Screening tests are used to find breast cancer before it causes any warning signs or symptoms. If you screen early, your likelihood of finding breast cancer early is higher. Regular screening tests (along with follow-up tests and treatment if diagnosed) reduce your chance of dying from breast cancer.

When you make an appointment with your doctor to test for breast cancer, you can expect to have a screening test that includes a clinical breast exam and mammography. Women who may be at a higher risk for breast cancer may be consulted to have a MRI test done in addition.

Breast cancer screening is important for all women, especially Ashkenazi Jewish women (women who carry the BRCA1 gene). In this case, you may need to be screened earlier and more often then other women.

Breast cancer screening is only recommended for some men at very high risk due to an inherited gene mutation or a strong family history of breast cancer.



It’s recommended that women do a monthly at-home self-exam routine. If you feel a lump in your breast during your routine, don’t panic! Most lumps are not breast cancer, but something much less serious, such as a benign (not cancerous) breast condition.

However, if you find a lump, it is best to see a doctor to be sure it is not breast cancer.



American Friends of Rabin Medical Center hosts the annual NYC 5K SCHLEP: Breast & Ovarian Cancer Run / Walk that brings together hundreds of participants from the New York tri-state area to raise the hopes of those battling breast and ovarian cancer as well as awareness and funds to help further critical research and treatment.

Registration: Adult runner/walker – $36, Youth runner/walker (18 years old and under) – $18. All cancer survivors run / walk for free!

Register yourself or create your team today at www.afrmc.kintera.org/schlep17 OR  Reach us at 212-279-2522 or by email at afrmc@afrmc.org.


See photos from last year’s NYC 5k SCHLEP!

2016 NYC 5k SCHLEP Video Highlights







Breast Cancer & What Everyone Should Know

9ae79c50b7883072fcf1bdef68ce28aaBreast Cancer & What Everyone Should Know

According to the Harvard Medical School, in 2017, about 255,180 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. alone. Today, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Therefore, understanding breast cancer and its symptoms is important, and therefore knowing that it can be treated.

In this weeks post, we will be tackling the basics of breast cancer and how to identify it.

What IS breast cancer?

Breast cancer occurs when cells divide and grow without their normal control. Tumors in the breast tend to grow slowly. By the time a lump is large enough to feel, it may have been growing for as long as 10 years. (Some tumors are aggressive and grow much faster.)

The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. The most common signs are a change in the look or feel of the breast. Due to the use of regular mammography screening, most breast cancers in the U.S. are found at an early stage, before warning signs appear. If you have any of the warning signs described below, see a health care provider.

Breast and ovarian cancer are more common among Ashkenazi Jewish women (women with ancestors from Central or Eastern Europe). This is likely due to the high prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Everyone has BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but those who have an inherited mutation in either of these genes have an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Among women with breast cancer in the general population, about 2 percent carry a BRCA1/2 mutation. Between 8-10 percent of Ashkenazi Jewish women with breast cancer have a BRCA1/2 mutation.



In the US among women in 2017, it’s estimated that:

  • 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer (This includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors)
  • Among Ashkenazi Jewish men and women, about 1 in 40 have a BRCA1/2 mutation
  • BRCA2 carriers have about a 45 percent chance of developing breast cancer by age 70



How can we support those who have breast cancer?

American Friends of Rabin Medical Center hosts The annual NYC 5K SCHLEP: Breast and Ovarian Cancer Run / Walk, which is a certified 5K that brings together hundreds of participants from the New York tri-state area, ranging in age from 6 – 90 years old, bound together in solidarity to raise the hopes of those battling breast and ovarian cancer as well as awareness and funds to help further research and treatment.

The NYC 5K SCHLEP Run / Walk benefits a BRCA Multidisciplinary Clinic to serve women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer and funds research to find cures for breast and ovarian cancers. The NYC 5k SCHLEP Run / Walk also supports studies in connection to BRCA mutation carriers. The event raises over $150,000 annually.

Registration: Adult runner/walker – $36, Youth runner/walker (18 years old and under) – $18. All cancer survivors run / walk for free.

