Fundraising Spotlight: “Beards for Bruce”

November 5, 2015

In November, 2014, Richard Huston and his family started a “Beards for Bruce” campaign in support of his father-in-law, Bruce and his battle with esophageal cancer.   Unfortunately, in September of this year, Bruce lost his gallant fight with esophageal cancer.   Richard said that last year Bruce was “overwhelmed by the love and support demonstrated by family, friends and those who didn’t even know him.”

Photo Via: Richard Huston

This year, the family continues the campaign and Richard plans to continue “Beards for Bruce” every November in memory of Bruce to promote early detection of esophageal cancer and to help raise awareness and donations in hopes that someday, they will find a cure.”

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is honored to fulfill this mission in honor of Bruce and we thank all of Bruce’s family and friends who participate and support the “Beards for Bruce” campaign.  Below is an excerpt from the “Beards for Bruce” fundraising website, created by Richard and his family.   Please join us in thanking Bruce’s family and friends for supporting this cause and help them in their mission to raise much needed funding for esophageal cancer awareness and research by sharing their fundraising website.   Thank you!

Bruce Reavill was a proud Husband, Father, and Grandfather that always made his family the number one priority in his life. He was also my (Richard Huston) Father in Law who was an amazing mentor, father figure, and the head of the family.  An absolutely amazing man that seemed to never meet a stranger and left a positive impact every where he would go and with everyone he would meet. He raised two amazing and beautiful daughters; from countless family vacations when they were young to the two of them graduating college and continuing on in life with successful careers and eventually starting their own families.  Needless to say he was a very proud father and Grandfather.

In 2013 Bruce and his lovely wife Sandy decided it was time to find that perfect retirement home in a desert oasis.  After careful consideration and many options they elected to move to Buckeye, Arizona. This is where they would build the home they always wanted with a pool, room for the grandchildren to visit, and their own souped up golf cart that provided them their number one form of transportation.  Surrounded by the beauty of the desert, the elimination of Minnesota winter, and the beautiful Cooper Canyon golf course was the life of retirement that Bruce and Sandy had worked so hard in life for.

Unfortunately after a few short months in Arizona Bruce noticed that he was having trouble swallowing. Initially Bruce put it off as a bad case of heartburn or indigestion; he realized it was not going away and would warrant a trip to the doctor’s office.  This trip to the doctor changed Bruce’s life forever as he heard the words “you have esophageal cancer”.  The impact on Bruce and our family was immediate and very real.  Bruce is one of the strongest and most loving men I have ever known in my lifetime.  He has set the bar of how a man should be in life never wavering from what is right, what is best for his family, and his strong believe in his faith in God.

After completing weeks of chemotherapy, radiation, and a very difficult surgery we had thought he was clear of this horrible decease.   At his 90 day post exam his PET scan revealed that the cancer had now spread to other parts of his body to include his throat, liver, and bones. The reality of being so far away from family during this very difficult time had taken its toll. So this past winter Bruce and Sandy decided to move back to Minnesota where they could be closer to friends and family.  Bruce vowed that he would be Warrior through this process and fight with all his heart.

Bruce would continue chemotherapy, more radiation, and almost daily trips to the doctor’s office. Bruce was a true warrior, a fighter, and a champion who gave it his all with the pride and style that only Bruce could. Unfortunately in September Bruce lost his gallant fight with esophageal cancer.  He was a great man that was loved by so many and who will always be missed from this earth.

Last year I organized the Beards for Bruce campaign in support of Bruce’s battle with Cancer.  Bruce was overwhelmed by the love and support demonstrated by family, friends and those who didn’t even know him. Many of you participated, donated, and provided support for Bruce last year.  For some of you, this may be the first time reading Bruce’s story.   I plan to continue Beards for Bruce every November in memory of Bruce to promote early detection of Esophageal Cancer and to help raise awareness and donations in hopes that some day they will find a cure.

I am reaching out and asking for your support in Bruce’s memory and to further esophageal cancer research.  For all of you who can take part in growing some facial hair in the month of November,  let’s grow out our beards, mustaches, goatees, or in honor of Bruce’s younger years a horseshoe mustache (handle bars) to raise cancer awareness.

We have elected to have all donations to go to The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation.  All donations go directly to raise awareness, encourage early detection and to fund research of esophageal cancer…in hopes of a cure.™

I hope you will support me and my family in effort to reach my goal by using the links provided for donations.

Thank you for your love and support!

