Wednesday, November 7, 2018


By: Jennifer Cook (BIA-ALCL Survivor)
Published/Edited by: Carmen Regallo-Dewitt / Lennard Gettz -Awareness for a Cure writing team

By now, most people are aware of cancers like lung, breast, prostate etc. –enough to know how to research about it. But a cancer related to breast implants is something that unless you happen to be watching the news recently, you may be completely in the dark about it. Furthermore, many doctors are still not providing the right conclusion about implant-associated disorders, deeming implants to NOT cause cancer.

In August of 2017, I was diagnosed with Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) and I immediately went on the internet looking for more information. I was aware of the disease prior to joining, but it was Jamie Cook who put me in touch immediately with a doctor at MD Anderson.  Within hours, someone called me with information on this disease and basically helped me make sure that I got the right treatment for it.  For me this group was a life saver.

Today, our BIA-ALCL group has 123 members who have been diagnosed with this lymphoma aside from the thousands of other members who are concerned about their potential implant disorders.  It's not a disease that has existed before and it's just now also being found in association with implants. And actually on a genetic level, it's completely different and new. I've had surgery and chemotherapy and I just go back to MD Anderson in Texas every couple of months for follow-up PET-CT scans and MRI’s, just to check for any remaining evidence of the lymphoma. So far there has not been, but obviously it has not been very long.

It all started for me in 2016. I was a middle school teacher watching a performance by my students about self-image. Part of the dialogue in this skit had to do with cosmetic surgery where one of the young performers was saying, "You know I wouldn't do cosmetic surgery… I'm comfortable with how I look—plus, implants have been found to even cause cancer." That was the first time I had ever heard of this.   As someone with breast implants, I was prompted to race home to Google it- and lo and behold, I saw that there had been things in the news and reports of it being related to cancer. Posts also noted the chances of getting it was about one million to one- equating it with being struck by lightning, which somewhat alleviated my fears.

Not too long after, I noticed that one of my breasts felt different and I started feeling around. Women tend to be trained to always be aware of changes in our breasts and do breast exams, including concerns unrelated to implants. I felt a little lump and responded immediately by seeing the doctor to have it checked.  My main thought was breast cancer. I got a scan and I meet with breast surgeons and I inquired about this rare large cell lymphoma.  None of them ever heard of it and instead focused on breast cancer, completely invalidating my questions about BIA-ALCL.  I tried to convince myself to stay on their track since breast cancer is ‘one in eight’- a much higher possibility.

So after an MRI, my knowledge of this lymphoma is to be on the alert for a seroma. That's one of the main symptoms is this fluid around the implants. The results tell me that the lump I'm feeling is scar tissue, and they don't mention anything about a seroma which told me I don't have any symptoms of this cancer and I don't have any symptoms of this large cell lymphoma. But a year later, I felt something new and unusual in my breast.  My bras were getting tighter and my breasts seemed more asymmetrical so I felt like there was something like urgent happening.  I also continued to feel along my left breast and noticed that the  implant edge I could feel along the underside of my breast seemed to be thickening and it had developed a distinct lump that I didn’t recall being there before.

This time I am scheduled to meet with a plastic surgeon. And again I bring up this lymphoma, and I'm actually becoming more alarmed because I'm continuing to read more about it and by now, I feel like I just need to get these implants out. Like the reports I read, he mentioned how rare it was. Worse yet, he accused me of being a hypochondriac, always wanting reassurance.  With such brazen confidence, he stated- "You don't have that lymphoma… you don't have it!".  He even reprimanded me saying that, "You don't live your life like you're going to win the lottery." Our exchange continued where he agreed that I should move forward with a biopsy of the lump or thickened spot on the palpable edge of my implant but was very discouraging in doing anything to take the implants out, or testing for this lymphoma.

I stood my ground this time- especially because my copy of the more detailed description in my last MRI indicated they did actually see some fluid, but they never told me about it.  As it turned out, the biopsy of that lump was what led to my diagnosis. Where most explants usually happen first, my insistence in getting a biopsy to find the answer proved me positive for BIA-ALCL.

When you've got awareness about this lymphoma, you’ll find the major lack of knowledge in the medical community that makes it very difficult to get the proper intervention. Because even the symptoms of it, the fluid around the implants, it is not easy to detect. My experience showed that much of the distorted information out there leads people to the wrong way of handling this.  As “rare” a cancer as this may be, should you be one of the unlucky few that gets this lymphoma, identifying the symptoms is NOT easy nor is getting all doctors on your side.  I see this all the time (with my case and many others) that radiologists can have a hard time identifying fluid.  There's even a notion that having a certain amount of fluid is normal.

This entire experience brings me back to my students’ play and that's just pure happenstance.  To be an activist means I'm almost in a panic daily for women because I don't know how women are going to get this information.  As with most cancers, you know the sooner you get to it, the much better chance you have. The great news is that if this VERY REAL disease is diagnosed early, it can be successfully treated.  But it's going to be hard for all of the women who have it taking place in their bodies to be aware of it because it's not widely known and supported and the very people that are in the position to speak and help show a major lack of understanding about it.

The best solution to all this is that any woman with textured (and even non-textured) implants will need to completely educate themselves on what is currently known about this disease. This includes getting frequent checkups and trusting your instincts for a second opinion if you don’t get the support you need.


As of November 2, 2018, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons now recognizes 615 cases of BIA-ALCL worldwide.  After meeting with breast-implant victim advocates this summer, including Jennifer Cook and four other women diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, the FDA announced that they will hold a public Advisory Committee meeting in 2019 to address BIA-ALCL and other implant safety concerns.  In anticipation of this meeting, implant victim advocacy groups are now demanding that the FDA do more to ensure that its 2019 Advisory Committee is not dominated--as it has been in the past--by plastic surgeons whose income is tied to sale of implants.  By including more unbiased doctors on the committee, advocates hope the FDA will finally be able to make decisions that truly put the safety of women first.