Register yourself or create your team today at http://www.afrmc.kintera.org/schlep17 OR Call 212-279-2522 or email afrmc@afrmc.org

2016 NYC 5K SCHLEP Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHskCtP4Jt 

2016 NYC 5K SCHLEP Video Highlights: https://youtu.be/ruS2qWF35sE



Sources: ww5.Komen.com

Ashkenazi Women & the BRCA Gene


Who are Ashkenazi Jews?

Ashkenazic Jews are the Jews of France, Germany, and Eastern Europe and their descendants. The adjective “Ashkenazic” and corresponding nouns, Ashkenazi (singular) and Ashkenazim (plural) are derived from the Hebrew word “Ashkenaz,” which is used to refer to Germany. Most American Jews today are Ashkenazim, descended from Jews who emigrated from Germany and Eastern Europe from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. The pages in this site are written from the Ashkenazic Jewish perspective.

What is the BRCA gene? 

Women who carry the BRCA gene mutation face a much greater chance of developing breast and / or ovarian cancers. More than 200 mutations have been identified, three of which are typical to Ashkenazi Jews. There is a 2.5% risk of carrying this mutation.


1 in 40

Ashkenazi Jews – men and women – that carry a BRCA gene mutation


Ashkenazi Jewish women that are diagnosed with breast cancer in the US who have a BRCA 1 or 2 mutation

1 in 800

People in the general population that have a BRCA 1 or 2 mutation


Jewish male breast cancer cases that carry the germline BRCA mutation


The average woman in the United States has about a 12 percent risk of developing breast cancer over a 90-year life span

15% to 40%

Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation have a lifetime risk of 15 to 40 percent for developing ovarian cancer


The 5-year survival rate for relatives of carriers of BRCA1 mutations

Is the Cost of Cancer Medication Worthwhile?



Is the Cost of Cancer Medication Worthwhile?

Rabin Medical Center’s Dr. Daniel Goldstein explores the rising price of cancer medications and creates an equation to see if the cost is in fact justified.

Dr. Goldstein is at the forefront of the fight between oncologists and pharmaceutical companies with research that will help determine if the price of specific medications are in fact worthwhile. Dr. Goldstein explains “as a doctor, my main responsibility is to the patient. I must do anything in my power to assist him, including explaining a medication’s usefulness, side effects, how much he will be required to pay for it from his own pocket, will it extend his life expectancy or cure him, etc.”

At the start of his career Dr. Goldstein’s work at the World Health Organization. Being exposed to medicine in the third world, and the difficulty of health care systems to adapt budgets to needs and costs led Goldstein to his current research about the relationship between the cost of cancer medications and their benefits.

Dr. Goldstein shares, “we developed a framework on which we built a model to examine the medications.” He further explains, “We examine the benefit of each medication, its survival rates, cost of the number of cycles that are required in order to save lives, and the side effects costs as well as the costs of treating it. We use very complex modeling and calculation techniques which eventually say how much it costs to extend the patient’s life in one quality year of life (QALY).”

Dr. Goldstein is heading the challenge of oncologists to force the pharmaceutical companies to adapt the outrageous prices of cancer medication according to the benefit they produce. This important research, is not merely a guideline to patients, but also to the doctors treating them, as they reach the decision whether it is worthwhile to purchase a specific medication. The rising cost of cancer medications are priced so high that many families battling cancer declare bankruptcy. Dr. Goldstein shares “I think that in the recent years the pharmaceutical companies priced the medications quite wildly and managed to avoid responsibility. If they have an amazing medication, a lifesaving one, then we should pay a high price for it because we want to incentivize the industry to develop great inventions. But we should not pay a high price for a medication with a small benefit. The prices of cancer medications are rising regardless of their benefit“.

The American Association for Clinical Oncology has awarded Dr. Goldstein four exclusive awards for his research on providing a numerical basis in the fight of American oncologists in the costs of medications.

Israel’s Rabin Medical Center is home to Dr. Goldstein’s research at the Davidoff Cancer Center, the largest most sophisticated facility in the Middle East for treating malignant diseases, treating 16% of cancer patients in Israel.

