Friday, November 22, 2019


ACAM "Collaboration Cures" Conference 2019

October 14-17, 2019 marked the 4th Annual Collaboration Cures event by the American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) and The American Academy of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry (AAPMD). Both medical organizations united for another successful conference at the 2019 Annual Meeting where both associations ran side-by-side programs where attendees can choose lectures from either.  This year's event took place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN where over 400 members of ACAM and AAPMD and supporters of the medical community nationwide attended to experience the many benefits of this educational conference. An additional 400+ came from American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), the third partner association for the Collaboration Cures event.

According to Dr. Ahvie Herskowitz (President of ACAM) and Dr. Howard Hindin (VP of ACAM and Executive Director for AAPMD), the mission behind this special alliance was sparked by a growing body of evidence supporting common origins of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and cancer. Now in their fourth meeting, ACAM and AAPMD uniquely demonstrated how medicine & dentistry can collaborate in both assessment & treatment of patients for better overall healthcare.  Supporters of this special event were excited about the growing momentum set by this plan- delivering the recorded "second largest collaboration event in the past 4 years... and showing positive signs of new expansion for 2020!"

Over 60 of the industry's top medical experts in health and wellness delivered educational presentations to support the community of integrative medicine.  Recognized names like Dr. Julian Thayer (world leader in heart rate variability (HRV) research), Dr. Joseph Mercola (NYT Best selling author and renowned advocate for natural medicine), Dr Pamela Smith (Anti-Aging / Functional Medicine specialist) and internationally renowned physician specializing in clinical onco-immunology Dr. Jesse Stoff. "I applaud ACAM for their vision and leadership in uniting other medical associations to assemble the community of healers to share their findings and resources", states Dr. Stoff. "This is telling of the 'coming together' movement of the INTEGRATIVE philosophy of treating disease today- in that it takes more than a village but the entire community (of medicine) and a commitment to healing the whole patient, not just the isolated issue".

The group is represented in a number of ways in both the medical and dental fields. Medical includes MDs and NDs, as well as chiropractors, physical therapists, airway health specialists and anyone looking at whole human health.  Top long term ACAM supporters and a growing list of new partnerships expressed great energy about their partnership with ACAM). The Collaboration Cures afilliates and exhibitors included an estimated 25-30 partners for ACAM and about the same for AAPMD were represented on the Learning Floor. "There are really so many people caring and sharing in this powerful movement!"

Collaboration Cures upholds a special agenda of advanced learning and expanding the involvement of key players to achieve overall health. In years to come, they aim to continue implementing this collaborative concept into daily practice, sharing the most cutting-edge techniques in integrative healthcare and exploring new partnership opportunities.  "With the current health problems... collaboration is absolutely necessary for optimal health solutions because there is no one practitioner that has all the keys to answer the problem" -  Howard Hindin, DDS (Pres. AAPMD/ VP of ACAM)

Monday, November 18, 2019

Channel 11 News Studio- features Dr. Bard and Gov. Paterson

Channel 11 WPIX Podcast: - original airplay May 31, 2019
Subject: Melanoma and Skin Cancer Discussion / New Yorkers' Summer Health Concern

Channel 11 WPIX News: - original airplay May 31, 2019
Part 1 clip: Gov. Paterson interview on the State of the State
Part 2 clip: Melanoma and Skin Cancer interview with Dr. R. Bard and Dr. B. Robinson

Waiting room at CH11: Dr. Bard meets NYS Gov. David Paterson and wife Mary

On CH11 (WPIX) News set with Marvin Scott and Gov. Paterson

On CH11 News set:
(L-R) Marvin Scott, Dr. Bruce Robinson & Dr. Robert Bard

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Historical Portraits of the FD: Chief Bob Checco Photo Gallery

There is rarely a Bocce Ball tournament or a retired FD members' meeting that you will not find beloved patriarch Chief Bob Checco - a legendary treasure trove of priceless stories and photographic portraits about many of the retired firefighters of New York.  Thanks to his remarkable memory and a vault of never-before-published photos spanning decades and generations of firefighters, we can all enjoy looking back in FD history as far back as his probie years when he snapped that first shot in 1958.

To date, so many look to Chief Checco as one of the living gatekeepers of FD stories about so many of our city's heroes.  His life-long career in the fire department carries a legacy that started in 1958 in Engine 259/ Long Island City.   He became a Lieutenant in 1966, made Captain in 1976 and then became Acting Battalion chief (ABC) in 1977 in the FD Buildings Unit.  Most of his children followed in his footsteps in city service starting with his son-in law Lt. Frankie Manetta who joined the FD in 1977 and son Ff. Jimmy Checco and drew a third generation that brought in grandsons Ff. Tommy Checco and Ff. Mike Manetta.  NYC public service in the family also extends to the NYPD which included PO Joe Checco and PO Danny Manetta.

Click all thumbnail images to enlarge and post your comments on any photo that you may recognize.  Visit Gallery Link (part 1) - We would love to hear from you!

NYCRA, the First Responders Health Resource and the AngioFoundation invites you to join this exclusive tour of the fire department through the lens of Chief Checco as he shares some of the most priceless memories and powerful portraits of his family, his friends and the community of firefighters of the City of New York.  We are blessed to witness Chief Checco's collection of images and accurate depictions of each moment captured on film while he describes some of the finer details about the many first responders in the upcoming photo memoirs (to be published soon).

"This is the most comprehensive collection of images taken of my generation in the department.  Where each day was a true honor to be with every firefighter (doing the best job in the world), going through these memories really makes looking back an enjoyable journey.  Chief Checco single-handedly captured & memorialized each precious moment that no other photographer could ever have access to.  He went from firehouse to firehouse to snap both candid and official photos including all the special events, official graduations and the city hall meetings.  The family photos were also most endearing, watching some of our unit leaders growing up and into the job.   For all the active and retired firefighters, each of those moments, those faces and those stories are the greatest gift!" - 
(Ret) Firefighter SALVATORE "SAL" BANCHITTA from Engine 316 of the 49 Battalion.


Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The materials provided on this website are copyrighted and the intellectual property of the publishers/producers (The AngioFoundation / the NY Cancer Resource Alliance /  IntermediaWorx inc). It is provided publicly strictly for informational purposes within non-commercial use and not for purposes of resale, distribution, public display or performance. Unless otherwise indicated on this web based page, sharing, re-posting, re-publishing of this work is strictly prohibited without due permission from the publishers.  Also, certain content may be licensed from third-parties. The licenses for some of this Content may contain additional terms. When such Content licenses contain additional terms, we will make these terms available to you on those pages (which his incorporated herein by reference).The publishers/producers of this site and its contents such as videos, graphics, text, and other materials published are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, please always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified health provider. Do not postpone or disregard any professional medical advice over something you may have seen or read on this website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately.  This website does not support, endorse or recommend any specific products, tests, physicians, procedures, treatment opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this site. Referencing any content or information seen or published in this website or shared by other visitors of this website is solely at your own risk. The publishers/producers of this Internet web site reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, disable access to, or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, all or any part of this Internet web site or any information contained thereon without liability or notice to you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Community Leadership Power Meeting for First Responders Health Concerns

November 8, 2019 marked the first coordinated assembly of community-minded New Yorkers brought together to discuss the major concerns relating to public health and wellness among first responders. This conference pilot was produced by the NY Cancer Resource Alliance or NYCRA (a health education-based LINKEDIN group) and sponsored by AngioFoundation director Dr. Robert L. Bard. Hosted at world renowned Philippe’s of NYC, this power luncheon was designed to promote dynamic exchange between all guests while setting the precedence for future collaborations. “The profound success of this special meeting-of-the-minds came from the strategic grouping of inspired individuals from different areas of interest”, said featured guest FDNY Peer Counselor/ Retired Captain L103 CASEY POLITI. “…synergy was automatic because we all related deeply in our own individual ways about first responders, cancer and survivorship”.

Other main guests included Director of Medical Operations /NY State Trooper Surgeons PBA MICHAEL BROOKS (Albany, NY) and Mrs. Mary Paterson, supporter of NY rescuers and wife of the 55th NYS Governor David Paterson.  Both were invited because of their state government perspectives which opened wider insight and resource information about healthcare challenges of state and city government safety workers. The next speaker was celebrity wellness author and producer CAROL ALT who graced the discussion with her vast experience in Prevention and Early Detection alongside her life-long support for the FDNY.  Meanwhile, on the healthcare side was leading cancer diagnostic specialist DR. ROBERT BARD, NYCRA mental health advisor JESSICA GLYNN, LCSW and physician DR. GEORGE LIAKEAS (provider of IvyGene cancer blood testing in NYC)- chosen for their clinical perspectives on clinical matters.  Together, they formed the first Round Table Leadership Collaboration group.

