“Chronic heartburn may be more than just a pain in the esophagus.”
That disease is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Also known as acid reflux disease, GERD is a condition of the digestive system, which has increased significantly in recent decades. GERD is also a primary risk factor for esophageal cancer, one of the fastest growing and deadliest cancers in the United States.
Esophageal cancer, like GERD, has also increased significantly in past decades. In fact, incidence of esophageal cancer has risen over 600% and with an overall five-year survival rate of less than 18.5%.
The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, a nonprofit which awarded its very first grant to esophageal cancer research earlier last year, is working to once again bring awareness of the dangerous link between GERD and esophageal cancer.
What can I do to help?
Spread the word on Social Media
–Share this message with your friends, family and social media pages:
Did you know that chronic heartburn can lead to esophageal cancer? Learn more about the dangerous link: salgi.org/GERD
–”Like” us on Facebook so that you can easily share life-saving information with your friends and family members who may be at risk.
Educating others allows them to make informed decisions about their health and decide if they should get screened. Remember, awareness of risk factors and symptoms along with early detection is the key to improving the chances of survival!
When you donate to The Salgi Foundation, you are not only helping to spread the word about esophageal cancer and dangerous risk factors such as GERD but you are also helping to raise money for research projects aimed at discovering methods of prevention, early detection and treatment. These research projects have one main goal: to save lives! Click here to make a one-time or recurring donation! If you are making a memorial donation or are donating in the name of a loved one, please include names and any other pertinent information. (Let us know if you need any help! salgi.org/contact)
Purchase T-Shirts, Hats and More! GOT AGITA?™
The word “Agita” in Italian, means heartburn. “Agita” is pronounced AJ-uh-tuh. Say it with us: GOT AGITA?™ What better of a way to let everyone know about the dangers of chronic heartburn than to wear it on a shirt! When you shop at our online store, a portion of all sales goes directly to this mission. There are several awareness items to choose from. Click here to visit our online store.
Thank you for taking part in raising awareness for GERD and the risk associated with esophageal cancer. The future of esophageal cancer can be much different if we continue to put up a fight! We know that by working together, we WILL make a big difference and save lives!
The Dangerous Link Between Chronic Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer:
Heartburn, a common symptom of GERD, does not typically cause major concern, as billions of Americans experience it at some point in their lives. However, persistent heartburn, which occurs two or more times a week, should not be taken lightly as it could be a symptom of the disease.
President of The Salgi Foundation knows all too well the dangers of heartburn and acid reflux. “My father suffered from chronic heartburn for years and was never warned by doctors of the possible risks. We found out too late, once he started having difficulty swallowing, that his chronic reflux had led to esophageal cancer.” President continued, “My father passed away a little over a year after he was diagnosed and it was, and still is, devastating.”
Many chronic heartburn sufferers turn to antacids or other medications for relief. Some medications, known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), work to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. These medications treat the symptoms of GERD but not the disease.
A poll conducted by RefluxMD, a San Diego, CA, based Internet healthcare company, focused on helping people suffering from reflux, showed that the majority of patients who were prescribed PPIs by their doctors were never told the medications “only treated symptoms, but that reflux would continue and the disease could progress” and were also never told “there were potential negative side effects (e.g. osteoporosis, bacterial infections, etc.”).
According to RefluxMD, PPIs are overprescribed and although long-term use of PPIs daily may reduce or eliminate symptoms, they do not stop the flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. Consequently, GERD can progress and potentially lead to Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer.”
Unfortunately, esophageal cancer has few, if any, early symptoms. Symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, chronic cough or hoarseness, food getting stuck or choking while eating often occur once the cancer has spread and reaches an advanced stage.
To make matters even worse, there are currently no routine or standard screenings to detect esophageal cancer in its earliest stages. The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation encourages those who suffer from reflux to be proactive about their health, stating “never ignore frequent heartburn and never rely on medications alone. Talk to your doctor about all of your options, especially how you can get screened for any possible damage.”
Please join us in raising awareness of the dangerous link between Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and esophageal cancer!
Share this post and please feel free to share the images below on social media! The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube.The more awareness we raise about risk factors and symptoms of esophageal cancer and the importance of early detection, the more lives that can potentially be saved!
What does GERD stand for?
- GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
What is GERD?
- The United States National Library of Medicine defines GERD as “a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach).” This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, becomes damaged or weakened.
What are the dangers of GERD?
- If not properly treated, GERD can lead to serious medical conditions such as chronic cough or hoarseness, esophagitis, bleeding, scarring or ulcers of the esophagus and Barrett’s esophagus, an abnormal change in the lining of the esophagus that can potentially raise the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
What are some possible treatment options?
- Some lifestyle changes that can help to manage GERD symptoms include: avoid eating at least three hours before bed, stay upright after meals, losing weight, moderate exercise and avoiding certain foods that trigger your symptoms. Surgery may be an option for those whose GERD symptoms continue or worsen.
- Always talk to your doctor before making any lifestyle changes. While these tips have been known to help some GERD suffers, your best option is to consult with your doctor and come up with an effective plan to manage your GERD.
Did you know that one out of five Americans suffer from GERD?
- Many who have GERD are completely unaware of the damage that it may be causing. The purpose of GERD Awareness Week is to educate the public about the dangerous link between GERD (also known as acid reflux disease) and esophageal cancer.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a primary risk factor for esophageal cancer.
- If you, or someone you know, has GERD, RefluxMD has put together an eBook that is surely a must-read! This free guide details causes, symptoms, stages, treatments, risks and other important information about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
- Get your free copy of “I Have GERD, Now What?” today, click here!