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Against All Odds: A Father’s Day Story of Cancer Survival and Family Triumph

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Hackensack NJ, as a 20-year-old man in the mid-1980s, electrician John Keane survived Stage IV testicular cancer at Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH), receiving the most aggressive chemotherapy treatments yet administered by the health system at that time.

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Washington Twp Police Officer Organizes Blood Drive For Child with Cancer

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photos courtesy of PBA Local 206

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Twp. of Washington NJ,  Cpl. Vincent Santa of the Washington Twp Police Department had the honor of facilitating a blood drive for one of our community heroes today, Shane McCooe who is battling cancer. Through this amazing donation process kids like Shane and others in need of blood transfusions will get the blood they need to help battle their illnesses. Shane is a huge football fan, specifically the Giants and was presented with signed memorabilia from Phil Simms, Saquon Barkley and Blake Costanzo along with gifts from our local PBA 206. Shane is the definition of a warrior at just seven years old and spreads joy just by being in his presence. Big thank you to Vitalant Blood Donations and PBA 206.

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Study: New Jerseyans Fear Cancer the Most, Yet 1-in-5 Take No Preventive Measures

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  • 40% said they knowingly make poor lifestyle choices.
  • Almost half say they don’t eat as healthily as they just prefer unhealthy high-calorie meals.
  • Infographic showing America’s most feared diseases.

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, a recent survey of 3,000 respondents commissioned by, an information source for better health, has identified the New Jersey public’s greatest fears when it comes to diseases. The survey found that cancer is the most feared illness, followed by Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease. Despite these fears, the survey also revealed that a significant proportion of the New Jerseyans do not take proactive steps to try to prevent these diseases from occurring.

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5 Reasons to Invest in Cancer Mediclaim Policy in India


The National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research reveals that India’s cancer burden is expected to rise to a whopping 1.57 million by the year 2025. This is a 0.18 increase since the year 2020, which is  actually alarming! Not to forget, the treatment costs can easily burn a big hole in someone’s pocket. This is where a cancer insurance plan comes into the picture that protects ones lifetime savings by covering the treatment expenses.   

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BioNTech mRNA Cancer Treatment Moved To Human Trials After Success In Mice

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, BioNTech has been testing the use of mRNA vaccines against cancer. Animal trials have shown great promise, so the technology is now in human trials to see if they can bring the same success. Cytokines are proteins with anti-tumor effects. Research has shown that they can shrink tumors and even eradicate them, but they have a short half-life, and high levels of cytokines in the body results in adverse effects. The experimental vaccines encode cytokines directly into the tumors, creating them in large quantities without adverse effects.

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NJ Medical Marijuana Patients Face Long Lines and Shortages During Coronavirus Outbreak


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Cranbury Township NJ  , While we talk about the shortages people are experiencing in trying to obtain home, health and medical supplies, there is another population of people who are facing long lines and serious shortages.

Medical marijuana patients who are suffering from Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Chron’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy and more, are facing 4 hour waits at dispensaries in New Jersey and upon getting to the front of the line are turned away due to a shortage of product. Many dispensaries had to close their doors due to the shortage earlier in the week, while others sell out of their supplies within just a few hours, leaving many patients without the medicine they need.

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Sept 20, 2017 @7:00PM [doors open 6:30] | MMC

August 20,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Wyckoff NJ,  the Cornerstone Church presents “An Evening with Darryl Strawberry” on Wednesday, September 20.

Darryl is a former MLB star who spent 17 seasons playing professional baseball for the N.Y. Mets, L.A. Dodgers and N.Y. Yankees. Widely known as one of the most feared sluggers in the sport, Darryl’s personal life was often plagued with addictions, abuse, divorce, cancer and even jail time.

Both men and women are invited to this special evening as Darryl shares personal stories from his long MLB career and how he found true redemption and restoration from his troubles and addictions. This is a wonderful outreach opportunity, so start inviting your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to join you.

The cost is $15 per person and tickets must be purchased in advance prior to Sunday, September 17. Doors open at 6:30pm and the event will begin at 7:00pm. Since space is limited, this is an advance ticket purchase only event. No tickets will be sold at the door, so sign up early to secure your ticket(s). Please note that Darryl will be on hand to share his story-no autographs will be signed.

the Cornerstone Christian Church
495 Wyckoff Avenue
Wyckoff, New Jersey  07481 201.891.1651

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Cancer diagnoses are steadily declining among N.J. residents, report shows

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file photo


Jul 9, 2017

A new report shows invasive cancer diagnoses in New Jersey are on the decline, which may be significant for a state with some of the highest cancer rates in the nation.