The dynamic group was quick to engage and connect with each other. Carol Alt kick-started the discussion about the loss of her father, Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Alt who died (1983) of cancer from the NY Tel exchange fire of 1975. This was pivotal in her educational crusade to promote wellness education as well as her tremendous support for the FDNY Foundation. “I’ve been a patient of Dr. Bard’s for over 20 years… he’s one of the top authorities in diagnostic science who teaches doctors all over the globe about this cutting edge cancer scanning technology-- the kind that really makes a difference”, starts Ms. Alt. “...I get screening all the time because I live in Tribecca- where people in that area are now having issues since 9/11 when the EPA told us all that it was safe to go back in our homes. My father would be alive today if he would have known to get early screenings like this.”

One of NYCRA’s many listed scanning resources available is IVYGENE- a dedicated blood test developed to scan for cancers. Dr. George Liakeas is a NYC based physician and specialized IvyGene provider who supports all local 9/11 responders through this proven effective modality of cancer scanning. He is a recent ally of the First Responders cancer resource project and Dr. Bard’s CancerScan practice as an alternative screening solution for patients.

 As one of the top supporting members of the first responders cancer awareness program, Dr. Bard dedicated much of his career in support of firefighters’ health concerns through the use of technology (like the advanced 4D Doppler Ultrasound) to target and analyze complex cases of cancers. In addition, commitment to responders’ health also drove other research works including the study of PTSD symptoms through the use of the Transcranial Ultrasound (more commonly used in Europe). This formed new partnerships with a list of experts in behavioral and psychological sciences. Psychotherapist and cancer survivor coach Jessica Glynn opened the pressing topics of mental illnesses and psychological issues that are a leading concern among a number of responder groups. “I am so impressed with NYCRA’s holistic and integrative views on wellness- and including significant attention to mental health… PTSD in particular as well as neurocognitive disorders have recently reached some alarming numbers in the rescue community and they’re being linked to occupational hazards,” says Ms. Glynn.

Gov. Paterson (R) inspired the Round Table Community
Network topic about First Responders Health Issues
The origins of this community round table concept came about at the Ch11 WPIX newsroom in May of 2019 when Dr. Bard first met with the 55th Governor of NY David Paterson and wife Mary while waiting to go on air for their own respective interviews. (see 5/2019 Ch11 photo elements) They immediately connected on vital matters including 9/11 health issues and  NYCRA's First Responders Cancer program where the governor's interest and the exchange stayed in earnest. "I am so proud to learn about the governor including his continued support for all New Yorkers", says Dr. Bard. "Discussing matters like first responders health issues was such a valued topic to him that he inspired us to reach out to other community leaders and to create forums like these luncheons!"

Six months from that fateful exchange, the first community meeting was launched and Mrs. Paterson attended on the governor's behalf, whom herself contributed some valuable topics and ideas to the circle.  “Continuance of these meetings is so vital to the safety and health interests of our public service workers as well as for our community at large… it’s one thing to ‘never forget’ but it’s even more crucial that we stay current about issues like 9/11 health effects”, stated Mrs. Paterson.

Since 2017, the NY Cancer Resource Alliance has been producing collaborative programs between its active members- including medical providers, patient advocates, teachers, researchers and cancer survivors. Founded by medical publisher and patient advocate Lennard Gettz, “the alliance” has actively conducted educational seminars, published newsletters and co-promoted countless cancer fundraisers. NYCRA also catalogues and shares all available cancer resources for free public access as part of the “empowerment through education” mission. Pilot programs like the Round Table Leadership series is the next stage of info-sharing between a wide array of group leaders and public advocates to address the top focal issues and health concerns in our community.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Mathew Knowles & Male Breast Cancer: Celebrity Survivor Saves Lives through Advocacy

(courtesy of Sony Pictures Television)

Full video interview. For additional info, visit:

By: Dr. Jesse Stoff / Edited by: Carmen R. Dewitt of

Ten years ago, if you inquired about male breast cancer at your annual physical, most doctors would likely dismiss your fears by responding about “how incredibly RARE, or improbable it was to contract this”.  This lack of public information is a common testimony from many male breast cancer survivors- the same dilemma that is now recognized as a main contributor to the expansion of this silent epidemic.  The term “RARE” is often misleading and alluding to something reversible and of little concern. When it comes to any health disorder, the limited numbers of cases showing are only the ones reported but are often skewed due to the ‘real’ count that would constitute a baseline- from the individuals that have not come forward to be counted.  According to the CDC, for any disease to capture EPIDEMIC proportions, it must “rises above the expected level, or baseline… where there is a [sudden] increase in the number of cases in that population in that area.”

Survivor Michael Singer (L) gives appreciation to Mathew Knowles (R)
at Dr. Oz show for going public with his breast cancer for global awareness
Oct. 12, 2019- Recent data reflecting actual cases about male breast cancer has finally reached the tipping point in the visibility scale as more news coverage from advocacy groups and victims finally ‘going public’ have filled the media.  Thanks to survivors like Mathew Knowles (music producer and father of BeyoncĂ©) who elected to publicize his breast cancer significantly contributed to public awareness, identifying this issue as a serious threat to public health.

“One of our main objectives at the Male Breast Cancer Coalition is to publish all survivor stories to alert the men at large that this is not a cancer to ignore… it’s not so RARE or IMPOSSIBLE to contact,” states Cheri Ambrose, president. “Learning about Mr. Knowles’ story from the newspapers and Good Morning America, and then sharing airtime with him at Dr. Oz was such a powerful sign of support to our advocacy mission because he elected to use his own story and his celebrity to get people to pay attention. This is the kind of generosity that can truly save a lot of lives just on pure awareness alone!”

From the American Heart Association News
In an October interview with the American Heart Association News, Mathew Knowles shared his new mission of advocacy and awareness hoping to save more lives from a disease that has now captured headlines as a global health alert. He detailed his rare gene mutation called BRCA2 as what the medical community identifies as the main cause for this cancer and possibly others. Sharing the entire road of discovering the first symptoms to having undergone a mastectomy on his right breast, Mr. Knowles has forged a national commitment to speaking out about breast cancer in men.   "My opportunity is to help people have awareness of the BRCA gene (mutation) and of male breast cancer…things happens for a reason. I'm grateful for this opportunity to save myself, hopefully save my family and hopefully impact the world in an extremely positive way."

As a longtime volunteer for the American Heart Association, Knowles knew he was fighting more than cancer, the No. 2 killer of Americans. Cancer patients can experience cardiac complications related to treatments including chemotherapy and radiation or as a result of the hormonal changes that follow procedures such as removal of the ovaries.[ - source news]

Arnaldo Silva, breast cancer survivor and Sr. Ambassador
of the Male Breast Cancer Coalition touts life saving message
The First Responders Cancer Resource was established in 2017 by a partnership between 9/11 survivors and medical experts in conventional and advanced cancer care. Their flagship catch-phrase “GET CHECKED NOW!” was partly designed for the many potential cancer targets in the firefighter community who needs to take a more proactive stance at annual exams and awareness about how cancer truly performs. Ms. Ambrose and the many ambassadors of MBCC adopted this tagline because of a similar dilemma among men who are either slow to act when it comes to finding anomalies like lumps on the chest area.

“By now, we all know that dealing with cancer has everything to do with TIME… the sooner you detect it, the better the likelihood of reversing the problem,” states cancer imaging expert Dr. Robert Bard. “Where women have been conditioned to do self-exams regularly, finding irregularities (like lumps under the nipple or abnormal discharge) are not often part of a man’s health regimen.  Meanwhile, the medical community has a defined set of factors that help identify an increase in risks for breast cancer including age (60+), exposure to estrogen, obesity and liver diseases as this increases female hormones in men. The good news is that technologically, we have much more than the conventional mammograms… the cancer imaging community is equipped with new innovations such as the high-speed Advanced 3D Ultrasound that’s far more accurate and completely comfortable especially for men.”

Where the stigma of men having breasts and getting mammograms often sits awkwardly with the typical male ego, more and more victims are now sharing their stories at the MBCC website (and throughout mainstream media) with the hopes of waking up the men to GET CHECKED and accept this disease a major reality.  According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 800 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime… and an estimated 500 men will die of breast cancer this year. From a recent interview, Dr. Stephen Chagares (breast surgeon) detailed how Male Breast Cancer is often identified and points to early detection for the best chance at survival.  “It’s either spotting a mass somewhere in the chest area or a strange discharge or a bloody nipple drainage… it’s better if you find these symptoms at an early enough stage but unfortunately it becomes actual breast cancer because they’re not identified until longer down the road.”

DETOX 101 
(from Dr. Stoff's presentation at the Male Breast Cancer Coalition annual conference)
Toxins are the number one way that cancers get initiated, and one of the things you might think about doing are some basic detox things on a regular basis.  A simple Google search will get you started on this path to better health. As one example of many, you’ll find that plastic bottles are not the best form of bottle water. Glass is better because if plastic bottles get hot, they can breakdown a little bit and create some issues, but it's better than what comes out of the tap around here. A recent article that came out December of 2018 in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) that looked at organic foods in terms of cancer prevention. They concluded that eating an organic diet decreased the risk and risk of recurrence of all known cancers. An organic diet means you’re basically avoiding the toxins that could be cancer initiators, but you're also eating a diet that has a much higher nutrient density that your body needs in order to function and work properly. (Review Complete Article)


Special thanks to Dr. Oz and Mathew Knowles and producers Hilary Berk & Pauline Hadad of the Dr. Oz Show,, the NY Cancer Resource Alliance,  the AngioFoundation and the American Heart Association News for additional content.  Additional thanks to Peggy Miller, Cheri Ambrose, Michael Singer & Arnaldo Silva the Male Breast Cancer Coalition (www.MaleBreastCancerCoalition) and Dr. Robert L. Bard from Breast Cancer Imaging Center, NYC.


JESSE STOFF, MD, HMD, FAAFP - Cancer Immunologist / Publisher of Wellness Programs
Dr. Stoff is a highly-credentialed medical expert studying all medical remedies in pursuit of resolving the most challenging health issues of our time. In many circles, he is recognized for his 35+ years of dedicated work in immunology and advanced clinical research in modern CANCER treatments. He has spoken worldwide in some of the most sought-after medical conferences about his experiences and analyses on the study of human disease. His integrative practice (INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE OF NY, Westbury, NY) has been continually providing all patients with the many comprehensive clinical options and modalities available- including "ONCO-IMMUNOLOGY", the science of battling cancer cells and reversing pre-cancerous conditions through a complete prevention program that has earned him great success in this field.  For more information, visit:

CARMEN R. DEWITT - Cancer Immunologist / Publisher of Wellness Programs
For the past two decades, Carmen has dedicated her writing craft to support eco-conscious publications, the wellness community and cancer awareness advocacy orgs under the "RightWriters" brand.  With combined credentials in photojournalism (NYU), public relations and screenwriting (SUNY Purchase/NYU), she helped promote countless educational programs and online publications. She also helped establish networks including, the NY Cancer Resource Alliance,, the First Resounders Cancer Resource and is a contributing content producer for the AngioFoundation(501c3).Carmen resides in West Islip, NY and is available for freelance assignments @  

Disclaimer & Copyright Notice: The materials provided on this website are copyrighted and the intellectual property of the publishers/producers (The AngioFoundation / the NY Cancer Resource Alliance /  IntermediaWorx inc). It is provided publicly strictly for informational purposes within non-commercial use and not for purposes of resale, distribution, public display or performance. Unless otherwise indicated on this web based page, sharing, re-posting, re-publishing of this work is strictly prohibited without due permission from the publishers.  Also, certain content may be licensed from third-parties. The licenses for some of this Content may contain additional terms. When such Content licenses contain additional terms, we will make these terms available to you on those pages (which his incorporated herein by reference).The publishers/producers of this site and its contents such as videos, graphics, text, and other materials published are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, please always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified health provider. Do not postpone or disregard any professional medical advice over something you may have seen or read on this website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately.  This website does not support, endorse or recommend any specific products, tests, physicians, procedures, treatment opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this site. Referencing any content or information seen or published in this website or shared by other visitors of this website is solely at your own risk. The publishers/producers of this Internet web site reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, disable access to, or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, all or any part of this Internet web site or any information contained thereon without liability or notice to you.

Thursday, June 27, 2019


Transcribed from the  presentation to the RMA/FDNY (Retired Member's Association of Firefighters)- by Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jesse A. Stoff / June 25, 2019

As a brief overview of my perspective on how I look at cancer and how we address this in a more comprehensive sort of way, I'd like to start with the basics. Where we are right now (New York) is known as a cancer cluster. Here is where we have the highest incidence of prostate cancer and breast cancer in the United States; and yes, men have breast cancer too.  So as a result of that, there is a lot of research going on because this is a highly populated area, there's money in the area and there's people that want answers as to why this is.

The common denominator is our exposure to various kinds of toxins. Now, when you're on the job, you have that added risk of the toxins that you're exposed to at the time... things that you inhale... and as the chief said earlier, clean is the new salty.  These toxins can even be absorbed right through your intact skin. You don't have to eat or swallow this stuff.  It's not just about inhaling the toxins; just touching a lot of these things is enough to increase your risk of getting cancer.

Nobody wants to hear any of this and nobody wants cancer. Is can be a hell of a thing to try to fight. So there's ways that one can approach this in a comprehensive way, before you have cancer, to see what's going on. And if you are diagnosed there are ways of looking at this in a comprehensive way to generate treatment options.

There is no one answer to cancer. That's a very important take-home message. If you hear nothing else from me tonight, hear that. There is no one answer to cancer.

So if you have cancer, God forbid, and the doctor says, "This is THE treatment program," well that's just not true. There are many different strategies for approaching and dealing with cancer. For example, a very common cancer is non-small-cell lung cancer, and I'm sure that you all know people who have had it, or have passed from it. It's a very common sort of cancer. But with the new medicines that we have available now, the statistics for this disease have improved dramatically.

For example, straight up chemotherapy gives you a overall survival rate of about 3% with certain forms of non-small-cell lung cancer. But with the newer immunotherapies that are available, just two of those medicines, OPDIVO + YERVOY, raises the survival rate to over 35%. Add that to other small-cell target therapies that we have available, and now you're in the 90 percent area; so overall survival with this kind of, what used to be, almost a death sentence type of cancer.

But these medicines that come out, that are available now are relatively new. Some of these medicines have only been available in the last three or four or five years. So it's very important that if you are diagnosed, that you're working with a doctor, that you're working with a team, who is aware of the latest breakthroughs in medicine.

As a member of ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and SITC, the Society of Immunotherapy of Cancer, I get updates on a weekly basis of new medicines that are in the pipeline, new clinical trials that are going on, new medicines that have been approved by the FDA, new indications for medicines that were approved last week, so on and so forth. You take this information and can begin to build a comprehensive treatment program that greatly improves overall survival. And that's what the bottom line is. You want to get through this in one piece.

So how do I work with people who have a concern about cancer? Number one; I ask them a lot of questions. My initial appointment with them is two hours long, asking a lot of questions. Then we do blood tests. The blood tests are looking at the following things. I look at biochemical factors; how's their liver doing, how's their kidneys doing, what's up with the thyroid? Because the thyroid is the critical organ, those hormones, for supporting the function of the immune system.

Now, Long Island has the highest incidence of thyroid disease in the United States as well, so we're already behind the eight ball just by having a glass of tap water. So we take that information, add it to what you're exposed to on the job, and I would start to see where the problems are.

So the blood tests look at what's going on biologically, biochemically. Then we look at the structure and function of the immune system. The immune system is the organ system in our body that's designed to protect us from cancer, because every single day, every single one of us produces a certain number of cancer cells. If you look at any tumor marker, like PSA, the normal range is zero to 4.0. It's not zero to zero. Why not? Because every single day we produce some abnormal prostate cells that the immune system recognizes as foreign, and destroys them. When it destroys them, it releases these proteins into the blood that we can measure, and that's true for every form of cancer that's out there, which is why all the cancer markers have a normal range. And it's not zero to zero.

So you want to have a good set of blood tests looking at the structure and function of your immune system, because the risk of getting cancer is inversely related to the strength of your immune system. The stronger the immune system, the lower your risk. The stronger your immune system, the better the overall outcome if you're fighting cancer. So this is a very, very important piece of information.

In addition to that, I do a bunch of tests looking at toxicology issues. What toxins are in this person? We look at blood tests for toxins, we look at urine tests for toxins; because if we can find these toxins, and we almost always can, there are specific treatment strategies for pulling these chemicals out of the body before they can trigger a cancer, or if you already have a cancer, pull these chemicals out so they don't continue to fuel the cancer. It makes it much easier to treat.

All of these tests are commonly available. Any doctor can order them. All these tests are FDA approved. Very few of these tests are included in the WTC screening. It's up to you to seek out doctors and groups that are working with these more advanced technologies, to see what's going on in your system, to see what your risks are, and see what the best way is to prevent a disease or to treat a disease down the road.

If you're diagnosed, nowadays there are many treatment strategies. Yes, we have chemo, radiation, surgery. That's been around for decades and decades. Immunotherapy has been around for decades too, but it has only come to the forefront in the last 20 years or so with the advent of many new pharmaceuticals that we have that can create a lightning-fast response, with much less toxicity, and much better overall survival. But as these medicines are coming out, unless the doctor is up to date with what's going on, reading the journals, going to the medical societies... When I go to the SITC conference in November in Washington DC every year, there's over 3000 doctors there from all over the world, for a week, hearing about the latest research, seeing the latest medicines that are available, all to help strengthen the immune system and fight the cancer using the immune system as a primary weapon. It's a very powerful weapon.

But there's other weapons too. There's biochemical strategies, there's a whole field of oncology using targeted small-molecules, as they are called. These are medicines... not chemo's... these are medicines that inhibit or stop certain enzyme pathways in cancer cells, and can shut them down with very few side effects. But unless you're working with somebody who is aware of these kind of breakthroughs, and knows how to test for their use, then you're going to be looking at old therapies off-the-shelf generic therapies for whatever disease we have, that have much poorer overall survival. And that's not what you want.

To help identify what medicines could be useful, one can do a test that looks at the genetic structure of the cancer. The way that that's done is, we fill out some paperwork, they send it to the lab, the lab requests a piece of biopsy material that you've already had... no one's chasing after you with another needle... and they can take those slides, run it through a very sophisticated piece of machinery that looks at the genetics, and can sequence the genes of the cancer and see where all the genetic abnormalities are. Based upon those genetic abnormalities, there are medicines that can target those abnormalities, and nail them, and shut down the cancer very quickly; again, with far fewer side effects. You won't lose your hair unless you already have. Some of you have, but okay. You won't be throwing up in the corner. You won't be laying in bed for days and days after treatment. You'll get the treatment, it could be a pill, it could be an IV, and as long as you're staying well-hydrated, most of these medicines have essentially very few, if any, side effects or symptoms of taking them.

These breakthroughs are coming through literally on a weekly basis, and it's important that you're working with people that are staying abreast of this information and can help you with it.

So when you get the blood tests, you're looking at the biochemistry, you're looking at the immune system, you're looking at the genetic structure of the cancer. With this information, you now have treatment options. In the old days we had what are called ASCO Protocols, protocols that were developed as a result of clinical trials from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and these protocols were very generic. In other words, if you had lung cancer, you got this treatment; if you had liver cancer, you had that treatment; if you had, you know, whatever it was, it was an off-the-shelf generic sort of thing. It's not that way anymore. With this kind of information that I'm telling you that's available right now, covered by your insurance, this information will allow the doctors to target the cancer in a very individualized sort of way, giving much better outcomes.

So in my practice, I may be treating at any one time a dozen guys with lung cancer. And when I look at their treatment protocols, each one of them is going to have a little bit different protocol. Why? Because their blood tests are different, their immune system is different, the genetics of the cancer are different; and therefore the medicines that are going to be most effective for that individual will be different. So take home point number two, is get the testing. Find doctors who will do this sort of testing for you. Again, it's all FDA approved, covered by insurance, etc. It's out there. Ask for it. When you get this information, this gives you options. Important point number two, with options comes hope. Without options, there's very little hope. You're left to the statistics of the off-the-shelf protocol. And you guys deserve better than that.

So thank you very much for your time and attention. I'm not going to stand between you and dinner. Have a great evening. Be well.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A New Breath of Care for our Retired Heroes: Cancer Resource Alliance Supports the RMA

4/30/3019 Brooklyn, NY -- The RMA (Retired Member’s Association of the FDNY) welcomed some of the leading patient advocates of the First Responders Cancer Resource to present its cancer awareness message to the packed room of career firefighters.  Among the many topics covered were: Early Detection & Prevention, the value of a SECOND OPINION, current mortality rates and the vigilant health message of “Get Checked Now!” 

