Ellen Tauscher, who represented much of central Contra Costa County in Congress from 1997 until 2009, when she joined the U.S. State Department, is scheduled to take part in a two-day event in Lafayette on Friday and Saturday, hosted by Walnut Creek-based John Muir Health, to raise awareness about esophageal cancer.

Tauscher, an esophageal cancer survivor, will join gastroenterologists, oncologists and other medical professionals in the field for a panel discussion from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

Then Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tauscher will speak before the 5K walk-run at the Lafayette Reservoir. There are no spaces remaining for the run/walk.

"With a five-year survival rate of 17 percent, esophageal cancer is the fastest-growing cancer in the United States, jumping 400 percent in the past 20 years," said Wilson Tsai, M.D., co-director of the Thoracic Program John Muir Health. "Through events like these, we hope to better inform the public about the dangers and possible causes of this steadily growing disease."

Members of the public who want to go to Friday's panel discussion can register at johnmuirhealth.com/classes or call 925-941-7900.

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