Thank you, Gov. Baldacci, for assisting in our efforts to educate Maine’s population about esophageal cancer.
By his proclamation declaring Sept. 13 Maine Esophageal Cancer Awareness Day, he has proven once again his concern for the health and well-being of the people of Maine. This is so important because esophageal cancer is the least studied and funded cancer in the world, even though it is the second deadliest form of cancer worldwide.
Unfortunately, there are no early-detection tests in this country to screen the general public for esophageal cancer. There are, however, symptoms to cause concern. Some of these are gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, dry cough, hiccups and weight loss. Physicians, too, must be aware of the early-warning signs and must prescribe testing for those patients most at risk.
Losing my husband, John, after only four months from the date of his diagnosis of this horrific cancer, my family and I were prompted to reach out to the people of Maine who might recognize these symptoms in themselves. Without Gov. Baldacci’s constant commitment to Maine’s people, this task would be daunting.
With his help, however, the future is brighter for many of Maine’s citizens.