May 26, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 26, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society Presents ‘An Evening of Cancer Awareness’ in Elizabeth

Elizabeth—Dr. Glen Gejerman, radiation oncologist at Hackensack University Medical Center, was the featured speaker last week at the Rofeh Cholim Cancer Society (RCCS) program, graciously hosted by Shlomo and Jacqui Kimmel of Hillside. Some 85 people were treated to a light buffet that included sushi, fresh fruit and salads. An array of delectable desserts were served  lavishly by caterer Pinchas Kasirer, proprietor at One Stop Kosher.

The program began with RCCS NJ regional director Rabbi Aaron Steier describing the mission and role of RCCS. He explained the main function  is to serve as an advocate for those dealing with the medical, financial, emotional and other burdens of cancer. RCCS intervenes with insurance companies when they decline payment for medical expenses that are actually covered by a patient’s policy. They also purchase medical insurance for patients who are underinsured. RCCS is funded by donations and sponsorships  and Rabbi Steier mentioned the urgency and importance of community support for this organization.

“Cancer doesn’t discriminate,” he wisely noted.

Dr. Gejerman presented a comprehensive agenda focused primarily on cancer prevention. Early detection and diagnosis, he said, is highly effective in reducing the death rate from cancer, as one third of all cancers are completely preventable. He discussed both the genetic and environmental sources of cancer and implored the audience to take these preventive steps seriously and apply them to their lives, starting immediately.

Dr. Gejerman listed seven specific key issues in the prevention of cancer. The first was to avoid tobacco: don’t start any kind of tobacco use; and if already using tobacco—stop. Most people think primarily of lung cancer associated with smoking. But there are several kinds of cancer, as well as other serious health hazards, caused by smoking and tobacco use. Next, he listed healthy eating and reducing obesity—especially moderating red and smoked meats. Fourth was the principle of getting plenty of regular exercise. Limiting the consumption of alcohol was also on Dr. Gejerman’s list; while a little alcohol consumed occasionally is ok, excessive alcohol use is a known culprit for breast cancer in women. Dr. Gejerman further explained that infection, and in particular Hepatitis B and C, have a correlation to cancer, with H- Pylori being a risk factor as well. The last of the seven preventative measures was to reduce exposure to radon which is an odorless, colorless gas present in some homes unbeknownst to the residents. Radon is one of the most frequent culprits in non-smoking cases of lung cancer. He implored everyone to conduct or schedule a radon detection test in their homes. Residents can order radon testing kits online for less than $20, and there are also DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) certified radon testing services available.

Secondary preventive measures involve the familiar screening procedures that many people recognize. Not  enough have performed: PSA for men (prostate specific antigen), colonoscopy (at age 50, and as recommended thereafter), mammograms beginning at age 40 and yearly afterward for women, Pap tests as recommended, and lung screenings [low dose] if one is a smoker.

The evening was punctuated by Uri Abramov with his compelling and emotional recollection of the personal journey he and his wife Adina traveled in the life-threatening battle they waged against testicular cancer as a young couple with young children. His video presentation chronicled the devastation of treatment and near-death experiences, as well as his address on behalf of RCCS to a large audience of RCCS donors. Abramov now helps to raise funds for RCCS so that others can benefit from the essential services and support provided by this organization.

Rabbi Bleicher of Elmora Hills spoke poignantly and eloquently of the work done by RCCS, and urged everyone to participate in its essential life-saving work. The program also had the haskama of Rav Elazar Mayer Teitz and Rabbi Eliyahu Teitz. RCCS was founded by Hershel Kohn who also currently presides over the organization. To donate, volunteer, or learn more about the RCCS, visit rccscancer.org.

By Ellie Wolf

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles