GERD Awareness Week: November 22-28, 2020

November 18, 2020

“The Dangerous Link Between Chronic Reflux and Esophageal Cancer.”

 

Each year, the week of Thanksgiving is also dedicated to bringing awareness to a growing disease which affects roughly 20% of Americans.  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 733% in the past four decades and has only an overall five-year survival rate of approximately 19.9%.

 

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, a nonprofit, which has funded two grants for esophageal cancer research (one in July, 2015 and another in November, 2018) is working once again to bring awareness of the dangerous link between GERD and esophageal cancer.  While GERD has many symptoms, the most common symptom is heartburn.

 

Heartburn 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, Linda Molfesi, said, “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.” Molfesi continued, “My father passed away a little over a year after he was diagnosed and it was, and still is, devastating.”

 

COVID-19 Impact on Cancer Research published in JAMA Network Open in August, 2020, found that in the past year, the weekly diagnosis for six cancers, of which esophageal cancer is included, fell by almost 50% in the U.S.  This is due to the fact that people have delayed important cancer screenings due to COVID-19.  This is especially concerning for esophageal cancer, which, when caught in advanced stages, is very difficult to treat and has a poor survival rate.

 

As it stands, 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.  There are currently no routine or standard screenings to detect esophageal cancer in its earlier stages.   The foundation is hoping to help change that, awarding $62,597 in November, 2018, to researchers at Virginia Mason Medical Center who are currently developing a breath test for detecting esophageal cancer earlier.

 

Molfesi encourages those who suffer from chronic reflux to be proactive about their health, stating “never ignore frequent heartburn or other symptoms and never rely on medications alone. Talk to your primary care doctor about all of your options, especially how you can get screened for any possible damage.”

 

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation:  is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to raise awareness, encourage early detection and to fund research of esophageal cancer in hopes of a cure.™  The charity has hosted events in Rhode Island, Missouri, Colorado, Ohio, Kentucky, New York City, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maine, New Jersey and Illinois, with additional locations currently in the planning stages. These events gave rise to chapters in St. Louis, Missouri; Arvada, Colorado and Brooklyn, New York.  For more information, please visit: www.salgi.org

 

 

 

Learn the Facts About Esophageal Cancer:

 

  • No standard or routine screening to detect cancer in earlier stages
  • One of the fastest growing and deadliest cancers in the US and western world
  • Symptoms often arise once the cancer has spread
  • Research receives low government and/or private funding
  • In 2020, estimated 18,440 diagnoses and 16,170 deaths from the cancer.
  • Overall five-year survival rate of less than 19.9%.
  • Stage IV has a survival rate of only 4.8%.

 

 

 

Esophageal Cancer Risk Factors:

 

  • Acid reflux disease-GERD (chronic heartburn)
  • Obesity/overweight
  • Poor nutrition
  • Heavy drinking
  • Tobacco use
  • Barrett’s esophagus

 

 

Common Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer:

 

  • Painful/difficulty swallowing
  • Food getting stuck
  • Weight loss
  • Hoarseness or cough
  • Indigestion/heartburn
  • Pain behind breastbone or pain in back

 

For more information, please visit: SALGI.org/GERD

 

 

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SOURCES: Harvey W. Kaufman, MD. “Number of US Patients With Newly Identified Cancers Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” JAMA Network Open, JAMA Network, 4 Aug. 2020, jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2768946.

 


Thank you! 2nd Annual Brooklyn, NY Virtual Esophageal Cancer Awareness Run/Walk

September 22, 2020
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Thank you to all who participated in our 2nd Annual Brooklyn, NY Virtual Esophageal Cancer Awareness Run/Walk event! Thank you to all who signed up, everyone who created a team, everyone who created a fundraiser, and to everyone who donated.
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To view our video slideshow from the virtual event, please visit: https://youtu.be/0cELKJafP9k
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!
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Special thank you to our Lead Event Coordinator and Brooklyn, NY Chapter Representative Dara for all of her hard work and dedication to this cause! In loving memory of her father, Joe!
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Special thank you to Bronze sponsor: State Senator Andrew Gounardes

State Senator Andrew Gounardes represents New York's 22nd State Senate District

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Last, but not least, a special thank you to FabKloth Yarns for the fundraiser featuring custom, periwinkle yarns!
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To all who ran, walked, created a fundraiser or donated, your efforts are supporting this mission to raise awareness, encourage early detection, and to fund research of esophageal cancer.
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Thank you!
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The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation
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#EsophagealCancer #EsophagealCancerAwareness #SalgiRunWalkNYC 💙💜

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Thank you! St. Louis, MO 4th Annual Virtual Billy Bob Trot- Esophageal Cancer Awareness & Research