The Cancer Incidence and Mortality in New Jersey report, released by the state Department of Health last month, showed cases of invasive cancers among residents in 2014 were slightly down from 2013.

New Jersey dropped from fifth place to seventh among states in cancer rates, according to 2014 cancer statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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February is National Cancer Prevention Month



February 8,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Take a moment to dispel some cancer myths and misconceptions by sharing this fact sheet from the National Cancer Institute.

Common Cancer Myths and Misconceptions

Certain popular ideas about how cancer starts and spreads—though scientifically wrong—can seem to make sense, especially when those ideas are rooted in old theories. But wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even hinder good prevention and treatment decisions. This page provides the latest science-based information about some common cancer myths and misconceptions.

Is cancer a death sentence?

In the United States, the likelihood of dying from cancer has dropped steadily since the 1990s. Five-year survival rates for some cancers, such as breast, prostate, and thyroid cancers, now exceed 90 percent. The 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined is currently about 66 percent. For more information, see the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.

It is important to note, however, that these rates are based on data from large numbers of people. How long an individual cancer patient will live and whether he or she will die from the disease depend on many factors, including whether the cancer is slow or fast growing, how much the cancer has spread in the body, whether effective treatments are available, the person’s overall health, and more.

Will eating sugar make my cancer worse?

No. Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Obesity and Cancer.

Do artificial sweeteners cause cancer?

No. Researchers have conducted studies on the safety of the artificial sweeteners (sugar substitutes) saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low®, Sweet Twin®, NectaSweet®); cyclamate; aspartame (Equal®, NutraSweet®); acesulfame potassium (Sunett®, Sweet One®); sucralose (Splenda®); and neotame and found no evidence that they cause cancer in humans. All of these artificial sweeteners except for cyclamate have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in the United States. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer.

Is cancer contagious?

In general, no. Cancer is not a contagious disease that easily spreads from person to person. The only situation in which cancer can spread from one person to another is in the case of organ or tissue transplantation. A person who receives an organ or tissue from a donor who had cancer in the past may be at increased risk of developing a transplant-related cancer in the future. However, that risk is extremely low—about two cases of cancer per 10,000 organ transplants. Doctors avoid the use of organs or tissue from donors who have a history of cancer.

In some people, cancers may be caused by certain viruses (some types of human papillomavirus, or HPV, for example) and bacteria (such as Helicobacter pylori). While a virus or bacterium can spread from person to person, the cancers they sometimes cause cannot spread from person to person. For more information about cancer-causing viruses and bacteria, see the NCI fact sheets on Helicobacter pylori and Cancer, HPV and Cancer, and Cancer Vaccines.

Does my attitude—positive or negative—determine my risk of, or likely recovery from, cancer?

To date, there is no convincing scientific evidence that links a person’s “attitude” to his or her risk of developing or dying from cancer. If you have cancer, it’s normal to feel sad, angry, or discouraged sometimes and positive or upbeat at other times. People with a positive attitude may be more likely to maintain social connections and stay active, and physical activity and emotional support may help you cope with your cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Psychological Stress and Cancer.

Can cancer surgery or a tumor biopsy cause cancer to spread in the body?

The chance that surgery will cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body is extremely low. Following standard procedures, surgeons use special methods and take many steps to prevent cancer cells from spreading during biopsies or surgery to remove tumors. For example, if they must remove tissue from more than one area of the body, they use different surgical tools for each area. For information about how cancer spreads in the body, see our page on Metastatic Cancer.

Will cancer get worse if exposed to air?

No. Exposure to air will not make tumors grow faster or cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body. For information about how cancer spreads in the body, see our page on Metastatic Cancer.

Do cell phones cause cancer?

No, not according to the best studies completed so far. Cancer is caused by genetic mutations, and cell phones emit a type of low-frequency energy that does not damage genes. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Cell Phones and Cancer Risk.

Do power lines cause cancer?

No, not according to the best studies completed so far. Power lines emit both electric and magnetic energy. The electric energy emitted by power lines is easily shielded or weakened by walls and other objects. The magnetic energy emitted by power lines is a low-frequency form of radiation that does not damage genes. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Electromagnetic Fields and Cancer.

Are there herbal products that can cure cancer?

