I decided that Esophageal cancer will be my focus for my geeky hobby.  No August is not the awareness month for this cancer, April is though.  Why did I decided to focus on this cancer, well it is my dad’s birthday month.  Esophageal cancer is what took his life in February of 2014.  If he was still here with us, he would have been 59 years old.  We would celebrate it with Apple cake and vanilla ice cream.  But instead we will go down to Beach 7 have subs and let’s balloons go up to him.  Him and my mom would have been married 38 years a few weeks ago.  Instead my sister and brother-in-law celebrated their 1st on that same day.  My dad was my mom’s main caregiver when she was diagnosis in 2013.  He saw her though her round of chemo treatments, and then passed away 3 weeks later.

Ok, so let’s look at these symptoms.  Difficulty Swallowing- my dad started with that right before my mom was diagnosis with her cancer.  Along with the difficulty swallowing, he also had spitting up food.  GROSS!  Weight Loss without trying– this came along about a year after the difficulty swallowing stated.  My Dad was 5’8 with a 40 inch waist down to a 32 inch waist.  Of course I am thinking it was from the stress of my mom being sick.  Other symptoms include Chest pain, pressure, burning, worsening indigestion and heartburn.  I don’t recalled my dad ever really complaining about his chest hurting, but he live on Rolaids, ALWAYS.  Rounding out the symptoms Coughing and hoarseness. Don’t remember him coughing a whole heck of a lot.

Risk factors

  1. Drinking alcohol-he was at the bar everyday
  2. Bile reflux
  3. Drinking very hot liquids
  4. Eat few veggies and fruit-he no problem eating these
  5. GERD
  6. Being obese- 5’8 240 lbs
  7. Barrett’s Esophagus
  8. Radiation treatment to chest or the upper abdomen
  9. Smoking

Some factoids I came across while surfing for this blog entry.  It has been long considered one the of the deadliest malignancies.  Fewer than 1 out 5 survive 5 years.  One of fastest growing cancer diagnosis in the United States, diagnoses have increased 600%. But is more common in African and Asian countries.  Three times more common in men than woman.  Highest among people in age range of 55 to 80.  If diagnosis in the 1st stage there is a 60% percent survival rate.  Weight loss is noted more than 70% of patients.  Also 50% of patients have unresectable or metastatic disease at time of diagnosis.  More than 40% had no prior symptom of reflux.  At last but not least Esophageal Cancer receives the least amount of federal medical research funding.

I may have lost my dad, and will never hear him talk about football, baseball, or basketball.  I will always think about him.  It is getting easier for me to sit and watch a sporting event on TV.  So when April 2016 comes found some Periwinkle wear it for Esophageal Cancer.