagnosed with Stage II esophageal cancer at age of 29 and shared her experiences on the podcast: Stories with a Purpose.

“Colleen tells her story about overcoming esophageal cancer by relying on family, great medical care, and extraordinary patient navigator. Listen to how this experience has re-energized her focus on care-giving and help for special needs kids.”

To listen to the podcast interview, please click here.

 

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation- Esophageal Cancer Awareness, Early Detection, Research, Faith, Hope, Love, Cure, Advocacy

Colleen was diagnosed with Stage II esophageal cancer at age of 29.

Read Colleen’s story below:

“My name is Colleen and I am currently 31 years old.  In March of 2016 at the ripe age of 29, I went to see a GI doctor for chronic heartburn but now I was experiencing intense stomach aches. My doctor essentially thought it was ulcers and wanted me to have an endoscopy done. Low and behold my doctor found a tumor where my stomach and esophagus intersect. The next day I was diagnosed with stage 2 esophageal cancer and my honeymoon was abruptly put on hold. I was a newlywed and scared out of my mind to be diagnosed with a “rare” cancer.

I was also the youngest patient my hospital had ever seen with this type of cancer. Because they had the tumor “exactly where they wanted it” without spreading the completed esophagectomy surgery 2 weeks later. It was then followed by fertility treatments, chemotherapy, and radiation.

I spent my 30th birthday recovering in the CVTU learning how to regain my new “normal” life. Learning how to re-eat was absolutely quite the struggle; in fact i’m still learning my limits. I work out more, watch what I eat, and try to not let anything get in the way of my sense of humor.

If I didn’t make fun of myself and what I was going through I would have never made it out of this horror story. Just because I’m now in remission doesn’t mean I don’t live with the fear everyday that cancer can return. I try to keep my mind busy and my anxiety at bay. I’m loving life and doing my best to advocate early detection for symptoms such as acid reflux and heartburn.”

 

Esophageal Cancer Fast Facts:

Esophageal cancer has increased over 600% in the past three decades and is currently considered the fastest growing cancer in the United States and western world.  Due to it’s rapid increase, esophageal cancer is affecting more and more people: both men and women of all ages and every ethnicity.   There are no standard or routine screenings to detect esophageal cancer and symptoms often do not occur until the cancer has spread.

Thank you Colleen for sharing your experiences on the podcast and with The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.  As Colleen stated, if there is something off or amiss with your health, please speak to your doctor immediately and remember that you are your own best advocate when it comes to your personal health.

Take Colleen’s advise: “If it doesn’t feel right, get it checked.”

Please join us in raising awareness of esophageal cancer and Colleen’s story by sharing this post!

 

 

 

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Fundraising Spotlight: Michele’s Paint the World Periwinkle Fundraiser!

May 17, 2018

The fundraiser we are spotlighting in this post is in honor of Robert H., who was diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer in Spring 2017 and his daughter, Michele who is fundraising for Rhode Island’s 7th Annual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run in his honor. 

In order to help Michele reach her fundraising goal, her friend, Michelle, will be donating 100% of the sales commission from a Younique Makeup fundraiser now through May 25th, 2018.

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is honored to carry out this mission in honor of Robert and we are very thankful to Michele and Michelle for their hard work and generosity. 

 

In Honor of Robert H. by Michele:

My name is Michele and I wanted to share my Dad’s story to raise awareness of Esophageal Cancer.  My Dad’s name is Robert H.  He is a 69-year-old Vietnam Veteran who also volunteered at Ground Zero in New York City.  Besides diabetes, he was always very healthy. 

My dad’s journey with esophageal cancer began during Spring of 2017.  Initially, my dad unintentionally lost around 8 pounds and suddenly noticed that he had pain in his right upper stomach and in his upper back.  He was seen by his primary care doctor and was referred to a gastroenterologist (GI specialist) and for a surgery consult.  My dad automatically wanted to see the surgeon since he was in severe discomfort and was told he had gallstones.  He then had laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, yet his pain continued. 

Instead of improving over the weeks following surgery, he continued to complain of pain and he had lost his appetite.  He started to have difficulty swallowing where he was only able to ingest liquids.  After 4 weeks, he had a CT scan and endoscopy, which revealed esophageal cancer stage IV.  The primary tumor was in the lower half of the esophagus and in some of the lymph nodes.  After receiving two mutual opinions from oncology, he began chemotherapy. 

After the first chemotherapy treatment, his dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) significantly improved.  He has been tolerating the chemotherapy very well and will continue to receive treatments every two weeks.  His appetite has now returned back to normal and he is back to enjoying his favorite food, cheeseburgers!  His last CT scan showed that his primary tumor and metastases have shrunk.   He will have another scan in June to monitor his progress.  I am so grateful that he is doing well and is responding well to chemo treatments!

