Events in Diablo and Castro Valley to include educational seminar & 5K
WALNUT CREEK, CA – Six Bay Area medical practices will team with ECAN, the Esophageal Cancer Action Network, to raise awareness about one of the nation’s fastest increasing and deadliest cancer diagnoses.
One American dies of esophageal cancer every 36 minutes and diagnosis of the disease is up more than 400 percent in the past 20 years. The type of esophageal cancer increasing so rapidly in the United States is usually caused by reflux disease, often thought of as heartburn.
With this in mind, the following physicians groups have taken the lead in organizing the Taking Steps to Save Lives (www.takingstepstosavelives.org) weekend, occurring Friday, Apr. 11, and Saturday, Apr. 12:
▪ Epic Care – Partners in Cancer Cancer – Pleasant Hill,
▪ Bay Area Surgical Specialists, Inc. – Walnut Creek,
▪ Mt. Diablo Solano Oncology Group Medical Associates – Walnut Creek,
▪ Diablo Valley Oncology/Hematology Medical Group - Pleasant Hill,
▪ John Muir Radiology and Oncology – Concord, and
▪ David T. Wong, PHD Medical Associates – San Ramon.
“Unfortunately, many are unaware about the direct association of GERD (reflux disease) in the development of esophageal cancer, and in a sense, many of these patients are victims of unawareness,” said Wilson Tsai, MD of Bay Area Surgical Specialists.
“As a thoracic oncologist, I take a personal responsibility in bringing this knowledge to the community that I serve,” he added. “I hope that in educating our patients and our physicians, we can prevent this devastating cancer in many patients that suffer from GERD.”
Occurring during Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, Taking Steps to Save Lives is designed to bring to light the critical link between GERD, Barrett’s Esophagus and esophageal cancer, and the urgent need to provide appropriate screening for those at risk.
“The work of these doctors to share our life-saving message is so important,” said ECAN President and CEO Mindy Mintz Mordecai, who founded the non-profit after losing her husband and the father of their two young daughters to the disease in 2008.
“It’s rare – and wonderful – to see doctors who have so little time outside of their practices get out front on public awareness; they’ve rolled up their sleeves and done the work to make this weekend possible,” she added. “We are thrilled!”
Taking Steps to Save Lives will kick off Friday night with an educational seminar, discussion and reception at the Diablo Country Club (1700 Clubhouse Rd., Diablo, Ca. 94528), from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
ECAN: Taking Steps: p. 2
The following distinguished physicians will participate in a panel discussion answering audience questions about warning signs, latest medical treatments, early detection options for esophageal cancer and what you need to stay healthy:
- Dr. John Ganey – Epic Care – Partners in Cancer Care
- Dr. Wilson Tsai – Bay Area Surgical Specialists, Inc.
- Dr. Lesley Martin – Mount Diablo Solano Oncology Group Medical Associates
- Dr. David Wong, PhD
- Dr. Daniel Chinn -John Muir Cancer Institute Radiation Oncology
- Dr. Jewel Johl- Diablo Valley Oncology/Hematology Medical Group
This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required by Apr. 4. To register, visit www.takingstepsfriday.org.
Tauscher also will kick off festivities Saturday morning with words of inspiration to participants who are Taking Steps to Save Lives during the 5K Esophageal Cancer Awareness Run/Walk. The event runs from
8 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Lake Chabot Park Regional Park (17600 Lake Chabot Rd., Castro Valley, Ca. 94546).
The 5K running race starts at 9 a.m., followed by the 5K walk at 9:15. Top runners in various race classes will win prizes.
Throughout the event, participants can interact with healthcare providers, enjoy healthy snacks and beverages, and witness balloon sculpting by Sharon Palermo. A $35 entry fee includes Tech T-shirt and Race Bag. To register, visit www.takingstepstosavelives.org.
ECAN’s mission is to save lives by increasing awareness about the link between heartburn and cancer, promoting early detection and supporting medical innovation to prevent, detect, treat and cure Esophageal Cancer. 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.
Through ECAN’s efforts, April has been formally designated as Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month across the United States. ECAN also published an innovative Guide for Patients with input from leading doctors across the nation (available as a free download), and it successfully advocated with the National Cancer Institute to include Esophageal Cancer in its groundbreaking genome mapping project known as The Cancer Genome Atlas. For more information, visit www.ecan.org.