Foundation Reaches Milestone: Issues Esophageal Cancer Research Funding For the First Time.

July 28, 2015

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation has issued its first round of funding for esophageal cancer research earlier this month.

The foundation awarded program director, Dr. Carlos Minacapelli and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnston Medical School grant funding.

In 2011, The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation was established to raise awareness, encourage early detection and to fund research of esophageal cancer.  Since 2011, the foundation has both raised awareness and encouraged the importance of earliest possible detection throughout New England, across the United States and internationally.

“The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation is excited to be a part of Dr. Minacapelli’s and Rutger’s research efforts in honor of all the brave men and women who were affected by esophageal cancer and to hopefully reduce incidence and improve outcomes for individuals in the future” President of the foundation stated.

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation would like to thank all of our supporters and donors who believe in this mission and who make these accomplishments possible.  However, this is just the beginning.  We received many other research requests that we were unable to fund at this time.  We need to continue our efforts to fundraise so that we may continue to fund research.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, also known as GERD or acid reflux disease, of which the most common symptom is chronic heartburn, is one of the primary risk factors associated with esophageal cancer.  Other risk factors include obesity, poor nutrition and smoking.  With over a 600% increase in the past decades, esophageal cancer is among the fastest growing and deadliest cancers in the United States and western world.

Currently, there are no standard or routine screenings to detect esophageal cancer in earlier stages. Symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing, typically appear once the cancer has become advanced and the overall five-year survival rate is only 17.5%.  Despite its rapid increase and poor prognosis, esophageal cancer receives very little awareness and research funding.

To make a tax-deductible donation to The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, please visit: SALGI.org/donate.

 


Don’t Ignore Frequent Heartburn!

July 29, 2014

Millions of Americans suffer from heartburn each year.  Unfortunately, many of those Americans are experiencing chronic heartburn, which occurs more than twice a week.   Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.  This disease is known more commonly as GERD and is a major risk factor for esophageal cancer.

Heartburn is often ignored, disregarded and poorly managed.  Many heartburn suffers try to self-medicate through the use of antacids or acid reducing medications.  Typically, these medications do not work long-term for those whose heartburn symptoms caused by GERD.

GERD affects almost 1/3 of all Americans and is the most expensive gastrointestinal disorder in the United States, with direct and indirect costs totaling approximately $10 billion dollars each year.   

The National Cancer Institute defines GERD as the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach).   It is also known as esophageal reflux and gastric reflux.

This back flow is caused by a weakened lower esophageal sphincter, which is a ring of muscle that opens and closes the opening between the esophagus and the stomach.  The LES can’t contain the stomach contents from entering back up into the esophagus.

Overtime, this reflux of stomach acids damages the lining of the esophageal wall and can cause the cells to become abnormal and potentially lead to esophageal cancer.   This change in the cells, which line the lower part of the esophageal wall, is known as Barrett’s esophagus, a sometimes precancerous condition.

Taking medications, whether they are over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor, does not repair the LES.   These medications only treat the symptoms of the disease while the damage can continue to occur.  Also, these medications are intended for temporary relief and are not to be taken for an extended period of time.

As we mentioned, GERD is one of the risks associated with esophageal cancer, along with other factors, such as being overweight or Barrett’s esophagus.   Having one of these risk factors does not mean that cancer will result.  However, having one of these risk factors and not being proactive can significantly further the risk of esophageal cancer.

The earlier esophageal cancer is detected, the better.  Unfortunately, there are currently no standard or routine screenings to detect esophageal cancer in its earliest stages.

It is imperative that patients suffering from chronic and frequent heartburn to be proactive.   Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes to help reduce GERD symptoms.  Also, discuss the various tests used to detect esophageal cancer.  Click here for more information regarding methods used to detect esophageal cancer.

