Tomorrow begins a brand new month. April arrives. During this month, we recognize awareness for Esophageal Cancer. It is estimated that nearly 16,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with this cancer.
What is Esophageal Cancer?
Esophageal Cancer is a disease that begins in the esophagus. The esophagus is the narrow tube that carries food and liquid from the mouth into the stomach. The tube is muscular and has four layers.
There are many risk factors that can cause this type of cancer:
- Hiatal Hernia
- Barrett’s Esophagus
While these are risk factors, it is not cut and dry. Some esophageal cancer patients do not experience any risk factors. There is not a single known cause of this type of cancer.
In fact, most symptoms do not occur until the cancer has truly progressed. For example, a tumor may form on the esophagus, but you may not notice it until you find it difficult to swallow.
Some other symptoms that may occur are:
- Difficulty or painful swallowing
- Dramatic weight loss
- Blood in the stool
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the throat or back
- Hoarseness or coughing
These symptoms can be common in a person without cancer, but if you feel concerned, you should certainly speak with your doctor.
How Can I Help?
Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month is a time to recognize this disease and do our part in helping with research and taking preventative measures.
For yourself and your loved ones: maintain a healthy diet. That means no smoking or excessive drinking of alcohol. Also practice proper exercise.
You can choose to help the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association (ECAA). The organization is 100% volunteer based which means any funds donated go straight to raising awareness.
The ECAA hosts the Plant a Periwinkle activity. The color associated with Esophageal Cancer is a periwinkle color, which is a light blue. You can choose to honor you dedication to the cause or to someone you know that is suffering or has succumb to the disease by planting the periwinkle flower.
At Saint Vintage, our mission is to raise awareness and donate money to cancer research. During the month of April, 50% of all sales from our periwinkle Love Links bracelet will be donated to Esophageal Cancer Awareness.
You can do your part, no matter how small.