 

To visit the “Beards for Bruce” fundraising page, please click here: https://www.crowdrise.com/beardsforbruce/fundraiser/rickhuston

 


How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?

January 28, 2014

 Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy

During this procedure, a doctor uses an endoscope to see the upper GI tract which consists of the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine.  An endoscope is a lightweight, flexible, hollow instrument equipped with a lens which allows the doctor to see these internal parts.  Examining the esophagus, the doctor is looking for any abnormalities; inflammation, areas which have been irritated, abnormal growths or cancer. The procedure is generally preformed while a patient is under sedation.  Sedation is not required for all patients as some receive minimal to no sedation.   Doctors utilize endoscopy procedures to also detect ulcers, abnormal growths in the stomach or first part of small intestines, bowel obstructions or hiatal hernias.  There are small risks associated with an endoscopy such as bleeding, tissue infection and tears in the gastrointestinal tract.  These are rare instances, the Mayo Clinic reports that the latter occurs in about three to five out of every 10,000 upper endoscopies.

X-Ray

Also, known as a barium swallow or esophagram, is an upper gastroentestional series of X-rays used to examine the esophagus for any abnormal conditions.  This test requires patient to drink a thick liquid that temporarily coats the lining of the esophagus.  This will highlight the lining of the esophagus clearly on the X-rays to help better detect any abnormality.

Biopsy

If during an endoscopy, doctors finds any suspicious tissue, they will use an endoscope (defined above) passed down the throat into the esophagus to collect a sample of the tissue.  This tissue sample is then sent to a laboratory which will look for cancer cells.

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cancer research foundation, salgi, salgi foundation, salgi esophageal, salgi esophageal cancer, salgi esophageal cancer research, salgi esophageal cancer research foundation, salgi esophageal foundation, foundation salgi, esophageal cancer awareness salgi, esophageal cancer awareness salgi ri, ri esophageal cancer awareness salgi, ri salgi esophageal cancer, salgi esophageal cancer awareness ri salgi, salgi treatment esophageal cancer, salgi treatment esophageal cancer awareness, salgi treatment esophageal cancer awareness ri, Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run, Cancer Walk, Cancer Walk RI, Walk RI, Run RI, Rhode Island Walk, Rhode Island Cancer, Cancer Walks in RI, Cancer Run in RI, Run for charity, Run in RI, cancer run, cancer walk, cancer walk ri, cancer run ri, esophageal cancer, cancer of the esophagus, cancer, esophageal cancer ri, cancer of esophagus, ri cancer, cancer awareness, cancer research, cancer prevention, ri cancer research, ri cancer prevention, ri cancer treatment, ri cancer charity, charity ri, charity, cancer, treat esophageal cancer, treat cancer, treatment of esophageal cancer, treatment of esophageal cancer ri, acid reflux, heartburn can cause cancer, heartburn ri, acid reflux ri, heartburn, heartburn remedy, heartburn remedies, acid reflux remedies, charity run ri, charity walk ri, run for cancerTalk to your doctor if you experience heartburn more than twice a week, as that can be a symptom of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which is one of the major risk factor for esophageal cancer.  Patients who experience GERD symptoms for more than five years and have other risk factors associated with esophageal cancer, such as being overweight or smoking, are at an elevated risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Unfortunately, esophageal cancer is often detected late because symptoms do not occur until the cancer has progressed. 

This is why we stress the importance of speaking to your doctor about your frequent GERD symptoms and discuss the different ways in which they can be controlled.  For many, lifestyle changes, such as monitoring food and beverage ‘reflux triggers’ and losing weight, can help alleviate acid reflux.  (Click here to read more tips on how to manage acid reflux.)

Too often, esophageal cancer is diagnosed at advanced and/or incurable stages due to the late onset of symptoms. This makes the cancer difficult if not impossible to treat and often results in 80% of patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer dying within the first year.

Let’s work together to change the statistics regarding esophageal cancer.  If you are experiencing frequent acid reflux, consult your doctor and be sure to also share this message with your family and friends.  Click on the share buttons below to spread the word and save lives!