Sponsors & Supporters:
1) Bard Diagnostic Imaging: Implant Screening & Monitoring Program
2) NY Cancer Resource Alliance
3) Awareness for a Cure
4) IvyGene- Cancer Lab Testing
5) Dr. Jesse Stoff / Integrative Medicine of NY
6) Dr. Stephen Chagares (Breast Surgeon)
7) LI2Day / Fight Like a Girl (Mrs. Jennifer Hunt)
8) The Male Breast Cancer Coalition

This article is endorsed by:

Additional Reference Links:
1) BIA ALCL Breast Implant Lymphoma (Facebook Group)
2) US Food & Drug Admin /FDA- Background info about BIA-ALCL

Special thanks to:
Jennifer Cook wishes to express her gratitude to Dr. Mark W.Clemens and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for their efforts to track and disseminate information about BIA ALCL. Also a special thanks to MD Anderson Medical Center for generously sharing its expertise on BIA ALCL with patients and doctors around the world. Additional appreciation to SeattleGenetics and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company for their collaboration in developing brentuximab vedotin, a target chemotherapy drug that has saved the lives of numerous women with advanced cases of BIA ALCL after prior treatments failed. And lastly, warm thanks to Kaiser Permanente of Southern California and Anthem Blue Cross for approving the use of brentuximab vedotin as a first line treatment in my case of BIA ALCL.  

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Meet Larry Overcast- Retired Firefighter becomes Breast Cancer Missionary:

From an Interview with Awareness for a Cure reporter in 9/19/2018

They say you're cancer-free but in the back of your mind, there's always a chance of the 'boogerman' will jump up and get'ya.

I was a Shelbyville firefighter back in 1973, and I worked there until '76. then I came back in '86 and officially retired 2011; the whole time, we didn't have any breathing (protection) apparatus. I worked there of a total, probably 33 years as a firefighter; a driver; a captain, but this captain still had to fight fires.

We call it fire hall number one- as one of three stations in the city of Shelbyville, Tennessee.  When I came back in '86 they started carrying respiratory protection on their trucks, but we didn't use em, and then with all the new plastics and the new synthetic materials and stuff coming out; I think I was one of the first ones that started using it because I didn't want all that stuff in my lungs. Out of it, they say I've got a touch of COPD; I don't know if that came from the fire department because I never smoked.

Around September 2016. I was out weed eating and mowing the grass. I wiped off sticks and sweat from my chest and that's when I felt something. I tried to wipe it off, and I looked down, and it was a little knot, about the size of the end of your little finger.

Just so happens I had a yearly physical with my doctor at that time. My blood and everything checked out alright; and she said, “you're in good shape.”  I found this to be a good time to point out the knot underneath my chest. She first thought it was nothing more than an ingrown hair.  I was not satisfied with that- and decided to get a second opinion with a nurse practitioner who saw it as something else; “I think we need to go a little further,” she said, “I'm not trying to scare you, but this is the way breast cancer starts out,” and I said, “okay.”

I was then referred to Dr. James Carter who sent me to an imaging place, and they did a CAT Scan, then a 3D Mammogram then an ultrasound- and all that confirmed there was something definitely there. Everything they did showed something, that's the reason I went and had a biopsy- and that confirmed the breast cancer. My first reaction came from survival mode: “well, doc- there's a knife... you're a doctor, just cut it out!” Of course, that's not the way it works with doctors; he had to bring this to his people and make a whole plan.    At this point, I just told him, "you do whatever you gotta do; if you gotta do a mastectomy, or cut the whole thing out, or you gotta go further; do what you do-- "

Looking back at that, I've really been lucky; I thought I was going to die. I underwent the mastectomy on my left breast. then they gave me aggressive chemo. Of course you lose your hair, but my fingernails and toenails also fell off.  Also, my top teeth and part of my bottom teeth were destroyed and started breaking off like chalk.

My mom had ovarian cancer at 1955; they gave her three months to live. My dad had throat cancer such that he couldn't talk because they removed his voice box.  Regardless of this, they didn't seem to link it to my family, but they didn't say anything to me about connecting it to being a firefighter either. When they tell you that you've got cancer, it just takes the air out of the room!  I wasn't into thinking about how I got it- I just went into the survival mode. I didn't bother to ask - but within the past year, I've been hearing a lot about firemen having cancers like prostate cancer or lung cancer.  Looking at this now, I can see the connection to firefighting.

I never knew anybody else to have breast cancer til I met the Male Breast Cancer Coalition.  Today, I'm proud to wear shirts like this with a message to the world: “Supporting the fighters, admiring the survivors, honoring the taken, and never giving up hope.”  Somewhere out there, another cancer comes up. And I tell everybody I  had breast cancer... and I say, “you need to go have a mammogram!” The public needs to know that men get breast cancer too... black or white; daddy; uncle; brother; son. It can happen to a male; it happened to me, and I was in tip-top shape; I didn't take any kind of medicine what so ever, and if it can happen to me; it can happen to you.


Special thanks to:

This article is sponsored by:

Additional Sponsors:

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Meet the Survivors from The Male Breast Cancer Coalition

Meet some of the many remarkable men who have overcome the battle against Male Breast Cancer.  Read their stories and get inspired by their strengths and the will to rise above this debilitating disease.  Thanks to the loving support from the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, awareness and resources are made available for men and their families worldwide.