My friend Michelle made an online fundraiser and offered to donate 100% of her sales commission with Younique Makeup to The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run so I can reach my goal before I walk in honor of my Dad in RI on June 16th at the 7th Annual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run.  Our fundraiser will run until May 25, 2018,  

We thought this would be a fun way for you to score some makeup and donate to a very important cause!  I personally like the Splurge Shadow and the Beachfront Bronzer .

If you want to help paint the world periwinkle with me. click here.

 

 

Two ways to support Michele’s fundraising for Rhode Island’s 7th Annual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run:

Crowdrise, click here.
Younique Makeup, click here.

 

 

Rhode Island’s 7th Annual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run

Saturday, June 16, 2018 at Warwick City Park.

Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 day of.  Children 12 and under are admitted free.

T-shirts available for pre-paid guests by May 25th.

Hurry! Sign up today: salgiwalkrun2018.eventbrite.com

7th annual esophageal cancer walk run rhode island salgi esophageal cancer research foundation nonprofit charity awareness early detection charity walk charity run ri

 

 

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Fundraising Spotlight: The Organic Gallery Pop Up Art Show and Fundraiser

April 24, 2018

Nicole H.’s father, Jon V., was diagnosed in February, 2017, with esophageal cancer.   She is hosting The Organic Gallery Pop Up Art Show and Fundraiser on Sunday, April 29, 2018, at the White Butterfly in Jackson, New Jersey, to benefit The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.

Jon shares his experience with esophageal cancer below:

Esophageal Cancer?

I can’t even spell it, much less “have” it! Ask around….. significant heartburn, acid reflux and the pain and burning that goes with it, burping a burning substance….. often! If you had these symptoms or were significantly over weight or had a history of years of smoking…. or drinking excessive alcohol…. the obvious flaws in your general health profile…. then you had cause to pay attention and have some concern. I had nothing like this to alert me. I was somewhat overweight but not grossly so.  My family now tells me I had a cough, one they noticed but that was so “mild” that it never caught my attention.

I’m a singer (barbershop quartet) and I typically sing for an audience scores of times a year.  In the very busy singing season of December 2016 when the quartet was singing up to 5-6 gigs a day, I began having significant chest and abdominal pain such that I’d hold on to my chest as we rode gig to gig, “assemble” myself for a 20 minute set, and press on from there.  I then knew something was wrong.  By the end of December, I had lost 30 pounds because it was painful to eat.  Yes, there was a problem.

After my family doctor referred me to my gastroenterologist who did an endoscopic exam with a biopsy, the reality stood out bold and tall.  It turns out I had a tumor at the base of my esophagus and a CT scan revealed that the cancer had metastasized to a lymph node in the celiac access. This was a complex cancer.

I learned that being sick is a full time job.  I had a port installed to facilitate the chemotherapy I had coming and a PEG tube to ensure I could receive nourishment as needed to keep from starving.  Between twelve weeks of chemotherapy treatments and the great discomforts that accompany them, and the many weeks of radiation treatments that drain you of all of your energy, I was rendered powerless.  It still had to be done.

Cancer and treatments make one susceptible to nausea and the pain killers make constipation and/or diarrhea real issues.  I was blessed to have neither….. but, I did get to participate in blood clots cancer can promote which put me in the hospital for ten days and removed surgical alternatives from my available treatment options. 

Finally, when my alternatives were weighed, the statistics for further chemotherapy or further radiation simply did not support participation in such.  It was/is, instead, time to seek control of pain, the capacity to eat meals and the best one can do to have some stamina.  What is then left is to pursue quality of life, make the best of the time remaining.

The oncologist and the radiologist who have treated me have both brought great compassion and skill to their mission.  I am grateful for their work.  Now, I have but one practitioner to whom I can turn.  I am comforted to know that He brings perfection in all He does.

By: Jon Vickers

 

The Organic Gallery Pop Up Art Show and Fundraiser- The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation

 

The Organic Gallery Pop Up Art Show and Fundraiser will feature local art and photography talent benefiting The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.  The Organic Gallery works to bring local art and environment together to enhance the art and create a one of a kind, relaxed art experience.  The art show is outdoors and live music from local musicians is also part of the event.  Refreshments will be served. 25% of all art sales will go to The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.   Please come out and support local artists and underfunded research of esophageal cancer.  To learn more about the event, please visit: Facebook.com/events/204851360104711

 

 

 


Michelle’s Running Streak 2018 for Esophageal Cancer Awareness & Research

April 2, 2018

Michelle M. has hosted a running streak throughout the month of April, esophageal cancer awareness month to raise awareness and funding for advocacy and research.  Michelle lost her father to esophageal cancer in June, 2016.

