United States Senate passes resolution designating November as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month – WI

The United States Senate has passed a resolution designating November as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. The resolution was introduced and presented by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and co-sponsored by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL).

A Wisconsin family with a rare genetic trait that predisposed them to a deadly type of stomach cancer founded the nonprofit organization No Stomach For Cancer, Inc. and has spearheaded the effort to get the resolution passed.

“Stomach cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide,” said Karen Chelcun Schreiber, president of the board of directors of No Stomach For Cancer and a Madison resident. “In 2010 alone over 10,000 Americans will lose their life to this cruel disease.   I’m delighted that the US Senate recognized the need for public awareness, education and research funding to support early detection and improved treatments for stomach cancer.”

“November is a good fit for Stomach Cancer Awareness Month because the Surgeon General has committed to making Thanksgiving Day National Family History Day, emphasizing the importance of knowing one’s hereditary risks for disease. There is also a great deal of focus on food, nourishment and family at this time of year, and that can be challenging for people dealing with stomach cancer.”

Cindy Chelcun of Stevens Point lost her husband, Greg Chelcun, to hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC).  “Greg was a seemingly healthy and vibrant man with very few symptoms to alert him that he harbored this deadly gene which caused his cancer.  After genetic testing we discovered that most of our family members also had this gene and are at an extremely high risk for this disease.  Thankfully, we were able to pre-empt the disease with preventative stomach removal surgery that will save the lives of my children and other relatives.”

“We are grateful for the Senate’s support in designating November as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month”, added Karen Chelcun Schreiber.  “I’m hopeful this will help many families.”

For more information, visit www.nostomachforcancer.org