April, 2014: Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

WHEREAS, esophageal cancer is one of the fastest growing cancer diagnoses in the United States, increasing more than 400% in the past 20 years; and

WHEREAS, Esophageal cancer kills one American every 36 minutes each and every day and is among the deadliest of cancers, with fewer than one in five patients surviving five years, and esophageal cancer has low survival rates because it is usually discovered at advanced stages when treatment outcomes are poor; and

WHEREAS, Esophageal cancer in the United States is most often caused by persistent heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), yet many who are at risk are unaware of the potential danger GERD can present when it occurs over several weeks or months; and

WHEREAS, Esophageal cancer can be a silent killer with patients often unaware that the cough, hoarse voice, sore throat or chest pain they suffer can be signs of GERD and are reasons to discuss screening for esophageal cancer with their health care professional; and

WHEREAS, Esophageal cancer can develop from GERD when fluids from the stomach splash up to create cellular change in the esophagus resulting in a precancerous condition known as Barrett's esophagus which can lead to a 125-fold increase in a patient’s risk of developing esophageal cancer; and

WHEREAS, Esophageal cancer can be prevented through early detection of its precursor, Barrett's esophagus, which can be treated with new, curative outpatient techniques; and

WHEREAS, The Esophageal Cancer Action Network, ECAN, is working to improve public awareness of the link between heartburn and cancer and supports progress in early detection and treatment of esophageal cancer; and, esophageal cancer awareness along with improvements in prevention, early detection and treatment strategies will enhance the health and well–being of all Americans;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan do hereby proclaim April 2014 as Esophageal Cancer Awareness month in Michigan.