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WHEREAS, esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in the tissues of the esophagus; and
WHEREAS, esophageal cancer is more common among men than among women, and it is associated with older age, heavy alcohol use, and tobacco use; and
WHEREAS, esophageal cancer can be a silent killer with patients often unaware that the heartburn, difficulty swallowing, cough, hoarseness, sore throat or chest pain they suffer may be reasons to discuss screening for esophageal cancer with their medical care professional; and
WHEREAS, esophageal cancer is often discovered during advanced stages, but if discovered early, chances for recovery and survival are far better, and treatments for the disease include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, laser therapy, and electrocoagulation; and
WHEREAS, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2020 more than 18,400 new esophageal cancer cases will be diagnosed nationally, and more than 16,000 deaths will be caused by esophageal cancer in the United States alone; and
WHEREAS, Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to improve public awareness of the cancer and support advances in early detection and the treatment of esophageal cancer, thereby improving the health and well-being of individuals across the Commonwealth and the nation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize April 2020 as ESOPHAGEAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.