Oberlander Seeks to Raise Awareness of Esophageal Cancer
Rich and Linda Horner joined Rep. Donna Oberlander in the state Capitol on March 31, when the House voted unanimously to pass House Resolution 118 naming April 2015 as Esophageal Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month. Rich is a seven-year survivor of the disease and both have been instrumental in raising awareness.
– In an effort to bring greater attention to esophageal cancer and raise awareness about early detection, Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest) has secured House passage of legislation designating April 2015 as “Esophageal Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month” in Pennsylvania.
“Esophageal cancer is among the deadliest cancers, with fewer than one in five patients surviving for five years,” Oberlander said. “This type of cancer is so deadly because it is often not caught until its later stages, when treatment is often radical and likely to cause complications. However, recent medical advances have allowed minimally invasive surgeries to be more successful in cases where the cancer is caught early. That it is why it’s so imperative that people know about the symptoms and take appropriate steps to be checked.”
During Tuesday’s House session, Oberlander recognized Rich and Linda Horner of Rimersburg for their ongoing efforts to raise awareness of this disease. This year, Rich celebrates seven years since his diagnosis, and they both joined Oberlander on the House floor for a vote on the resolution.
According to House Resolution 118, one of the most common causes of esophageal cancer is heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is viewed by many sufferers as an acceptable condition of life. That condition, however, can lead to Barrett’s esophagus, which results in as much as a 125 percent increase in a person’s chance of developing esophageal cancer.
To view Oberlander’s video comments from Tuesday’s House session, click here
Medical experts note that with monitoring and treatment of this type of reflux, the potential for long-term irreversible damage leading to esophageal cancer can be avoided. Sadly, esophageal cancer can even occur without reflux symptoms, due to a history of smoking or excessive alcohol use, and federal funding for this type of cancer does not measure up to the levels of other types of cancer.
“Even if one person takes note of April as Esophageal Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month and is screened early, then the chances are so much better for a positive outcome,” Oberlander said. “That’s why resolutions such as these are so important because they seek to improve the health and well-being of all residents.”
Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
RepOberlander.com / Facebook.com/RepOberlander
Share |