September 22, 2020
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Thank you to everyone who participated in the St. Louis, MO 4th Annual Virtual Billy Bob Trot- Esophageal Cancer Awareness & Research!
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To view our video slideshow from the virtual event, please visit: https://youtu.be/9cjvfpwnvYY
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!
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Thank you to all who signed up, everyone who created a team, everyone who created a fundraiser, and to everyone who donated.
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Special thank you to our Lead event coordinator and St. Louis, MO Chapter Representative, Stacey, for all of her hard work and dedication to this cause! In loving memory of her father, William!
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Special thank you to our generous in-kind donors: Dynamic Chiropractic & Wellness Center, The Spotted Pig and O’fallon Dermatology Specialists.
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To all who participated, your efforts are supporting this mission to raise awareness, encourage early detection, and to fund research of esophageal cancer.
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Thank you!
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The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation
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Fundraising Spotlight: FabKloth Yarns. Custom, periwinkle yarns!

August 12, 2020
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Fundraising Spotlight: FabKloth Yarns. Custom, periwinkle yarns!
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The owner of the Etsy Shop, FabKloth Yarns, Fabiola, lost a family member to esophageal cancer.
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The fundraiser will benefit The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation and is in support of our Brooklyn, NY Virtual Esophageal Cancer Awareness Run/Walk! (Click here to sign up!)
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There are two, custom, periwinkle yarns are being offered:
  • 100% Superwash Merino Wool-Bouncy Aran: $20 each. Yards: 170, Grams: 100
  • 100% Baby Wool: $25 each. Yards: 246, Grams: 50
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For more information & to visit FabKloth Yarns Etsy shop, click here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/fabkloth
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Virtual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run: June 27, 28, 2020. The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation

May 14, 2020

The Virtual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run will take place on the last weekend in June, 2020. Participants can decide if they would like to walk/run either on Saturday, June 27, 2020 or Sunday, June 28, 2020.

Sign up today!  

http://salgivirtualwalkrun2020.eventbrite.com

 

There are two ticket options:

  1. T-Shirt Ticket: $30 to participate in the virtual event AND receive a t-shirt. Must register by Monday, June 1, 2020 at 5 PM EST. Children/Youth sizes available. Open to continental US only.
  2. Virtual Ticket Only: $20 to participate in the virtual event only, no t-shirt. Must register by Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 5 PM EST.

 

The 2020 Virtual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run is hosted by The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.  The event can take place in your neighborhood, on a trail, bike path, track, by the ocean, sea, river or wherever you would like to walk or run. It’s important to remember that by participating in the virtual event you must still take in accordance all social distancing guidelines in your community and not participate in populated areas.

Participants can also bicycle, roller-blade, skateboard, swim, the possibilities are endless! Since the virtual event is not timed, you are able to participate at your own pace, any distance and at any time either Saturday or Sunday. You may sign up as an individual or as a virtual team.

The event is open across the world. However, t-shirts are only available to participants located within the continental United States who register by Monday, June 1, 2020 at 5PM EST. If you have ever wanted to take part in one of our Esophageal Cancer events, now is your chance!

Due to the global impact of the COVID-19 virus, our Rhode Island and Colorado in-person Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run events have been cancelled for 2020. The events are a large part of our fundraising and awareness initiatives, and while we will miss seeing everyone in person until 2021, The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is excited to offer the Virtual Esophageal Cancer Awareness Walk/Run event across the world.

 

Donations are welcome! 

Whether you register or are unable to participate but would still like to make a difference, you can donate to the event. Also, everyone can create an online, custom fundraising page to help make an even bigger impact. https://charity.gofundme.com/salgivirtualwalkrun2020

 

Can’t make it? Here are other ways to get involved:

If you are unable to attend the event, there are many other ways in which you can make a difference and support this mission!

DONATE: Support a team or individual fundraiser, click here.

FUNDRAISE: Create your own custom fundraising page, click here.

IN-KIND: To make an in-kind donation, please click here.

SPONSOR: To become an official event sponsor, please click here.

 

Thank You, In-Kind Donors!

Manitoba Harvest

Mary Ruth’s

Perfect Snacks

Wholesome

Jersey Mike’s Subs

Orgain

W. Atlee Burpee & Co.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

 

 

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 an overall 5 year survival rate of only 19.9%.

-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 4.8%.

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

 

Make a difference!

Join The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation to help make a difference against esophageal cancer. Whether you walk, run, volunteer, sponsor or donate, your involvement will directly support this life-saving mission. Thank you!

 

Share the Event On Facebook!