 

 

Gastro.net.au
MayoClinic
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 

Your Heartburn Medications Could Deprive You of an Important Vitamin

December 11, 2013

If you are among one of the millions of Americans who attempts to alleviate your heartburn with medication or know someone that does, keep reading. A recent study conducted by a group of researchers from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, suggests heartburn medications, proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers, may increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency,

H2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors are stronger heartburn medications which require a prescription from a doctor. These drugs are used to treat chronic acid reflux, which typically occurs two or more times a week and could be a sign of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

Reports have shown over 113 million PPI prescriptions are filled every year and cost up to $14 billion annually. Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer of LiveScience, reported that the study found people who took PPIs “for two or more years were 65 percent more likely to be diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency than those who did not take such medications.” She went on to report additional study findings that “people who took another type of acid-suppressing drug, called histamine 2 receptor antagonists, for two or more years were 25 percent more likely to have vitamin B12 deficiency.”

While these heartburn medications are recommended to be taken no longer than 8 to 12 weeks, many take them far longer. In addition to a deficiency of vitamin B12, which can increase the risk of “anemia and damage to the nerves,”* other studies in the past have connected long-term use of these heartburn medications with an increased risk of bone fractures and iron deficiency. Other reported long-term effects include a “heighten risk of death from infections.”

Now there is an even greater need for further research on alternative methods to alleviating heartburn without the use of these medications.

Contributing to research projects is not only one step towards finding a cure for esophageal cancer, but will also open the door to a wealth of other discoveries which will positively impact other aspects of health. To make a tax deductible donation to research online, click here.

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Original article on LiveScience.


GERD Awareness Week: November 24-31, 2013

November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving, a time for family and friends to gather together, share their thanks and enjoy a delicious and abundant feast. During the holiday season, it can be easy to overindulge in favorite foods and subsequently, for many, to experience heartburn.

The week of Thanksgiving has been dedicated to raising awareness for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, known more commonly as GERD.

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Occasional heartburn does not typically cause major concern, as millions of Americans experience it at some point in their lives. However, persistent heartburn which typically occurs two or more times a week should not be taken lightly, as it could be a sign of chronic acid reflux or 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.

If not properly treated, long-term sufferers of GERD can develop serious medical conditions which include 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.

While esophageal cancer only makes up 2% of all cancer deaths in the United States, it has increased over 400% in the past 20 years and is one of the most lethal types of cancers; Stage IV has a daunting survival rate of only 5%. When caught in the early stages, patients have a higher rate of survival, as there are more treatment options available.

President of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, whose father suffered from chronic acid reflux for years and passed away from esophageal cancer says “If you have frequent heartburn, don’t ignore it or just take a pill. Talk to your doctor about all of your options.”

To read the full article published in GoLocalProv click here: Healthy Living: GERD Awareness Week- November 24-30

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Abdominal Fat Linked to Esophageal Cancer; Tips to Trim Your Waistline

November 22, 2013

New research shows that central adiposity (an accumulation of fat in the abdomen area) is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. This research was published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Being overweight, particularly in the mid-section, elevates not only the risk of developing esophageal cancer, as this new research states, but a number of other diseases, proven in other studies. Below are some tips to help reduce “belly fat” and improve overall health and wellness.

Eat one less cookie a day

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD, suggests in his book, YOU on a Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management to reduce your caloric intake by just 100 calories per day. That means, eat one less cookie, candy bar, can/bottle of soda or piece of holiday pie. This seemingly small change can have a huge impact. Dr. Oz suggests that it may help you to lose about 12 pounds per year*.

Get moving

Refer to Sir Isaac Newton’s Frist Law of Motion: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.” Basically, the more you exercise the more you will burn and the more you rest, the more you will gain. Whether you are a triathlete or a couch potato, workout at your speed.

Count sheep

Studies have shown that when we are tired and are not sleeping properly, it negatively affects our appetite, which causes us not only to gain weight but make improper food choices. Keep your sleeping area calming, avoid technology right before bed and make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

Build muscle

Strengthening your core (abdominal) and lower back muscles will help you shed belly fat fast. Remember to always practice safe lifting while exercising. It may also be helpful to consider working with a personal trainer for even just a few lessons to make sure you are working out right and to avoid injury. Ladies, muscle burns fat. Pay no attention to the myth that if lifting weights will cause your body to transform into a bodybuilder’s.

Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner AND snacks!

According to research, eating healthy meals and snacks regularly throughout the day will not only benefit your health but keep you more focused and energized. When we do not eat regularly, we make poor food choices and our body can go into “starvation-mode”, which can cause it to hold on to more fat. Dr. Oz recommends his patients avoid eating processed foods because they can cause you to still be hungry soon after you’re done brushing the crumbs away.