Visit us on Facebook and tell us if you or someone you know suffers from chronic heartburn. We’re here to help! Facebook.com/SalgiFoundation 

Almost one-third of Americans have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease GERD heartburn chronic acid reflux.  which is the most expensive gastrointestinal disorder in the United States US USA U.S. with direct and indirect costs totaling, $10 billion per year.

Sources:
refluxmd.com 
cancer.gov
iffgd.org 
 

Study links abdominal fat (visceral) to increased risk of Barrett’s esophagus

February 14, 2014

A recent study shows that carrying more weight in the midsection may increase one’s risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer.

Health.Harvard.edu

Barrett’s esophagus is “a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) is damaged by stomach acid and changed to a lining similar to that of the stomach.”*  Barrett’s esophagus has been shown to be a precursor to esophageal cancer.  

This study linked a higher amount of visceral fat to a greater risk of Barrett’s esophagus.

The fat located in the abdominal region is either defined as visceral or subcutaneous. Visceral fat surrounds the organs in the abdominal region, while subcutaneous fat is located between the skin and the abdominal wall. 

Researchers reported that the elevated risk of Barrett’s esophagus related to the increase of visceral abdominal fat was found in both those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and also those who do not experience GERD symptoms.

For a more information on the study, please refer to the following two articles:

“Visceral abdominal obesity measured by CT scan is associated with an increased risk of Barrett’s oesophagus: a case-control study.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

“Visceral adipose tissue increased risk for Barrett’s esophagus.” Healio Gastroenterology

*“Barrett’s esophagus.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine 


Is your heartburn affecting your sleep?

February 11, 2014

Suffering from heartburn, whether be it during the day or at night, is an annoyance that many Americans cope with, some on a daily basis. An alarming 60 million Americans experience it at least once a month and 25 million Americans suffer from heartburn every day. When heartburn is this frequent or severe, people may be diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, more commonly known as 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.

It is important to note that many patients who are diagnosed with GERD do not experience heartburn at all. Below are the most frequently reported symptoms of GERD:

• Heartburn (a symptom of acid reflux)
• Bad breath
• Burning or pain in the chest or throat
• Chronic cough
• Hoarseness or chronic sore throat
• Bitter taste in mouth
• Inflammation in the mouth and erosion of teeth
• Problems swallowing
• Asthma-like symptoms
• Excessive belching

GERD is amongst the most prevalent upper gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and most likely one of the most common disease diagnosed by Gastroenterologists across our nation.

For many, GERD does not just disrupt their daily routine, but their sleep as well. GERD sufferers who have trouble sleeping at night could also go on to experience other health problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea, sleepiness during the day and restless leg syndrome.

It is best to first speak to a gastroenterologist or a primary health care provider to see what options are available to treat GERD effectively. Below are some helpful tips in order to reduce GERD symptoms and enjoy a better night’s sleep.

• Eat smaller meals
• Chew food slowly and thoroughly
• Say upright after meals
• Avoid foods which trigger your GERD symptoms (fats, spicy foods, alcohol)
• Keep a food journal to track your “trigger foods”
• Try sleeping with your head elevated. Either with extra pillows or a wedge pillow
• Restrict your eating in the evening
• Do not eat or drink anything two hours before bedtime (with the exception of water for medications.)

Again, please consult your doctor if you are having problems sleeping at night or are experiencing frequent or severe heartburn.  These suggestions are intended for informational purposes only.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Sources:
National Sleep Foundation
WebMD
American College of Gastroenterology 
 
 
 

‘Missed Opportunities in GERD Complication Screenings’

January 30, 2014

High-risk patients don’t always get endoscopic examination for Barrett’s esophagus, cancer, say researchers.
Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Men aged 65 years and older are much more likely to suffer the complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal, gastric or duodenal cancer, but they’re much less likely to undergo endoscopic screenings that can detect these complications, according to recent research.

Go to full story in Outpatient Surgery here.