No. Although some studies suggest that alternative or complementary therapies, including some herbs, may help patients cope with the side effects of cancer treatment, no herbal products have been shown to be effective for treating cancer. In fact, some herbal products may be harmful when taken during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because they may interfere with how these treatments work. Cancer patients should talk with their doctor about any complementary and alternative medicine products—including vitamins and herbal supplements—they may be using. For more information, see the Botanicals/Herbal Products section in Topics in Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies.

If someone in my family has cancer, am I likely to get cancer, too?

Not necessarily. Cancer is caused by harmful changes (mutations) in genes. Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are caused by harmful mutations that are inherited from a person’s parents. In families with an inherited cancer-causing mutation, multiple family members will often develop the same type of cancer. These cancers are called “familial” or “hereditary” cancers.

The remaining 90 to 95 percent of cancers are caused by mutations that happen during a person’s lifetime as a natural result of aging and exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation. These cancers are called “non-hereditary” or “spontaneous” cancers. For more information about the risk of getting cancer, see the NCI fact sheet on Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes and Cancer Causes and Risk Factors.

If no one in my family has had cancer, does that mean I’m risk-free?

No. Based on the most recent data, about 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lives. Most cancers are caused by genetic changes that occur throughout a person’s lifetime as a natural result of aging and exposure to environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke and radiation. Other factors, such as what kind of food you eat, how much you eat, and whether you exercise, may also influence your risk of developing cancer. For more information, see Cancer Causes and Risk Factors.

Do antiperspirants or deodorants cause breast cancer?

No. The best studies so far have found no evidence linking the chemicals typically found in antiperspirants and deodorants with changes in breast tissue. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer.

Does hair dye use increase the risk of cancer?

There is no convincing scientific evidence that personal hair dye use increases the risk of cancer. Some studies suggest, however, that hairdressers and barbers who are regularly exposed to large quantities of hair dye and other chemical products may have an increased risk of bladder cancer. For more information, see the NCI fact sheet on Hair Dyes and Cancer Risk.

the website of the National Cancer Institute (

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U.S. Cellphone Study Fans Cancer Worries


Researchers found incidences of tumor in rats exposed to low-level radio waves, reigniting debate over safety

Updated May 28, 2016 11:51 a.m. ET

For almost as long as people have had cellphones, scientists have been debating whether the now-ubiquitous devices cause health effects.

More than a decade ago, the U.S. government set in motion a study to help answer the question. Its initial findings were released this week. The researchers said the findings were significant enough that they felt the urgency to release the results before the entire study was complete.

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Doctors should prescribe gardening for patients more often, says report

Gardening Ridgewood

Those suffering from cancer, dementia and mental health problems can benefit from gardening, according to health thinktank

Doctors should prescribe gardening far more often for patients with cancer, dementia and mental health problems, the NHS has been urged in a new report.

Outdoor spaces including gardens can reduce social isolation among older people as well as help patients recover and manage conditions such as dementia, according to the influential King’s Fund health thinktank.

Jane Ellison, the public health minister, backed the plan, which could see GPs in particular advising patients to spend more time outside as a way of alleviating their symptoms. “[Gardening] is profoundly good for you … [it] is a great way of keeping people active, of keeping them outside and keeping their sense of wellbeing very high,” she said. “There are things we can do around physical activity in particular that bring immediate payback … I’m trying to put this right across the agenda of dementia and cancer.”

Parts of the country are already investing in this more social approach to health at primary care level and in some places, such as the Bromley by Bow Centre in London, GPs are already prescribing gardening. Such schemes have been proven to reduce patients’ need to see a GP or attend A&E, enhance wellbeing and even promote better sleep.

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Cutting Sugar’s Umbilical Cord


April 4,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Once upon a time, sugar was mostly relegated to desserts. But now, excessive amounts can be found in our everyday foods and beverages, and it’s taking a toll, according to recently published studies.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center exposed high-sugar diets as major risks for cancer, especially breast cancer.
The Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience journal indicates that sugar may cause not only diabetes and obesity, but also brain defects similar to those triggered by stress or abuse.
Sugar accounts for much of our country’s weight gain and the rise of fatty liver disease.

“We already knew it was very bad for us, but alarming new evidence just keeps pouring in,” says nutritionist and juicing pioneer Cherie Calbom, MS, who is known as “The Juice Lady.”

“Despite the case against excessive sugar intake, we know its prevalent use remains in things like ketchup, yogurt, canned soup, salad dressing, tomato sauce, bread, granola bars – not to mention soda or dessert-style coffee beverages.”