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/147590646695187

 

 

 

 

 

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April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

April 2, 2020

For almost a decade, The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation has worked with supporters across the globe to raise awareness, encourage early detection and to fund research of esophageal cancer.

While raising awareness and research funding for esophageal cancer is something that we do ALL year, April is a special time to make a BIG impact together.  

Why?

April is ‘Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month.’

As our world is currently suffering from the coronavirus pandmeic, The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation promises to work even harder to continue to raise awareness of esophageal cancer.  To do that, we need your help!

Esophageal cancer is one of the fastest growing and deadliest cancers in the United States, United Kingdom and other western countries.  Esophageal cancer rarely shows early symptoms and there are currently no routine or standard screenings. 

 
Whether you make a one-time or recurring, tax-deductible donation, visit and like us on social media, shop for esophageal cancer awareness merchandise or share this email, your support will go a long way!

Keep reading for even more simple, yet effective ways you can help!

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA

Like us on all of our social media pages & share our posts:
http://facebook.com/salgifoundation
http://twitter.com/salgifoundation
http://instagram.com/salgifoundation

Post awareness on social media, tag us and we’ll share.  @SalgiFoundation #EsophagealCancer #EsophagealCancerAwareness 💙💜

 

2. MAKE A DONATION

Make a donation to our charity on our website: https://salgi.org/donate

All donations are 100% tax-deductible and go directly towards this mission.  Donations can be made as a tribute, memoriam, in honor of a loved one, or as a gift.  If you would like us to send an acknowledgment of your donation, let us know the name, contact info & special notes!

To donate, click here.

 

3. Create your own Facebook fundraising page:

Create your own fundraising page on Facebook and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.  You can create a fundraising page in minutes and encourage your family members, friends, co-workers and connections to join you in supporting a good cause.

Visit: https://www.facebook.com/fund/SalgiFoundation

 

4. Shop Periwinkle!

Visit our ‘Esophageal Cancer Awareness- Periwinkle’ Store on Zazzle.  You can shop for awareness items like t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, key-chains and more!  These items make the perfect gift for a family member, friend, co-worker, or yourself, PLUS they raise awareness and funding for esophageal caner advocacy and research!

Have another idea? Let us know!

SALGI.org/contact 

 

 


Cancer Care and COVID-19

March 30, 2020
Those who have been diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing treatments are put at a higher risk of developing life-threatening and serious health problems if they contract the coronavirus (COVID-19).  They are also at risk if their caregivers and/or family members contract the virus.  Here are some helpful links for cancer patients, their caregivers and loved ones to help minimize the risk and keep them safe:
 

“Questions and answers about COVID-19 for cancer patients”, visit: mayoclinic.org

“Protect yourself and others during COVID19”, visit: cdc.gov

“Cancer treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic”, visit: medicalxpress.com

“A Guide for Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers and Family Members”, visit: cdc.gov

 

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) & The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation

March 23, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected us all across the globe, in one way or another. While these are trying times and it can be difficult, if not impossible, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is important to not despair. We will get through this together. Hold on to your hope. As Anne Frank said, “Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”

Thank you to all of the nurses, doctors, first responders, government officials, pharmacies, pharmacy workers, grocery store workers, truck drivers, volunteers and EVERY single person who is working tirelessly, risking their health, to make a difference. Thank you also to those who are staying home in attempts to flatten the curve. Let’s keep working together and please remember to wash your hands!

For up-to-date information on coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit the Centers of Disease Control & Prevention’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Visit, like and share The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation’s Facebook page for announcements, information regarding esophageal cancer, April ‘Esophageal Cancer Awareness’ month and more: https://www.facebook.com/SalgiFoundation

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation

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Fundraising Spotlight: Esophageal Cancer Awareness Pins

February 25, 2020

Each year, April 30th marks the last day of Esophageal Cancer Awareness month.  In 2017, April 30th was also the date that Raymond John Glazer passed away from esophageal cancer.

Now his daughter Michelle is hosting a fundraiser in his memory. Michelle will be selling periwinkle tack pins on her website to benefit The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.

The Esophageal Cancer Awareness Periwinkle Pins are $5, shipping included and are available on her website, please click here. 

Please read below to learn more about her father’s story and how you can purchase an Esophageal Cancer Awareness Periwinkle Pin(s) to make a difference.

Michelle’s Story, In Loving Memory of Raymond John Glazer:

“Esophageal cancer research is severely underfunded; there are currently no early screenings or any effective treatments for this very deadly disease!

My father developed a problem swallowing, which he never mentioned. He had been caring for our mother for 3 years post stroke at 80 years old. He cleaned her, changed her, fed her and checked her blood sugar, absolutely refusing to put his wife in a nursing home. We also noticed he was getting extremely thin, always had heartburn and was not eating much.