 

 

 

 

 


RefluxMD: “Diagnosing GERD: The First Step Towards Treatment”

January 16, 2014

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) elevates one’s risk of developing esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma.)  The risk further increases based on the severity of symptoms (ie. heartburn and regurgitation from the stomach) and how long it goes without being properly treated.

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.

Esophageal cancer adenocarinoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and also one of the deadliest cancers.  Since the cancer is often detected late, the survival rate is extremely low.   Therefore, it is crucial to speak to your doctor if you or someone you know is suffering from frequent heartburn and/or regurgitation.

There are many tests that can be performed to accurately diagnose GERD.  Too often, PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) are prescribed by doctors for the treatment of GERD.  PPIs function are to only manage GERD symptoms they do not repair the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Unfortunately, these medications do not relieve all patients from their GERD symptoms and they are not intended to be taken for a long period of time as they can cause serious long-term health effects.

Our friends at RefluxMD put together a fantastic article which describes the various ways your doctor can assess your condition.  Don’t ignore frequent heartburn!  Take the very first step in managing your GERD symptoms by reading this article.  Click here to learn more.

We are thankful for resources such as our friends at RefluxMD.  By working together, we can continue to raise awareness of esophageal cancer and dangerous risk factors such as GERD.


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.

esophageal cancer, esophageal cancer ri, esophagus cancer, cancer of the esophagus, cancer ri, ri cancer, ri esophageal cancer, cancer treatment, cancer ri treatment, esophageal cancer treatment, esophageal cancer treatment ri, rhode island cancer, cancer rhode island, nonprofit, non profit ri, ri nonprofit, ri non-profit, esophageal non profit, esophagus, barret esophagus, barret esophagus ri, esophagus ri, ri esophagus, esophageal cancer rhode island, gerd, GERD ri, ri gerd, GERD treatment, GERD, GERD help, heartburn, heartburn ri, heartburn treatment, treatment heartburn, acid reflux, acid reflux ri, acid reflux treatment, acid reflux help, ri acid reflux, esophageal cancer, esophageal cancer ri, ri cancer, cancer ri, cancer rhode island, esophageal cancer rhode island, rhode island esophageal cancer, heartburn, acid reflux, gerd, reflux, gerd reflux, acid, pain in chest, doctor ri, gi doctor ri, gastroenterologist ri, ri gastroenterologist, ri health, health ri, esophageal cancer awareness, esophageal cancer treatment, esophageal cancer diagnosis, esophageal cancer research, esophageal cancer donate, esophageal cancer funding, esophageal cancer fund, esophageal cancer funds, esophageal cancer , esophageal cancer awareness, esophageal cancer nonprofit, esophageal cancer events, esophageal cancer rhode island, esophageal cancer new england, esophageal cancer Massachusetts, esophageal cancer screening, esophageal cancer detection, esophageal cancer signs, esophageal cancer symptoms, esophageal cancer diagnosis, esophageal cancer doctors, esophageal cancer doctors in ri, esophageal cancer doctor ri, esophageal cancer symptom, esophageal cancer heartburn, heartburn can cause cancer, cancer heartburn, heartburn cancer, esophageal cancer salgi, esophageal cancer rates, esophageal cancer death, esophageal cancer death rate, esophageal cancer survivors, esophageal cancer survivor, esophageal cancer survivorship, esophageal cancer surviving, esophageal cancer groups, esophageal cancer organizations, esophageal cancer teams, esophageal cancer board, esophageal cancer charity, esophageal cancer nonprofit, esophageal cancer money for research, Networking RI, cancer ri, esophageal cancer, cancer in ri, networking event ri, cancer charity, cancer research, cancer charity ri, cancer research ri, esophageal cancer awareness, esophageal cancer awareness ri, esophageal cancer research ri, esophageal cancer research, esophageal cancer prevention, esophageal cancer prevention ri, esophageal cancer cure, esophageal cancer, in hopes of a cure, networking cancer, cocktails in hopes of a cure, cocktails, 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 cancer

photo courtesy of: chop.edu