My breast cancer was 88% estrogen based and I was prescribed Tamoxifen. The side effects were awful, I didn’t realize it at first but I was moody, having hot flashes and was not pleasant to be around. After six weeks, I was taken off the Tamoxifen.  Right now, I’m taking Anastrozole daily. My mission now is to spread the word to everyone, men & women, young & old, that breast cancer does not discriminate, it can happen to anyone at any age and to MEN too!  On May 19, 2010, I started The Bret Miller 1T Foundation with the help of my parents Peggy & Bob Miller. Only 1 T in my name and now 1 Tit and 1 Nip for those keeping track (have to have some humor every now n’ then). The goal of the foundation is to raise awareness in colleges and high schools telling our youth that breast cancer can happen to anyone!  Male breast cancer survivors share their journeys and let students know they are their own best advocates for their bodies.  We tell people if they find something that doesn’t feel right they must talk with a doctor, don’t ignore anything. If you don’t like the answer given to you, get a second, third or fourth opinion. Don’t rest until you get the answers you want. Early detection is the first step in the fight against breast cancer!  (See Bret Miller's complete article)

Up to that point, I was a healthy 51-year-old. I’m not exaggerating when I say I was probably in the best shape of my life. I had just competed in an Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in September 2017 and ran the NYC marathon in November 2017. I was in the very beginning of starting to train for a Full 140.6 Ironman in Louisville when I spotted a small lump on my chest.  I immediately brought it to the attention of my doctor who sent me for a biopsy on March 19th. Four days later I got my diagnosis. After interviewing three different cancer surgeons, I went with NYU Langone Cancer Center in NYC.  On April 17th I had a right-side mastectomy with a lymph node dissection. On my left side I got a breast reduction to even my body out. It just so happened that after pathology they found a small cancerous tumor there too. A 51-year-old male in great shape with bilateral breast cancer. I was shocked to say the least.
(See John Mormondo's complete article)

When I was in the military and growing up playing sports I was always told to “suck it up, pain is just weakness leaving your body.” So that’s exactly what I did. I ignored it for months and months. It wasn’t until a friend of mine could tell I was in physical pain that I
finally went to get it checked out. Even then she pretty much had to force me to go.  When I did finally get to the doctor it got really weird really quick. After all the basic questions, the doctor started to examine my chest, or should I say “breast” which again is weird to me, because I never had a breast exam. The doctor had some concerns, so he referred me to another clinic for a later date. When I did get to the referred office imagine my surprise when I discovered it was a breast examination facility.  I walked into the office, went up to the receptionist and quietly told her, “I’m here for my appointment.” She gave me a look as if to say “yeah right I think you’re in the wrong office.” When she called my name, sure enough I was in the right place. This is when all the fun stuff started. They started to give me tests that completely caught me off guard, primarily because all the tests were associated with women (IE breast exam, mammogram, and breast biopsy). Then after several days of tests I was told I had Breast Cancer!  (See N’Kosi Campbell's complete article)



A Series about Breast Cancer in Men

MEN HAVE BREASTS TOO is an ongoing video series about breast cancer in men. Produced by The Male Breast Cancer Coalition, the MEN HAVE BREASTS TOO series includes short documentaries with men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, the latest news and information about male breast cancer from medical experts, stories from family members of survivors and men lost to the disease, the impact genetic mutations have on men and their families and much more.

On behalf of Awareness for a Cure and the cancer fundraising community, we give special thanks to Cheri Ambrose and Peggy Miller of the Male Breast Cancer Coalition- whose support and hard work continues to spark the lifeline and public presence of such a vital organization for men's health and cancer survivorship.  



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

9/11 Responder Joins Awareness Mission to Battle Cancer Threats

"I (still) see and hear about people being diagnosed with cancer every single day from 9/11.  I'm afraid there's no end in sight-- It's because of this that I'm so driven to get myself checked out regularly... and I also try to get everyone to get screenings.  However way I can do that, if it's through an article in the paper, if it's something online, anything that we can do... it's gotta happen!" - Richard Marrone

I worked for FDNY EMS during 9/11 to assist in the rescue recovery efforts, working out of Battalion 55 in the South Bronx.  I got there after the towers had collapsed and was assigned there on and off for 10 months. 

It was just everywhere. The DUST was so thick it would dry your eyes out. You couldn't breathe. As EMS, that was a lot of what we were doing was just constantly cleaning people's eyes out. There's nothing you can do to get away from it. I know what was in those particulates--it was asbestos, it was concrete, it was human remains, metals and any possible contamination in a fire... it was all there.

Nobody was protected. Even the firefighters who had self-contained breathing apparatus, you're only getting 15 or 20 minutes maximum on those cylinders, and there just wasn't enough to keep constantly replacing them. The police officers and EMS personnel were using surgical masks, which basically provided no protection whatsoever.  We mostly treated rescue workers on site due to the dust-- eyes and stuff like that. There really wasn't enough eye or respiratory protection, so anybody that became a patient post-collapse was due to the contamination and the toxins of 9/11.

There were EMT's and paramedics that were killed during the collapse. At the time of the incident, it was a no-holds-barred. I mean, everybody responded to that, whether you were FDNY, EMS, St. Vincent's, a voluntary hospital, or a private ambulance-- everybody responded!  As far as the police departments, same thing; New York City Police, Suffolk County, Nassau County, New Jersey-- everybody responded to this. We had EMS coming from as far as Buffalo and Niagara Falls. 

But another concern of mine is the peripheral contaminants that may have affected the forgotten people in all this; the family members that the responders came home to.  Think about whomever was handling our clothing & laundry-- I would come home, take my clothes off outside the house, bring them in and my wife would put them in the wash.   Every time I was exposed to the Trade Center, so was she. She never went down to Manhattan but I brought it all home to HER. How many other wives and husbands and people associated with rescue workers have come down with an illness due to 9/11 and never once stepped foot down at 9/11?  DUST gets everywhere and situations like this are how a disease travels.

It's been 17 years today.  We've had a lot of funerals due to 9/11 related cancers and there's no end to this. 
We all learned a lot from 9/11 as a learning aspect and a lot of protocols were created because of it.  It's pretty enforced (now) that every single member of the police and fire departments have a full face chemical/respirator mask as a standard for personal protective equipment.    Also, the fire department along with the EMS branch has its own hazmat people. They train with hazmat and we have rescue medics.  Back then, you didn't have enough for ground zero because 9/11 didn't start out as a hazmat job; that was a plane crash, a building fire-- that was a collapse. It didn't become a hazmat job until after the buildings had fallen down and they realized that this is probably not good to breathe in.

We all got certified and tested and some of us continue to get re-tested.   As the union delegate (then),  when it came close to the closing for the victims compensation certification, I made copies of every application and put them on the desk of every single member at my facility. And told them, "You have to fill this out. And then give it back to me." And then I would send it in to make sure that it got in. So I essentially was trying to force people to become certified, begging people to let me help you take care of your family in the event something happens. And most people were appreciative, and I was glad to do it.

Getting certified doesn't mean you have cancer or that you're sick.  Just because you certify yourself doesn't mean you're going to come down with an illness or that it designates you as a sick person or that you're going to be sick.  But if you worked at 9/11, you may become sick in the future, it's just a matter of WHEN. What this is about is to have you certify yourself so when that day comes, you and/or your family is taken care of. That's all there is.

About the Author: 
Richard Marrone is a career veteran with the NY Fire Department, an active Emergency Medical Technician for the FDNY and a first responder at 9/11.  He spent a significant amount of time in Ground Zero since the attack treating all responders and civilian victims while being directly exposed to the deadly air and toxic dust that affected (and continue to affect) so many thousands. Today, he volunteers for various local cancer organizations and  cancer awareness groups and works as a health advocate for regular cancer screening & cancer prevention for all first responders, volunteers and civilians exposed to 9/11 toxic dust. 



Wednesday, June 27, 2018


Click to see VIDEO
Lisa Vento Nielsen, MBA, PMP has been a lot of things in her life - from author to expert to mom to small business owner, to professor, to executive, to entrepreneur but the one thing she never ever planned for or thought she could be was a cancer patient.  She was diagnosed suddenly at 39 years old without a lump, family history or risk factors and if it was not for her screening mammograms, which began at 35 because her insurance covered it, she might not be here today.

Her cancer was stage 3 and aggressive, her children were 6 and 9 and she was their whole world. She had just found a full time teaching job after leaving Corporate America in late 2009 to focus on her family and teaching at local colleges and universities as an adjunct. Cancer did not care about any of that - nor did her colleagues or boss, to be honest.

Despite bringing 10+ years of Corporate Executive level experience to the small classroom and 13+ years of teaching College, books she had written and entrepreneurial expertise, she fell apart and was lucky she could function.  She was ashamed and hid her illness as best as someone with no hair, one boob and chemotherapy biweekly appointments could anyway. “The hardest thing for me was losing my voice and being ashamed and afraid all of the time of the cancer, balancing work and trying to keep my children calm and cared for…”

The day after her last chemo, she was let go from her job and found her voice. She began blogging anonymously at first and then went public in a big way and found that not only was her story important but so was her unique skills and capabilities. As a resume and job search expert with over 20 years experience helping people take “the next step” she thought getting back to work would be “easy” and took it upon herself to begin thinking about how to help others who have experienced cancer do the same.  She met countless others who also were fired, laid off or had to take time off of work to deal with treatment. She also met families whose primary breadwinner had to stop working and others in the family had to step out of their comfort zones and find work to keep things afloat.

Despite having written books about how to be entrepreneurial in a job search, Lisa was lost as to how to actually get a new position. Her body had changed, her hair was in a style she never would have picked for herself and she was missing a body part - but most important is that her priorities and perspectives had changed so much she did not know how to sit in an interview and pretend that this job was so important and not mention how chemotherapy still affected her or how her new body was hard to get used to… And others were echoing her thoughts and also struggling with this new “normal”.

You attend your last cancer treatment visit and the doctor tells you to go get back to “normal” but normal was moved for Lisa and others who have been told, “you have cancer” - and this also has a ripple effect to others in the home and family - it is not just the patient who has cancer but everyone in the family.

Lisa decided that instead of finding a job for herself, she would create one. She founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called “The Time Between Is, INC” after her popular blog page with over 1million page views and 1400-2000 people per week checking in with her and launched Career After Cancer.  The first thing she did was create some FREE webinars to introduce the subject and to write a book and a workbook to help empower people to get back to work or volunteering or something to make their “after” more “normal”. She is launching online courses and in person training in addition to one on one coaching and she is open to any and all partnerships in the community of cancer patients and their families to help with her unique and informative training and insights into branding and getting folks back to work.

Her nonprofit website is or you can learn more about her initiative at If you would like to have her speak at your event or organization, sign up here


Awareness for a Cure (supporting members):
Editors: Carmen Regallo-Dewitt / Laguna Del Fuego
Co-Editor: Laurel Muckey of Integrative Medicine of NY (
Co-Editor: Dr. Jesse A. Stoff of Stoff Institute for Medical Research
Production / Editor - IntermediaWorx inc. (
Technical Support: Early Detection & Prevention program: (


The information provided in this article is written  and submitted by the writer whose name is stated in the title who provided express consent to the publishing of this material.  This article is not meant to be used to diagnose, treat or advise others about what actions they should take with regard to any medical condition.  No one should undertake or discontinue any treatment as a result of what they read on our blogs. The publisher(s), editors, sponsors or other  "supporting members" of are providing a strictly educational service and are not responsible for the diagnosis or treatment of any specific health needs. and are not liable for any damages or negative consequences from any treatment, action, application or preparation to any person(s) reading the information in this article or its thread. Readers with medical needs should obtain appropriate professional medical supervision. References are provided for any informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any websites or other sources.

Friday, May 4, 2018

John Feal and the FealGood Foundation: ENSURING CANCER CARE FOR 9/11 FIRST RESPONDERS

Nesconset, NY (April 20, 2018) - Meet Long Island's own John Feal- a former Ground Zero contractor injured on the 9/11 job site and turned national super-advocate & champion for the prevalence of the 9/11 VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUND, THE WORLD TRADE CENTER HEALTH PROGRAM and the JAMES ZADROGA ACT. He founded the FEALGOOD FOUNDATION, the largest 9/11 support organization in the country-borne from frustration to the inaction and lack of governmental support. He built a life-long career out of helping the many health victims from the 2001 disaster receive the financial compensation they deserve and gain a complete understanding of their rights for all 9/11 related injuries. His non-profit org is recorded as one of the largest fundraisers for this mission- amassing over $8.5M of active funding for the compensation bill plus another $5M raised to add to the WTC fund for first responders (since the inception of FGF in 2005) from online donations and public fundraising. John Feal became a major voice for all first responders working tirelessly between local and national fronts to gain legislative stakes for the rights of all those exposed to the many health hazards of ground zero.

By 2010, a new form of devastation appeared out of the shadows: a significant number of advanced and aggressive cancer cases suddenly grew within the many surviving rescuers and ground zero exposed. These victims were formerly cleared of any illnesses at first testing are now showing surprising numbers of cases of over 68 cancer types in the blood, brain, lung, liver, thyroid and skin. The 2010 bill was passed at a time when there were NO cancer cases, hence funds and congressional support was not prepared for any of this. The tsunami wave of new cancers that mutated after 8-10 years of dormancy does not even (yet) account for the "asbestos cancer... because that takes 20 years on average to manifest in the body, and we're now going on year 17," says Feal. Hence, new lobbying efforts for advanced cancer care treatment are now in full swing and Mr. Feal faces an even larger hurdle to upgrade his mission to meet the current needs. (Complete interview coming soon.)

To learn more about the FealGood Foundation or to Donate, visit:

Notables: welcomes John Feal as a new ambassador of the NY CANCER RESOURCE ALLIANCE- endorsed by  We support his mission and many great efforts at the FealGood Foundation.


Advanced Diagnostics and the Rise of Post 9/11 Aggressive Cancers
by: Dr. Robert Bard
Edited by: Carmen Regallo-Dewitt (AFAC in-house editor)

I started my career in medicine in 1968 and enlisted in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era as a radiologist. There I learned the discipline of immediate response to the call of duty, whether it be for the protection of our country or rescuing human life. The 9/11 tragedy brought out that same spirit when our first responders called for help.

I extended my practice to the many police personnel, firefighters, contractors and volunteers who were exposed to toxins or were injured in ground zero during and after that fateful attack, and one by one, cases of knee and hand injuries from rescuers who struggled with the many flights of stairs of the towers or dug out hot and heavy rubble to respond to cries for help. I also handled other TRAUMA cases like eye injuries where my technology was the most effective way to quickly and accurately identify a dislocated lens, retinal detachment and foreign matter (glass or splinter) that made its way behind the swollen eye lid or into the blood stream.  My group tackled each injury with the best of care, compassion and the highest commitment to recovery using minimally invasive sonogram diagnostics.

A decade or so later, news broke of unique and advanced cases of CANCER arising in droves.  The same individuals exposed to the toxic fumes and plumes of hazardous particles of the danger zone contracted aggressive cases of CANCER and were in immediate demand for medical care and support.  My practice was no stranger to this dilemma as I began meeting and diagnosing cancer tumors in the lung, liver, kidney, brain, skin and eye probably related to 9/11 exposure.

I personally met James Zadroga in 1992 at a public event. The name did not impact me until way past his untimely demise on 2006. Having connected with John Feal of the FealGood Foundation, we put all the pieces together as far as the extensive yet never-ending work that still has yet to be done to bring much needed support, compensation and political awareness to help the many survivors and affected rescuers of the 9/11 disaster.  The Zadroga Compensation Act was established (2011) by a group of D.C. advocates who drove legislation to ensure that those exposed to the 9/11 disaster continue to receive monitoring and treatment services for 9/11-related health problems through at least until 2090.

This year, due to the pattern of expected calls and the rising number of cancer cases deserving advanced diagnosis of "new and unique cancers" related to the 9/11 disaster, my medical colleagues and I are preparing for this wave of cases by connecting with the WTC Health Program and other organizations related to 9/11 healthcare support - thanks especially to the leadership and direction of the FealGood Foundation. Through the unifying aid of NYCRA (NY Cancer Resource Alliance) we are expanding our network of certified professionals and outreach agencies to bring new strength and reinforcements to the ongoing battle against cancer.

My practice, BARD CANCER DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING (NYC) has isolated and scanned countless cases of cancers using the most advanced diagnostic imaging technologies worldwide.  We provide early detection and real-time "digital biopsies" of many tumor types using 4D Doppler innovations bringing accuracy and expedience to the most comprehensive report- within MINUTES.  For our patients, this is a priceless advantage that cuts down the wait time, decreases travel (to multiple diagnostic centers) and reduces the insurmountable level of stress and intolerable problems of today’s increasing medical bureaucracy.  Our technology outperforms the advantages of MRI, X-ray and CT scans by 20-to-1.  We have an uncompromising system that’s unique to the industry whereby our combined experience and technical advancements are called upon by many university hospitals and private practices today.  My services were recently utilized during the terror attack in Nice by the truck driver who mowed down innocent civilians on the French Riviera where-x-ray and CT services were overwhelmed (I am a current member of the French Radiology Society-Societe Francaise de Radiologie and have been since 1999)

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Meet Mollie Adler - an inspiration to so many who are undergoing adversity from cancer and the many tribulations of life's surprises.  Mollie took charge of breast cancer and rose beyond the afflictions of divorce and financial struggles with a remarkable new business driven to climb the corporate ranks of an expanding enterprise.  Her story brings great insight to her spirit and true self-empowerment on how she turned life's many road blocks into a path to personal success.

Story and images by: Mollie Adler (survivor)

In February of 2016, I went for a routine mammogram and was called back for a Biopsy. During my biopsy I had a spooky feeling that I had breast cancer. Before I was even told, I broke down and I cried for a few minutes. This is not supposed to happen to me. I am too young to die. I have two young kids who depend on me for everything. I have not done everything that I was meant to do…I have more life to live!!

 I finally got myself together from the teary grief session and went home. The next day the doctor officially diagnosed me with extensive DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ) in my right breast.  Once the doctor officially announced what I had, I looked at him and said, "I don't have time for this crap..." [chuckle] I proceeded to say with a smile, “Ok…now what? What do I have to do to get rid of the cancer?” From that point on, I chose to face my breast cancer with a smile and treated it as just a mere blip in my plans.

The scariest part of this diagnosis is that I did not have a lump, nothing felt different. DCIS is cancer of the milk ducts. My cancer was 5cm of what appeared like granules of sand throughout my right breast. The doctor told me, had I not gone for the mammogram, within about a week or so I would have been far worse than I am, so thank God for mammograms.

The moment when they diagnosed me, LIFE was my main option. What was coursing through my veins was that I have too much ahead of me and I have young kids which meant fighting this with everything I've got.  As a single mom...I realized that I had to scrape myself off the floor emotionally... not only am I my children’s rock…this now required me to become Mt. Everest for them. 

 I was originally told that I could possibly do a Lumpectomy or remove my breasts and replace them with implants. Upon further evaluation my team of doctors informed me that to ensure the best possible outcome for me Lumpectomy was no longer a safe option. It was recommended that I remove my right breast completely, I was also informed that if I were to keep the left breast I had a 30% chance of getting cancer again… The choices that I was left with...started to narrow very quickly.

Another zippy twist came when the consensus from my team of doctors was that due to my chronic medical conditions it would be catastrophic If I were to get an infection from the implants. No plastic surgeon would take that risk and perform that procedure on me…so no implants. Once the option of implants was off the table…the struggle became real. Many tears were shed all the while feeling a sense of calmness surrounding me. The phrase “Just not today” became my catch phrase.

Do I roll the dice with a high risk of re-occurrence & have a Unilateral mastectomy (Removal of 1 breast) keep my left breast with all of the grueling treatments, or Double mastectomy and no treatments as long as my margins came back clear…with my only possible option for reconstruction is having fat reconstruction surgery which is taking fat from another part of your body to create breasts which comes with a multiple surgeries & very high risk , OR do I choose Double Mastectomy, live life flat without any breasts at all.

After all my research and reviewing the options presented to me, I elected to pursue a double mastectomy.  Knowing that the Right Breast had to get removed & the left breast had about a 30% chance of getting cancer, so removing both my breasts seemed like a no-brainer.  My decision was firm, and I didn't look back.  Knowing about this type of cancer, I was lucky that it didn't go into my lymph nodes. I caught it very early, so I was considered a stage 0, but it was rapidly spreading on the right side. It was an agonizing decision to make but I knew the choice I made was the best choice for me.

I underwent the double mastectomy in April 2016, and then in December 2016 I had to remove what are called dog ears.  Dog Ears refers to extra skin left over after double mastectomy. I had to have that extra skin removed, because it was extraordinarily painful, in doing so this would allow my scars to lay flush with my body.

Formerly a G-cup, I live my life now as flat (no breasts, no nipples).  I am also an advocate for women who are going through breast cancer & any woman who feels that their body is not what society dictates it should be. My wish is to Inspire, Empower, & give Hope! I want to show all women that you are beautiful no matter what your body looks like!! I want those women who are faced with the same choice as myself to have double mastectomy to understand & know that you will be beautiful even without your boobs... Boobs don't define you!

My two great friends Denise Rohde & Donna Schecker were both with me throughout the whole process.  Once I was diagnosed, they both stepped up to the plate, and did everything from regularly visiting to draining my drains, driving me to every doctor visit, sleeping over and caring for my kids, cooking, cleaning, bathing me, helping me to the bathroom, and even brushing my teeth. They were there every step of the way from the second I went into surgery 'til I opened my eyes. My Sister in law Leigh McKenna Adler was 7 months pregnant and came to care for me as well for the first 3 days...  I'm eternally grateful for all their support through all this.

Shortly before my Breast Cancer Surgery, I was also introduced to Jennifer Hunt and Christine Romano (Fight Like a Girl Team) these two Amazing Women were there instantly to help support me & my kids both financially and emotionally. This group is made up of so many strong, brave ladies, and I couldn't have done this without their support.

"My mission is to let people know that anything is possible--and that if you set a goal and put your mind to it you can do anything. If I can inspire just one person, if I can do that, it makes everything I went through worth it."

Prior to cancer, I was a stay-at-home mom for quite a long time.  I was divorced in 2013 which meant going back to work.  I was laid-off in September of 2015, this was my second layoff within a few years, and I was tired of working for others and getting nowhere. This left me once again scrambling to pay the bills and put food on the table, forcing me to go on Food Stamps & unemployment.  Through that process, the dept of Labor provided a program that gave me the resources to start a business. I knew there had to be something better out there. I decided that the next thing I do is going to be something that I love, something that I was passionate about, and baking was my best bet. Within three months I wrote my business plan, marketing plan, had labels designed, perfected my recipe and Miss Mollie’s Brownies, Inc. was born!

As my divorce resulted in my home going into foreclosure, my brownies business became a creative outlet for personal empowerment and way for me to bake to try and save my home and put food on the table.  I was determined to just put brownies in anybody's mouth who would eat them. If I was not faced with enough adversity, I also have the unique challenge with the inability to taste & smell. Yes, I am a Baker Who Can’t taste or smell! Lacking a sense of taste and smell, I eat, and bake based on presentation and texture. My kids are my Certified Taste Testers…trust me, there are no complaints there. Every single batch is tasted before it goes out the door!

Each brownie package has “My Story,” written and illustrated by my daughter Melanie. It's just from that beautifully written story I get so many humbling responses and it makes it so worthwhile to keep doing what I'm doing, which is just getting my message out there.

I got the business up and running in full swing by January 12, 2016.  I was so amazed at the craze for MY brownies!! Brownies that I cannot even taste. Things were heading in such an amazing direction... then "BANG!"  February 12, 2016…YOU HAVE BREAST CANCER!

After my surgery in April 2016, my mother flew up here from the Virgin Islands for a long-past reunion, and because she was diagnosed around that time with Kidney cancer herself.  Upon her arrival, I was supposed to meet her and take her to my oncologist in Riverhead, but due to the severity of her cancer, she collapsed getting into the car on the way to me and expired unexpectedly.   Losing a mom this way is dreadful, but even more so because I never got that validating hug that can only come from that one special person - letting me know that boobs don't define you.  I knew she was very proud of me and as a single mom herself of 10 children, her unique strength and remarkable spirit lives on in me.

Somewhere in between grieving the loss of my breasts and the loss of my mom, I have once again found solitude in baking. By early 2017, I restarted the business once again.  I'm back at the Port Jeff Farmers' Market every Sunday, and my brownies are gaining more popularity as they appear in stores such as Greek Island Diner in (Wading River), Bagel Lady CafĂ© (Shoreham) and Theatre Three (Port Jefferson). My Motto…Don’t Look Back…Keep going forward…So I'm moving forward, and my goals are to get on Shark Tank & one day become a household name! We'll keep on making the world a sweeter place one brownie at a time until we get there.


Special thanks to: 
Mollie Adler, Melanie Cento, Denise Rohde, Donna Schecker, Leigh Mckenna Adler, Jennifer Hunt / Christine Romano of "Fight Cancer Like a Girl" Team
LI2Day Walk (

Additional links:
Miss Mollie's Brownie Page:
Mollie Adler's Breast Cancer Blog (Boobs Don't Define You):

Mollie Adler's Instagram Links:
Mollie Adler ( • Instagram photos and videos

Awareness for a Cure (supporting members):
Co-Editor: Laurel Muckey of Integrative Medicine of NY (
Co-Editor: Dr. Jesse A. Stoff of Stoff Institute for Medical Research
Production / Editor - IntermediaWorx inc. (
Technical Support: Early Detection & Prevention program: (
Technical Advisor: Annie Brandt / Best Answer for Cancer (


The information provided in this article is written  and submitted by the writer whose name is stated in the title (Mollie Adler) who provided express consent to the publishing of this material.  This article is not meant to be used to diagnose, treat or advise others about what actions they should take with regard to any medical condition.  No one should undertake or discontinue any treatment as a result of what they read on our blogs. The publisher(s), editors, sponsors or other  "supporting members" of are providing a strictly educational service and are not responsible for the diagnosis or treatment of any specific health needs. and are not liable for any damages or negative consequences from any treatment, action, application or preparation to any person(s) reading the information in this article or its thread. Readers with medical needs should obtain appropriate professional medical supervision. References are provided for any informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any websites or other sources.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018


by: James Hunt

" everyone battling cancer --
stay smart, realistic... do
your own research and follow your
gut for what makes the most sense."
I want to tell my story so that I can help others diagnosed with prostate cancer. This all started with a routine physical with blood work. My primary care physician called to say everything looks good except a slightly elevated PSA and suggested I make an appointment to see a urologist. After spending months on antibiotics to treat a possible infection of the prostate due to bike riding, my urologist suggested a biopsy. The biopsy was one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced in my life. The biopsy results showed a Gleason 6 cancer in one of the 12 tissue samples taken from me.

The urologist suggested active surveillance where we would monitor the cancer with blood tests, MRI’s and biopsies. He mentioned that I would eventually need surgery- probably within a year or two. I reached out to one of my chiropractor friends for some advice (Dr. Mark Jones of Wading River) who is quite knowledgeable in Holistic medicine and he suggested; Pomi-T a dietary supplement that was used in a study (in prison) that was proven to slow the growth of prostate cancer. He also told me about Chaga Tea - brewed from the Chaga mushroom that grows on birch trees in Canada. I connected with Debbie Falborn from Chaga Island who told me "we will beat this". They helped me put together a plan that consisted of drinking 24oz of chaga tea a day along with daily supplements of Glutathione, Vitamin B complex and Magnesium powder (Calm).

I also spoke to another friend, Dr. Keith Gutzmann whose practice, The Howard Beach Comprehensive Health Care Center is tailored towards Holistic Health and Wellness.  Dr. Gutzmann suggested a number of nutritional supplements. Curcumin, Boswellia (Indian Frankincense), Ginger, Fish Oil, and Vitamin D3 for their anti-inflammatory effects.  Indole-3-carbinol, Vitex, and Saw Palmetto for their hormone modulating effects. There were a number of other supplements he suggested that I found to be echoed later by other sources as I continued my research. Dr. Gutzmann then strongly suggested a Ketogenic dietary strategy (low carbohydrates and sugar) with concomitant periods of Intermittent fasting. Lastly, he suggested I look into getting a DVD of a film by Peter Starr called "Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery, Drugs or Radiation". I found this on Dr. Mercola’s website. One Friday night at 8pm my urologist called me to tell me that a second part of my biopsy reveled a more aggressive cancer and that I really need to consider surgery sooner rather than later. I had just started to feel right mentally and now this. My surviving prostate cancer DVD came and I watched it. The first thing Peter Starr said is that "you have time... you are not going to die tomorrow". He also explained how these doctors will attempt to scare you into doing some sort of treatment right away.

I learned from the video a few other key supplements that are proven to slow the growth of cancer Vitamin k2, Vitamin D3, pumpkin seed oil, Vitamin C, Flax Seed Oil, Coenzyme Q10, Neprinal AFD and Lycopene. I also learned about gut health and the need to take Probiotics (Syntol AMD). The film taught me a lot how sugar feeds cancer. I also learned of an ultrasound machine called a 3D color Doppler which Peter Starr explained is a noninvasive way of checking cancer growth without having to go through biopsy and long MRI’s.

I went online to try to find this machine and all I could come up with was the prostate cancer research institute in California. I felt that wasn’t an option for me at the time and took another suggestion of Peter Starr’s and to get a second opinion. I made an appointment with another urologist that came highly recommended. He read my reports and test results and was surprised that the first urologist was pushing for surgery. He said we will do active surveillance with blood work, MRI’s and biopsy’s. Here I was again hearing the word "biopsy". I had done plenty of research on the internet and all I kept reading is that there is a chance of spreading the cancer with biopsy’s. The second urologist said I’ll see you in six months your prostate needs to heal from the biopsy before we can do the MRI.

In the six months I completely changed my diet starting with giving up all processed foods. I started a meal plan that consisted of wild caught fish, chicken and bison that were antibiotic and hormone free, organic vegetables and foods containing healthy fats avocado, cashews and macadamia nuts. I cut all sugars from my diet including those from fruits. My fruit intake was limited to berries occasionally. Getting close to my MRI appointment and thinking this was going to be my only option.

After much research and a referral from my wife's fundraising circle, I came across Dr. Robert Bard a seasoned radiologist in midtown Manhattan that has written books on prostate cancer and has a 3D color Doppler! I made an appointment and went in for the ultrasound. My experience with Dr Bard was excellent the procedure took all of maybe ten minutes. After the procedure I sat with Dr. bard to go over the results, he found a small spot which he said did not look like active cancer cells maybe a scar left from the biopsy. Dr. Bard said we would do active surveillance and watch it that I had nothing to worry about. Dr. Bard has done extensive research on prostate cancer and has come up with his own supplements that he formulated for prostate cancer. A lot of the ingredients in his pills are what I’ve been taking. I’m starting his supplements right away and finishing up what I have. As of right now I have no active cancer and happy I got a second opinion.

My message to everyone battling cancer is to stay smart and realistic. Do your own research and listen to the right people and follow your gut for what makes the most sense.  The resources are all around us and thanks to the world wide web, we have some of the best information available to win this.  Perhaps it was the research that made me push for a second (and even a third) opinion and I'm glad I did- because if I would have caved to the panic-stricken voice of my first doctor, things may have turned out very differently- or worse.

References & Available Links:
Dr. Mark Jones, Wading River, NY (chiropractor)
Dr. Keith Gutzmann, The Howard Beach Comprehensive Health Care Center- (
Pomi-T (
Debbie Falborn / Chaga Island (
Peter Starr: "(
Dr. Joseph Mercola (
Dr. Robert L. Bard (

Special Thanks:
Jennifer Hunt & "Fight Cancer Like a Girl" Team
LI2Day Walk (

Awareness for a Cure:
Co-Editor: Laurel Muckey / Integrative Medicine of NY
Production / Editor - IntermediaWorx inc.
Technical Advisor: Annie Brandt / Best Answer for Cancer (

The information provided in this article is written  and submitted by the writer (Mr. James Hunt) whose name is stated in the title who provided express consent to the publishing of this material.  This article is not meant to be used to diagnose, treat or advise others about what actions they should take with regard to any medical condition.  No one should undertake or discontinue any treatment as a result of what they read on our blogs. The publisher(s), editors, sponsors or other  "supporting members" of are providing a strictly educational service and are not responsible for the diagnosis or treatment of any specific health needs. and are not liable for any damages or negative consequences from any treatment, action, application or preparation to any person(s) reading the information in this article or its thread. Readers with medical needs should obtain appropriate professional medical supervision. References are provided for any informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any websites or other sources.