That’s why Calbom suggests taking full control of the sugar in your diet by making your own meals, snacks and drinks. Her most recent book, “The Juice Lady’s Sugar Knockout” (, offers recipes for overcoming sugar.

Samples of her “Sugar Knockout” recipes include:

Curb your carb craving with a Jerusalem artichoke-based juice cocktail.Here’s a traditional remedy:

3-4 carrots
2 celery ribs
1 Jerusalem artichoke
1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
1 lemon, peeled if not organic
½ green apple

Wash produce first and, once juiced, drink as soon as possible.

Longing for dessert-time? Try a delicious alternative to traditional Chocolate Mousse.

1 medium avocado, ripe
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. coconut nectar or ¼ tsp. stevia
6 Tbsp. almond milk
Optional: pistachios, strawberries, raspberries or goji berries

Put large chunks of avocado flesh in the blender. Add the cocoa, sweetener and almond milk. Blend, starting on low and then moving to high speed until smooth. If the avocado is larger, you will need a bit more of each ingredient. If it is too thick, drizzle in a bit more almond milk. Add more cocoa or sweetener to taste. Refrigerate the mousse and serve cold. Top with nuts or berries.

“These recipes let you know that, once you decide to live without sugar, it’s deliciously possible,” Calbom says.

About Cherie Calbom, MSN (a.k.a. The Juice Lady)

Cherie Calbom holds a Master of Science degree in whole foods nutrition from Bastyr University. Known as “The Juice Lady” ( for her work with juicing and health, she is author of 31 books, with millions of copies sold worldwide. No stranger to healthy diet trends, Cherie joined George Foreman as nutritional spokesperson in the Knockout the Fat phenomena that forever changed grilling in America.

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Long term vegetarian diet changes human DNA raising risk of cancer and heart disease


Populations who have had a primarily vegetarian diet for generations carried a genetic mutation which raised risk of cancer and heart disease

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

10:00PM BST 29 Mar 2016

Long term vegetarianism can lead to genetic mutations which raise the risk of heart disease and cancer, scientists have found.

Populations who have had a primarily vegetarian diet for generations were found to be far more likely to carry DNA which makes them susceptible to inflammation.

Scientists in the US believe that the mutation occured to make it easier for vegetarians to absorb essential fatty acids from plants.

But it has the knock-on effect of boosting the production of arachidonic acid, which is known to increase inflammatory disease and cancer. When coupled with a diet high in vegetable oils – such as sunflower oil – the mutated gene quickly turns fatty acids into dangerous arachidonic acid.

The finding may help explain previous research which found vegetarian populations are nearly 40 per cent more likely to suffer colorectal cancer than meat eaters, a finding that has puzzled doctors because eating red meat is known to raise the risk.

Researchers from Cornell University in the US compared hundreds of genomes from a primarily vegetarian population in Pune, India to traditional meat-eating people in Kansas and found there was a significant genetic difference.

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One last sunset: Ridgewood man dying of cancer to spend last days in Hawaii


By Kathryn Brenzel | NJ Advance Media for

Ed Schwartz drinking from a coconut he picked off a tree during a previous trip to Maui. (Photos courtesy of Julie Tung)

RIDGEWOOD—With only a few weeks to live, a Ridgewood man is on his way to fulfill his dying wish: to see the sunset in Hawaii.

“I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet,” said Ed Schwartz, whose battle with blood cancer can no longer be waged medically. “Doctors are telling me I only have a few weeks. I’d much rather spend the time there, in paradise.”

Schwartz, known locally as “Eco Ed” for his work as an environmentalist, began his journey to Maui on Wednesday, along with his wife, Julie Tung, and his son, Kyle. They took off this morning from Teterboro in an air ambulance, heading to Oakland, Calif., in order to take a charter plane for the rest of the way. Friends and community members have raised more than $35,000 on a GoFundMe page to help make the trip possible.

After undergoing chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant and various trials, Schwartz has run out of treatment options and doesn’t have much time left, Tung told NJ Advance Media by phone, when they stopped to refuel the medical transport in Omaha, Neb. They don’t have a set plan for their visit, except to relax and enjoy the scenery, she said.

“We don’t have a game plan. We don’t know how long we’ll have,” she said. “If he could just see one last sunset, it will be worth it.”

Schwartz was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a rare form of blood cancer, in late 2013. Before he started chemotherapy, he asked his doctor if he could first take a trip to Hawaii, Tung said. The answer was “yes, but you’ll die.” So, they held off on the trip, but now, knowing that the cancer is incurable, “it’s time to go,” she said.