Features

Feature Stories

I have written about integrative medicine, new treatments for breast cancer and brain tumors, and other health care topics, as well as quite a few profiles on intriguing personalities.

MIDDLESEX COUNTY MAN BATTLES BRAIN TUMOR WITH HELP OF TECHNOLOGY, CLINICAL TRIAL 

In the spring of 2011, 71-year-old Bashir Khan appeared to his family to be uncharacteristically emotional and forgetful, and at times, had trouble forming words.

His daughters, who are doctors, insisted that he be checked out by a neurologist, and after a series of tests, he was handed a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. The Parlin resident was suffering from a malignant brain tumor.

But with the help of a trial drug and a special pacemaker, Khan’s chances of extending his life have improved, according to Khan’s daughter, Dr. Rizwana Khan.

“My father was born in a small village in Pakistan. He is a very strong, self-made man with a strong personality, and he is determined to fight this. His outlook is amazingly positive,” Dr. Khan said. (Read full story)

FOR CANCER RESEARCHERS, A GARGANTUAN LEAP FORWARD 

Researchers have taken a giant leap forward in the treatment of breast cancer, with two major clinical trials viewed as pivotal breakthroughs by the medical community.

One study, sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals of East Hanover, revealed that by using two drugs in combination, the growth rate of tumors in women with advanced breast cancer can be significantly reduced — as well as offering the potential to dramatically reduce the growth of tumors in women in earlier stages of breast cancer.

The second study revealed that genetic testing of breast cancer tumors makes possible options for more precise and effective use of chemotherapy. It was conducted by the National Cancer Institute with participants from Atlantic Health’s two area hospitals, Morristown Medical Center in Morristown and Overlook Medical Center in Summit.

The startling results of the Novartis trial were announced Monday at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm, Sweden by Professor Jose’ Baselga, M.D., Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Associate Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston.

The trial revealed a significant reduction in the rate of growth of tumors in women with advanced stage breast cancer, said Baselga, lead researcher for phase III of the BOLERO 2 clinical trial.  (Read full story)

 

DIVA FOR THE DAY PAMPERS STEEPLECHASE CANCER PATIENTS 

For one day, Nevia Carrero was able to toss her worries aside and slip into a comfortable robe and slippers and enjoy a series of pampering treatments at Cenergie Spa in Basking Ridge.

But Carrero is not just another woman stressed out from a life of never-ending chores and obligations. The Bridgewater woman has been fighting for her life for the last three years in a battle with Stage III ovarian cancer.

When Carrero, a patient at Somerset Medical Center’s Steeplechase Cancer Center, was told last month that she was selected to be Diva for the Day, she said she “cried like a baby.” Read full story.

MEMORIES OF A LONG VALLEY FARMER

He sits at the long table in the kitchen of the farm house where he was born 83 years ago, and while he vividly recalls several economic slumps and has clear memories of the Great Depression, Harvey Ort Sr. considers himself quite fortunate to have lived his life here–cradled in the lush farmland of Long Valley.  Read full story on Long Valley Patch.com.

THE MAGIC WATERS OF SCHOOLEY’S MOUNTAIN 

If you live on Schooley’s Mountain you probably know that the area abounds with springs, but only history buffs and a few long-time residents may be aware that for approximately 50 years beginning in the late 19th century, wealthy socialites like the Vanderbilts traveled to Schooley’s Mountain to “take the waters” to detoxify their systems and improve their overall health. Read full story on Long Valley Patch.com.

LIFE LESSONS ON A LONG VALLEY FARM 

While new housing developments and stores allow a greater number of people to enjoy the beauty of areas like Long Valley, there are those who remember its beauty and simplicity when it was virtually a one horse town.

Bruce Andrews, 62, who has lived in Long Valley his entire life, is one of those residents who can remember what the valley was like when there were almost more cows than people. Progress often brings with it convenience and growth, but there are always ideas and ways of being that are worth remembering. Read full story on Long Valley Patch.com.

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