“I love to run and have been an avid runner since high school. Running helps to keep me centered.  From the time of [my father’s] diagnosis to the time that he passed away, it was only 3 months. When he had trouble swallowing at Thanksgiving dinner 3 months before his diagnosis, we thought it was a residual effect of a previous stroke he had.  We knew nothing about esophageal cancer.

LAWRENCE FARRELL, JR - Michelle M. Running Streak 2018 Esophageal Cancer Awareness Early Detecion Research - The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research FoundationApril is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. The great people at the Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, based out of Rhode Island, have provided such wonderful support through this process. Therefore, for the month of April, I will be going on a “running streak” to raise money for esophageal cancer research and to raise awareness for esophageal cancer.

A “running streak” typically consists of running at least 1 mile a day for a certain amount of time. I will run every day of April with a goal of 100 miles by the end of the month. I am going to match each mile with a $1 donation to the Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.  In addition to raising money, I am also going to raise awareness of esophageal cancer. I will be providing facts regarding esophageal cancer throughout the month. We only had 3 months from the time of diagnosis. With more awareness and earlier diagnosis, I am hopeful that others will have more time with their loved ones.

Please join me on this journey. Whether it’s matching each mile with me (running or through donations), a one-time donation, or words of encouragement and support, any and all efforts are very much appreciated. Thank you so much and please follow my fundraising page on Facebook as I log my miles and provide information regarding esophageal cancer.”

To read more about Michelle’s story and to donate to her fundraiser, please click here.

To visit and like Michelle’s Running Streak 2018 Official Facebook page, please click here.


Obesity has Shifted Certain Cancers to Younger Age Groups, Including Esophageal Cancer

March 26, 2018

Have you ever wondered why we share so much information regarding balanced nutrition, regular fitness and the importance of reducing weight in individuals who are overweight or obese?

Obesity has shifted certain cancers to younger age groups - The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research FoundationThe reason is because being overweight or obese is directly linked to an increased risk of both Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and esophageal cancer.  

Now, research from Case Western Reserve University have found that “obesity has shifted certain cancers to younger age groups, and intensified cellular mechanisms promoting the diseases.” Among these cancers affecting younger age groups is esophageal cancer.

The research explains that “acid reflux in obese individuals damages their swallowing tubes and heightens risk of esophageal cancer.”

Esophageal Cancer Increase & Mortality

In the past several years, we have encountered so many people who didn’t “fit the mold” when it comes to esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer was previously thought to be a cancer that affected “older Caucasian males.” 

Unfortunately, esophageal cancer has become the fastest growing cancer in the United States, as it has increased over 600% in the past three decades.   That means that it is affecting more and more people, all age groups, young and old and all races and genders.  

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Esophageal cancer has also become one of the deadliest cancers, as patients are typically diagnosed in later stages.  Stage IV has a survival rate of less than 4%. 

These factors have contributed to the great increase and poor survival rate: lack of awareness or risk factors and symptoms; no routine/standard screening; late occurrence of symptoms, leading to late diagnosis and lack of research funding for improved detection techniques and treatment options.

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation’s mission to raise awareness, encourage early detection and to fund research is fueled by donations, fundraisers and volunteers.  We rely 100% on the generosity of our supporters to achieve this mission.

There are many ways to get involved and make a difference. To learn more about how you can join this great community of supporters, click here. Thank you!

 

 

Story Source:

Young Adult Cancer: Influence of the Obesity Pandemic, Obesityhttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.22137 

Disclaimer

This post contains information from an article regarding recently published research and reflects the content of that research.  It does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation who cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the data.

 

To read more esophageal cancer news, please visit: SALGI.org/news

Follow The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation on Facebook: Facebook.com/SalgiFoundation

 

 


New family of promising, selective silver-based anti-cancer drugs discovered

March 26, 2018

A new family of very promising silver-based anti-cancer drugs has been discovered by researchers in South Africa. The most promising silver thiocyanate phosphine complex among these, called UJ3 for short, has been successfully tested in rats and in human cancer cells in the laboratory.

In research published in BioMetals, UJ3 is shown to be as effective against human esophageal cancer cells, as a widely-used chemotherapy drug in use today. Esophageal cancer cells are known to become resistant to current forms of chemotherapy.

“The UJ3 complex is as effective as the industry-standard drug Cisplatin in killing cancer cells in laboratory tests done on human breast cancer and melanoma, a very dangerous form of skin cancer, as well,” says Professor Marianne Cronjé, Head of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Johannesburg.

“However, UJ3 requires a 10 times lower dose to kill cancer cells. It also focuses more narrowly on cancer cells, so that far fewer healthy cells are killed,” she says.

Fewer side effects

Apart from needing a much lower dose than an industry standard, UJ3 is also much less toxic.

“In rat studies, we see that up to 3 grams of UJ3 can be tolerated per 1 kilogram of bodyweight. This makes UJ3 and other silver phosphine complexes we have tested about as toxic as Vitamin C,” says Professor Reinout Meijboom, Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Johannesburg.

If UJ3 becomes a chemotherapy drug in future, the lower dose required, lower toxicity and greater focus on cancer cells will mean fewer side effects from cancer treatment.

Powerhouse pathway to neat cancer cell death

UJ3 appears to target the mitochondria, resulting in programmed cell death to kill cancer cells – a process called apoptosis. When a cancer cell dies by apoptosis, the result is a neat and tidy process where the dead cell’s remains are “recycled”, not contaminating healthy cells around them, and not inducing inflammation.

Certain existing chemotherapy drugs are designed to induce apoptosis, rather than “septic” cell death which is called necrosis, for this reason.

Cancer cells grow much bigger and faster, and make copies of themselves much faster, than healthy cells do. In this way they create cancerous tumors. To do this, they need far more energy than healthy cells do.

UJ3 targets this need for energy, by shutting down the “powerhouses” of a cancer cell, the mitochondria. The complex then causes the release of the “executioner” protein, an enzyme called caspase-3, which goes to work to dismantle the cell’s command centre and structural supports, cutting it up for recycling in the last stages of apoptosis.

See microscope images of human esophageal cancer cells treated with the UJ3 complex.

Unusual compounds

UJ3 complex and the others in the family are based on silver. This makes the starter materials for synthesizing the complex far more economical than a number of industry-standard chemotherapy drugs based on platinum.

“These complexes can be synthesized with standard laboratory equipment, which shows good potential for large scale manufacture. The family of silver thiocyanate phosphine compounds is very large. We were very fortunate to test UJ3, with is unusually ‘flat’ chemical structure, early on in our exploration of this chemical family for cancer treatment,” says Prof Meijboom.

Research on UJ3 and other silver thiocyanate phosphine complexes at the University is ongoing.

 

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Materials Provided By:

Zelinda Engelbrecht, Reinout Meijboom, Marianne J. Cronj�. The ability of silver(I) thiocyanate 4-methoxyphenyl phosphine to induce apoptotic cell death in esophageal cancer cells is correlated to mitochondrial perturbationsBioMetals, 2018; 31 (2): 189 DOI: 10.1007/s10534-017-0051-9

Editor Note: Content may be edited.

 

Disclaimer

This post contains information from an article regarding recently published research and reflects the content of that research.  It does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation who cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the data.

 

To read more esophageal cancer news, please visit: SALGI.org/news

Follow The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation on Facebook: Facebook.com/SalgiFoundation

 


Fundraising Spotlight: In Memory of Dale: Find a Cure and Raise Awareness for Esophageal Cancer

March 26, 2018

The fundraiser we are spotlighting in this post is in memory of Dale F., who was diagnosed at Stage IV and passed away after only one year of treatment. The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is honored to carry out this mission in memory of Dale and we welcome you to learn more about his story and support the fundraising campaign that his sister, Wendy, created.

Unfortunately, stories like Dale’s are all too common. In the past three decades, esophageal cancer has increased over 600% and has become the fastest growing cancer in the United States and western world. Esophageal cancer is also one of the deadliest cancers, as the majority of patients are diagnosed in later stages, with Stage IV, which only has a survival rate of less than 4%.

What has caused this dramatic increase and poor survival? It is due, in part, to four factors: lack of awareness or risk factors and symptoms; no routine/standard screening; late occurrence of symptoms, leading to late diagnosis and lack of research funding for improved detection techniques and treatment options.

 

Fundraiser: Wendy is Fundraising in Memory of Dale: Find a Cure and Raise Awareness for Esophageal Cancer

My brother Dale was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  It was stage IV when he was diagnosed and he did a little more then a year of treatment.  Finding out that he had cancer just crushed us all but he was a fighter and didn’t give up because he has two young children that he wanted to watch growing older.  He was very sick from chemotherapy though  he was very strong and tried not to show it.  Then after a year of treatment he passed away on 2/23/2017, he was only 47 years old.  Please let’s raise awareness and find a cure to this very deadly cancer.  Thanks for you’re help. ~Wendy

 

 

 

To donate to Wendy’s fundraiser in memory of Dale, please click here.

 

Please follow The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation on Facebook: Facebook.com/SalgiFoundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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