Psychotherapy May Be Effective In Easing IBD Symptoms

According to the New York Times blog, ‘Well’, a review published online December 22, 2015 in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology ‘Short- and Long- Term Efficacy of Psychological Therapies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis’ suggests that psychotherapy may be “effective in easing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome…even after therapy has ended.”

Irritable bowel syndrome can cause diarrhea, cramping, fever and sometimes rectal bleeding and Crohn’s Disease is part of this. The chronic ailment affects up to 11 percent of the population, and there is no cure or completely effective treatment.

After examining “data from 41 clinical trials that included 1,183 people assigned to psychotherapy and 1,107 controls,” investigators found that one year “after the end of treatment, 75 percent of the treatment group had greater symptom relief than the average member of the control group, although the benefits were modest.”

“I.B.S. is notoriously difficult to treat,” said the lead author, Kelsey T. Laird, a doctoral candidate at Vanderbilt University, “so the fact that these effects are just as strong six to 12 months later is very exciting — a significant effect, which did not decrease over time.”

Whether a given individual will benefit from psychotherapy is still unknown, Ms. Laird said. But, she added, “We do know that this seems to be one of the best treatments out there. So I would recommend it.”

Supporting Ms. Laird’s recommendation, the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology report  said “Psychological therapies reduce GI symptoms in adults with IBS. These effects remained significant and medium in magnitude after short and long-term follow-up periods.”.

Port Washington News Helps Raise Awareness of Israel Children’s Cancer Foundation

It is not too late in 2015 to make a
tax-deductible donation to ICCF

Howard Fensterman and Israel Children's Cancer Foundation

The Port Washington News presented an article on the recent charitable event at the Port Washington Chabad for the Israel Children’s Cancer Foundation.

ICCF assists all of the children in Israel who are suffering from the distressing mental and physical consequences of cancer. It has been reported that one in 300 children living in Israel will be diagnosed in 2016 with the disease.

The mission of the ICCF is to enhance the level of care for cancer-stricken children. Eighty-seven cents of every dollar raised goes toward the funding of treatment in six major pediatric centers in Israel.

The Port Washington Chabad Sisterhood coordinated the event. The Sisterhood invites all Jewish women, whether members or not, to participate in events and learning. Together, it is their mission to introduce Jewish values into the homes of those in the community.

Progress Made in Diabetes, But Dangers Still Exist for Seniors

Old WomanDiabetes has been an increasing issue in the United States. While there are already close to 30 million Americans with diabetes, there are far more who have what is being called prediabetes.

As of 2012, 86 million Americans aged 20 years and older had prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes is a condition where an individual has a blood sugar level that is higher than normal but not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Without intervention, prediabetes often turns into full-blown diabetes within a decade.

However, despite the dire picture the prevalence of diabetes and prediabetes in the US paints, the CDC also had some good news. The number of new cases of diabetes is actually decreasing. In 2009, the CDC reported 1.7 million new cases of diabetes, but in 2014, there were only 1.4 million new cases.

Overall, while progress is being made, diabetes remains an epidemic and there is a long way to go in the US before success can be claimed.

Among senior citizens, the prevalence of diabetes is higher than the general population, and a new study from January 2015 found that older diabetics are being overtreated for their disease.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that nearly two-thirds of patients with diabetes aged 65 years and older received aggressive treatment for their disease regardless of their health status and blood sugar levels. This sort of aggressive treatment in seniors could result in hypoglycemia, which leads to confusion, coma, and even death.

“We treat diabetes to prevent complications of the disease by lowering blood sugar levels, but the problem with aggressively lowering blood sugars — to a hemoglobin A1c below 7% — in older people is that it is uncertain whether this approach will result in a benefit, and it could, in fact, cause greater harm,” lead author Kasia Lipska, MD, MHS, assistant professor of internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine, said in a statement. “Our study suggests that we have a one-size-fits-all approach despite questionable benefits and known risks.”