For more information on the Davidoff Cancer Center at Rabin Medical Center click HERE or register your support HERE. http://www.afrmc.org 



Keeping An Eye On Mobile Health: Tech News From Israel

Israeli’s Start- Up Presents iPhone Optometry at mHealth Conference  

Israel continues to be a leader in mobile health technology, with the medical industry keeping an eye on new developments, particularly in wearable tech.

Encouraging the start-up mentality, Israel hosts an annual mHealth conference in Tel Aviv featuring a contest to highlight these new yet innovative companies.

Contest winner 6over6 honed in on optometry with a technology that allows anyone to ‘self-prescribe’ the need for glasses via smart phone. The mobile app GlassesOn features advanced algorithms that factor in math, physics and vision tech 6over6 is able to access a more accurate prescription than with an optician or optometrist. Using a light-based tech, an individual can use their smart phone to measure pupillary distance as well as any other information asked in the doctor’s office to assess which lens is most clear. The results have come in with full accuracy, within  +/- .25D error for both those who are near and farsighted as well as those with an astigmatism.

This technology will be implemented GlassesOn, making it easier for customers access their more current prescription and implement the information while ordering glasses online.

The app can be used on any smart phone phone as the power is in the algorithm and the app, not the quality of the phone.

Additionally, 6Over6  is working with international non-profits who aid in providing people eye care to those in the underdeveloped countries, without mobile access, granting them free access to this technology.


Israel’s premier hospital, Rabin Medical Center, continues to stay at the forefront of medical technology.

Prof. Ran Kornowski, who heads the  Institute of Invasive Cardiology Department at Rabin Medical Center helped develop a new application to collect information during invasive catheterization procedures on an iPad. This allows for the cardiologist to see the entire catheterization process on the iPad screen, and allows the doctor the opportunity to sit with his patient and their family, and explain the catheterization procedure in a very simple visual matter, with clear cut high resolution imaging.

The cardiac catheterization procedure provides significant on line information about the activities of the patients’ heart and the condition of the arteries, allowing cardiologists to accurately assess the situation and carry out to best most accurate catheterization  procedure necessary.

Prof. Ran Kornowski says, “This is only a small stone in the age of new medical technologies….I believe that this application will pave the road for the initiation of many other imaging applications which can be downloaded on to the I PAD, opening up a new wave of useful advantageous medical technologies, beneficial to both the patient and the physician, allowing for much wider worldwide cooperation.

Click HERE for more information on Rabin Medical Center’s Cardiology Department.




Genetically modified T- Cells Help in the Fight Against Cancer.

Genetically modified T- Cells, with developmental roots in Israel, might be one step closer to helping the fight against cancer.

27 out of 29 patients, in a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine not only saw their cancer go into remission, but in some cases it disappeared altogether.

These patient, all suffering from ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) participated in a study, receiving genetically modified T- cells, equipped with synthetics CAR (chimeric antigen receptors) molecules, which targeted and destroyed tumor cells.

Though we may find these results astounding, Professor Zelig Eshhar, an immunologist at the Weizmann Institute and Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center, is not surprised. Eshhar has been conducting T-cell research for over a decade and exclaims “In our lab, we cured many rats and mice of cancer. I have been saying for years that we can do this in people, as well.”

But, while this gives hope to many, it is important to remember that in this therapy, T- cells but be created for each specific cancer.

The Davidoff Cancer Center, at Rabin Medical Center  is the leading oncology center in Israel and the Middle East. The Davidoff Cancer Center includes 6 units and clinics that help provide excellent care: the Palliative Care Unitthe Psycho-oncology Servicethe Integrative Medicine Unitthe Survivorship Clinicthe Meir Laiser Cancer Information Center, and the Beauty Salon. The Davidoff Cancer Center also includes 7 impressive departments that provide treatment for various types of cancer: the David Barouk Chemotherapy Day Care Unitthe Yoran Center for Oncologic Pharmacologythe Radiotherapy Unit, the Department of Oncologythe Department of Hemato-Oncology, the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, and Oncology and Hemato-oncology Outpatient Clinics.


-Information on study was taken from article by David Shamah, Times of Israel –

To learn more and support AML Research and Treatment at Rabin Medical Center visit www.afrmc.org

Or Click HERE for information on our Broadway Benefit for AML