It was an evening of great solidarity for the members united by the leadership of President and membership chairman Jim Hayhurst.  This highly respected organization (founded in 1946) is comprised of retired firefighters of all ranks chartered to bring access to top professionals and direct supporters of this special community.  Proud attendees express their appreciation for the RMA as one of the major groups that seek out valuable information and contributors to help their members stay current on safety, health, information about pensions and other vital matters to all ex-firefighters.  This event in Brooklyn is one of five main events offered each year alongside their second location in New Hyde Park, NY.  Mr. Hayhurst expressed significant interest in the “Get Checked Now!” message for his men with the hopes of ‘saving at least one life from this or any other health program’ introduced to the RMA.

The 2019 outreach calendar of FDNY presentations reflect the growing momentum of interest gained in cancer awareness from all the firefighter orgs and firehouse events.  The standard speaking tour is comprised of program director Lennard Gettz and retired firefighter-turned health ambassador Sal Banchitta.  Mr. Gettz usually delivers highlights of NYCRA’s educational programs and details the many available healthcare innovations and advancements of the medical community for any cancer victims.  Sal Banchitta carries the discussion as a retired firefighter and a 9/11 responder by underscoring the many types of toxins and cancerous events that firefighters may be exposed to in their career- all leading to staying proactive about their health and safety. Furthermore, as a patient of a battery of clinicians, Sal promotes his audience to “ask a lot of questions, do your own personal research and seek peace of mind by getting a SECOND OPINION about complex health matters”.

RMA member John Signorile and 3rd VP in charge of good and welfare of the Columbia Association of FDNY gave major support to the First Responders Cancer Resource’s public mission. “We were very impressed with this program and its cancer screening breakdown”, says Mr. Signorile. “You don't have to have an issue to come in for a screening—that’s a big plus. Most of my fellow members were impressed by that and look forward to getting tested because you don't want to find out when it's too late and you have an issue…. it's better to be proactive in these cases.”   John Signorile also found the benefit of the philosophy behind the Second Opinion program- “I’m friends with one of the top oncologists in the city who always tell me to get multiple tests and have more than one doctor check you out… so many things may be overlooked by one pair of eyes."

Dr. Robert Bard, one of the top medical advisors of the First Responders screening program & active cancer diagnostic specialist in NYC made a surprise appearance to speak in this venue.  “He insisted on being part of this meeting and got on the mic to engage with the members.  Having him at the RMA meeting was such a blessing because he added that science angle to the whole presentation”, says Sal Banchitta.  Dr. Bard opened with an introduction of his 45+ years of experience as a tumor analyst and a “cancer finder”.  He shared actual references from his own patients as well as some of the most common cases that plague first responders. Dr. Bard embraced the bevy of questions which continued long after the presentation where members sat privately with Dr. Bard one at a time-- exploring their deepest concerns that deserved the uncompromising attention that Dr. Bard is known for.

One of the major highlights of the event was delivered by Ms. Cheri Ambrose, NYCRA Communications Dir. and head of the international Male Breast Cancer Coalition.  Having campaigned publicly about cancer awareness to countless individuals, she expressed that the biggest underlying challenge in reaching our society is DENIAL. She boldly takes credit for the prompted “NOW” in the group’s “Get Checked Now!” mantra.

Cheri also concluded the group presentation by presenting one of NYCRA’s highest honors to Jim Hayhurst for his work with the RMA. “As advocates of cancer education and safety awareness, organizers like Jim are some of our greatest champions…  we appreciate community leaders (like Jim) who go above and beyond to build, maintain and expand the pillars of unity and loving support for our heroes. They give so much of themselves toward the betterment of others’ lives-- especially all the members of such a worthwhile org as the RMA.”

NYCRA’s First Responders Cancer Resource awareness team continues to forge an unending advocacy work for all emergency responders. They are scheduled this year to present in over 35 community groups in the NYC and Long Island areas.  Dr. Bard’s busy NYC practice continues to tirelessly screen all newcomers, conducting Early Detection and Prevention scans- especially firefighters (both active and retired) as part of his commitment to the “Get Checked Now!” program.

Published in:



1) NY Cancer Resource Alliance
2) First Responders Cancer Resource
3) Retired Members' Association of FDNY
4) The Columbia Association of FDNY
5) Bard Cancer Diagnostics
6) Male Breast Cancer Coalition
7) Integrative Medicine of NY
8) Awareness for a Cure
9) LI2DAY Walk


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