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  • Writer's pictureCasey Finigan

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month.

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. One of the most common forms of esophageal cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. Casey Finigan's father lost his battle to this type of head and neck cancer, and she started the Willie Fund, a nonprofit to raise money for head and neck cancer research, in his honor. Read more, here:

Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma develops in cells located in the outer layer of skin, specifically in the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and throat. It is the seventh most common cancer worldwide causing 600,000 new cases per year, including about 50,000 in the United States alone. The disease most commonly affects men in their 50s and 60s, though rates are rising in younger individuals.

Today, the Willie Fund directly supports Mass Eye and Ear and the doctors who are dedicated to advancing research on squamous cell carcinoma. The end goal is to find a cure for this disease, so that no one else has to lose their loved one as the Finigan family lost Willie.

“We are so grateful to Casey and the entire family for establishing the Willie Fund to raise funds for head and neck cancer research at Mass Eye and Ear,” said Dr. Deschler. “This is a truly wonderful way to honor his amazing strength, perseverance and positivity in the face of this awful disease and provide the path for making a lasting difference in the future care of head and neck cancer patients.”

To learn more about the Willie Fund and support squamous cell carcinoma research at Mass Eye and Ear, please consider making a gift today.

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