Ditch the elevator

For many, the majority of our day is spent sedentary. Whether we are at a desk in front of a computer at work, watching TV, playing video or online games, eating meals or driving in the car, we sit, sit and sit some more. The best way to burn extra calories every day is to move around more. It sounds simple, but you can burn a significant amount of calories by taking extra trips to the water cooler during the day at work, parking your car further away from the door, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and even walking a bit further with your dog. Here are some tips to “workout” when you are at work!

Keep healthy snacks on hand

Pack healthy snacks and take them with you when you are on-the-go. Choose foods like almonds, celery, carrots, greek yogurt, berries and whole grain crackers. Keeping healthy options on-hand can help you avoid the dreaded vending machine and quiet your grumbling stomach. Again, sometimes when we are hungry, we end up making poor food choices.

Stress less

Easier said than done, right? Reduce your daily stress by meditating, practicing yoga, taking a walk, reading a book or sipping tea. Stress affects many aspects of our mental, emotional and physical health. Check out our Pinterest board “Namaste” for some great Yoga tips.

Don’t give up

Author Louis Sachar once stated ‘It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.’  Keep going, don’t give up and remember to be proud of all your achievements, no matter how big or how small. Positive thinking will keep you going through the good times and the bad.

As always, consult your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise or lifestyle. The aforementioned is for informational purposes only and should not be misconstrued for medical advice.


When it comes to Esophageal Cancer Prevention, All Pizzas are NOT Created Equal

November 12, 2013

There has been a lot of talk regarding pizza and its link to cancer prevention, specifically esophageal cancer prevention. While this new finding is quite exciting to pizza fans, it needs to be carefully explained, as all pizzas are not created equal when it comes to esophageal cancer prevention.

Silvano Gallus, PhD is an epidemiologist at the Instituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri,” in Milan, Italy and lead researcher of a study which focuses on the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet: “Does pizza protect against cancer?

Gallus stated in a recent article from WebMD that “Italian pizza is less than 50% crust, 20% tomato sauce, 20% mozzarella cheese, and 4% olive oil” and continued that Italian pizza “is very different from fast-food pizza.”

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In fact, you can sometimes even find more than triple the amount of calories and fat in an American pizza than one found in a Pizzeria in Italy. “Traditional Italian Pizza” has a thin crust which is made from flour, yeast, water, olive oil (and nothing else) and topped with tomato sauce and a small serving of mozzarella.

This “fast-food pizza” found in America has a thicker crust made with refined carbohydrates, added preservatives, unhealthy oils and fats, and much heavier toppings. Gallus notes in the article that those refined carbohydrates have also “been directly associated with cancer of the upper digestive tract and colorectal cancer.” Gallus stated that there is “limited information on the potential influence of pizza and cancer risk.”

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The study showed “regular pizza eaters had 34% less risk of oral cavity and pharyngeal cancer, 59% less risk of esophageal cancer, and 25% less risk of colon cancer.”  So it seems that in actuality, certain types of pizza which are low in fat, high in nutrient may help you lower your risk of esophageal and other cancers. This is not surprising given the research conducted regarding the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet.

Want to make your own Italian thin crust pizza at home? Check out this great recipe from Walks of Italy’s website: How to Make an Italian Pizza: The Simple, Step-by-Step Guide

To read WebMD’s full article, “Pizza Prevents Cancer?” Click here

 

 


November is GERD Awareness Month!

November 5, 2013

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is among a handful of risk factors associated with the development of esophageal cancer.   Many experience heartburn, with too many experiencing heartburn on a regular basis.  If not treated properly, heartburn can be very damaging, leading to a number of diseases, including esophageal cancer.

November is ‘GERD Awareness Month’!  Our friends at The Miriam Hospital published an article regarding GERD and “What you need to know!”

Brett Kalmowitz, MD, gastroenterologist at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital says: “Heartburn or acid indigestion is the most common symptom of GERD.” Kalmowitz further explains that “heartburn is a burning chest pain that begins behind the breastbone and moves upward to the neck and throat. It can last as long as two hours and is often worse after meals. Lying down or bending over after a meal can also contribute to heartburn.”

Raising awareness for GERD is such an important step in the fight against esophageal cancer.   Remember to share this post with your friends, family and social media sites, too!  Use the links at the bottom to post, tweet, email and pin directly from this page.

To read The Miriam Hospital’s full article, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), click here.

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photo courtesy of: chop.edu