The Esophageal Cancer Action Network (ECAN) is a national non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to increasing public awareness about the link between Reflux Disease and Cancer.
- Increasing rapidly: The type of Esophageal Cancer that's caused by reflux disease is the fastest increasing cancer diagnoses among American men; up more than 600 percent in the past 35 years.
- Deadly: It is the #8 Cancer killer of American men; one American dies of Esophageal Cancer every 36 minutes.
- Poor Survival Rate: Fewer than one in five Esophageal Cancer patients will survive five years.
- No Real Symptoms until it is Too Late: Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer don't usually become evident until the disease has progressed to advanced stages that are rarely treated with success.
- Risk Factors: include persistent heartburn, persistent cough, sore throat or hoarse voice, choking upon lying down, heartburn symptoms that have gone away, hiccups or a family history of Esophageal Cancer or Barrett's Esophagus
The tragic end of Clarence Brooks' life presents an opportunity to raise public awareness and save lives. If the disease is caught when pre-cancerous or even in early cancer stages, new outpatient ablation procedures that zap those cells can cure patients. That makes early detection of Esophageal Cancer different from many other cancers. Some studies have shown 97 percent of those undergoing ablation procedures in early stages have no recurrence of disease.
ECAN has created a free, downloadable publication that provides important information to help members of the public understand their risk and what they should do about it. The Guide for Patients can be found at www.ecan.org.
ECAN's mission is to save lives by increasing awareness about the link between heartburn and cancer, promoting early detection, supporting medical innovation to prevent, detect, treat and cure esophageal cancer and linking patients and families to compassionate support. The Baltimore-based national non-profit organization is led by a board of directors of top physicians, business leaders and families that have been touched by esophageal cancer.
ECAN successfully advocated with the National Cancer Institute to include esophageal cancer in its groundbreaking genome mapping project. Through ECAN's efforts, April has been formally designated as Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month across the United States. For more information, visit www.ECAN.org.