Then September 23rd, 2016, my sister took him to the hospital because he couldn’t even swallow water. He had an endoscopy with biopsy the next day. The doctor had the Oncologist meet with us the following day, telling us he had a golf ball sized tumor right above the stomach in his esophagus. The biopsy came back poorly differentiated high grade adenocarcinoma.

He agreed to the 4 months of radiation daily and chemo weekly, as what was recommended. I sat with him for hours every day at the hospital. He also made me his power of attorney if he could no longer make decisions for himself. The GI doctor placed a mesh stent in the esophagus to hold the tumor back which allowed him to eat and gain some strength before treatment started.

He became so sick from treatments and wasn’t eating, electrolytes were off and he was extremely confused. After discussing it with him, I signed to have a gastric tube placed in November. He could barely walk at this time, so we also got him a wheelchair. The doctor that placed the tube told me after surgery that the tumor was growing through the mesh. Last mega radiation was early December and he would have a CT with contrast in May.

On April 25th, I took him to the ER. He woke all sweaty, couldn’t breathe or talk well and could no longer stand on his own. I asked the admitting doctor if he could order the CT now, which he did. He called me to come in on April 27th, because Dad wasn’t doing well. He waited for me even after his shift was done to tell me that the CT showed the tumor had invaded straight across the abdomen, into the spinal cord, lungs, brain, prostate and hip. The absolute worst thing I had to do was inform the rest of my family and sign a Do Not Resuscitate, Do Not Intubate. Dad had told the doctor this was what he wanted.

On April 30th, he passed in his sleep at 4:40am, ironic that it was the last day of Esophageal Cancer Awareness month. I am raising funds for Salgi, as I did last year, in hopes of finding a way to test early and hopefully a treatment that works for those that become afflicted. All proceeds are being donated in memory of Raymond John Glazer.”

In memory of Raymond John Glazer

Esophageal Cancer Awareness Periwinkle Pins are $5, shipping included and are available here: https://the-peacock-orchid.myshopify.com/products/periwinkle-ribbon-tack-pin-fundraiser-for-esophageal-cancer-awareness

Please join us in thanking Michelle by sharing this fundraiser and post with your family members, friends and on social media.  Thank you, Michelle!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalgiFoundation

 

 

Photos and story courtesy of Michelle Z. https://the-peacock-orchid.myshopify.com/products/periwinkle-ribbon-tack-pin-fundraiser-for-esophageal-cancer-awareness

 

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Virginia Mason Experts Will Assess Breath Test to Detect Esophageal Cancer

December 17, 2019

Research is beginning at Virginia Mason that will assess the accuracy of a breath test for detecting esophageal cancer, one of the fastest growing and deadliest cancers in the United States.

The project, supported by a grant from the Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, is led by Donald Low, MD, who specializes in esophageal and thoracic surgery at Virginia Mason, and George Hanna, PhD, of St. Mary’s Hospital in London (Imperial College Healthcare), who is the co-investigator.

At Virginia Mason, the project will involve as many as 50 patients over the next 12 to 18 months. The research will attempt to build on findings from recent research into a potential breath test for esophageal cancer conducted in England. See article in JAMA Oncology.

“There are currently no standard screenings for the early detection of esophageal cancer, and symptoms often present only after the illness is advanced and difficult to treat,” Dr. Low said. “We hope to change this. Research in London demonstrated the potential for breath analysis to provide an indication when early esophageal cancer has occurred. The purpose of our study is to assess the diagnostic accuracy of a breath test.”

Virginia Mason researchers will examine the reliability of such a test “longitudinally,” Dr. Low added, explaining that patients enrolled in the study will provide sputum and urine samples, in addition to exhaled breaths, that will be evaluated for common markers at three separate points in their treatment journey. The ultimate goal is to develop a noninvasive test for the detection of esophageal cancer that is based on the unique signature of volatile organic compounds in exhaled breath.

In 2019, an estimated 16,000 people will die from esophageal cancer in the United States, while less than 20 percent of those diagnosed with the disease will survive more than five years, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also called acid reflux disease and heartburn, can lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, a primary risk factor for esophageal cancer.

“One of the reasons for conducting research is that you never know what you will discover,” said Dr. Low. “It’s exciting to imagine a day, not far in the future, when a person will breathe into a special device that can provide reliable information, based on the breath, indicating whether the individual has early-stage esophageal cancer. This would be a marvelous advancement for medicine and patients. My colleagues and I are proud to be involved in the assessment of this new diagnostic approach.”

Virginia Mason is a leading provider of esophageal cancer treatment, serving patients from across the United States.

For more information, please visit: VirginiaMason.org

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