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. This national non-profit organization, based in Baltimore, is led by a board of directors of top physicians, business leaders, and families that have been touched by Esophageal Cancer.
History: ECAN was founded in 2009 by Mindy Mintz Mordecai and an impressive group of dedicated professionals after she lost the father of her two young daughters, and her husband of 14 years, to Esophageal Cancer. Angry and frustrated because she believes that her husband and thousands more like him might never have died had they been aware of the link between Heartburn and Cancer, Mordecai is determined to prevent others from suffering the pain Esophageal Cancer has caused her family.
Accomplishments: Over the past 8 years, ECAN has made significant strides in the fight against Esophageal Cancer. Among ECAN’s successes:
- Warning Labels: ECAN has filed a Citizen Petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting new labels on all heartburn remedies sold over-the-counter. The labels would warn of the risk of Esophageal Cancer posed by persistent reflux disease and further that the medication does not eliminate that risk.
- Critical Research: ECAN successfully advocated with the National Cancer Institute to change course and include Esophageal Cancer in its genome mapping project known as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The findings of that research, published in the journal Nature, provide "an unprecedented roadmap" to fight Esophageal Cancer.
- A Guide for Patients: With input from physicians around the country, ECAN developed an innovative Guide for Patients providing comprehensive and clear information about the link between Heartburn and Cancer. The Guide is designed to help patients advocate for their own health care and is available as a free download from the ECAN website in both English and Spanish.
- Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month: Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month: ECAN led the effort to have April designated as Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month in states throughout the United States. With ECAN’s support over the past 8 years, more than 150 gubernatorial declarations of EC Awareness Month have been achieved throughout the country and in some other nations, as well. April is now observed as EC Awareness Month by companies, organizations and governments across the nation – and the world. Through the free distribution of posters, brochures, and wristbands for Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, ECAN has reached millions with its life-saving message that Heartburn can cause Cancer.
For more information, visit www.ecan.org