Breast Cancer Awareness – How to Detect BRCA1 and BRCA2 Gene Mutations

Every October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of the leading causes of breast cancer is a genetic mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 human genes. These genes create tumor suppressor proteins that help fix damaged DNA. When either one of these genes is altered or mutated, damage in DNA cannot be properly fixed. This can lead cells to develop additional genetic problems that can lead to cancer.

Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) form a pink ribbon logo on the flight deck to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Adam M. Bennett/Released)

Inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 ((BReast CAncer genes 1 and 2) mutations drastically increase the risk of female breast as well as ovarian cancer and possibly other cancers such as pancreatic cancer. Angelina Jolie, the famous actress, shed light on cancer and genetic mutation that affects millions of women. Jolie spoke out about her mother’s death from ovarian cancer and her own discovery of carrying the BRCA1 mutation. This led Jolie to the decision to have a preventative double mastectomy. This preventative treatment is the most important step in preventing breast cancer in women carrying the mutation.

Only about 12% of women in the general population will develop breast cancer. However, about 65% of women in the general population carrying the BRCA1 mutation will develop breast cancer as will 45% of women with the BRCA2 mutation in their lifetime.

But What are BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations?

We all have genes in our bodies, that we inherit from our parents. If a gene changes abnormally, it becomes a mutation and these mutations can be detected by your medical professional. More specifically, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 are mutations that are the building blocks, if you will, for cancer. They are the most popular mutations that are linked to breast cancer risk.

It is important to know that a child has a 50% chance of getting the mutation from either parent as both men and women can carry the mutation. Men with the BRCA2 mutation have an increased risk of breast cancer as well as prostate cancer. Anyone with a history of breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer in their family is encouraged to consider genetic counseling at the age of 25. The Affordable Care Act in the US considers genetic counseling as well as BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation testing in those at high risk to be a covered preventive service.

Most common cancers - female, by occurrence

Those with the mutation can easily manage their risk by yearly screening as well as prophylactic (risk-reducing) procedures and chemoprevention. Enhanced screening increases the chance of detecting breast cancer in its early stages.

Women with the mutation are also at high risk for ovarian cancer. Unfortunately, no effective ovarian cancer screening methods currently exist. Since there is no way to detect early-stage ovarian tumors, many doctors are urging women to undergo prophylactic surgery to remove the ovaries after a woman is finished having children. This reduces the chance of a woman dying from ovarian cancer by about 80%.

Hopefully, within the next few years, medical technology will find ways to better detect, treat, and prevent ovarian as well as breast cancer in those carrying the mutations, but it can’t be emphasized enough. Get tested as often as your doctor recommends and take all the necessary precautions to help you avoid this deliberating disease.


Benefiting the Israel Children’s Cancer Foundation
Sponsored by Howard Fensterman, Esq.,
of the Abrams Fensterman Law Firm

The disease of cancer remains the leading cause of death in Israeli Children. 1 out of 300 children will be diagnosed each year. The Israel Children’s Cancer Foundation offers assistance to every child suffering from cancer in the State of Israel. Since its founding, in 1988, the Israel Children’s Cancer Foundation has worked tirelessly to cure as many children as possible.

With the love of the land of Israel and a love for the people of Israel, the Israel Children’s Cancer Foundation is committed to helping every child see their future. We can only do this with your help. Please help us make a difference in children’s lives.

It is my desire to support charitable endeavors geared towards treatment and finding cures for life threatening and debilitating diseases, especially those afflicting children. The ICCF’S substantial funding of research searching out treatments and cures for pediatric cancer makes the organization a very worthy one to support.

  • Howard Fensterman




Monday evening, December 7, 2015

Chabad of Port Washington
80 Shore Road, Port Washington, NY 11050

7:30 pm – 10:00 pm

$54 per person (women only)

Sponsorships available at: Gold/$1800 Silver/$360 Bronze/$180

For tickets, please call 516-791-1180 or Purchase on line

Elyse Bell, Chair

Wine and Cheese reception

Sisterhood of Chabad of Port Washington, Sponsors
Seth and Andrea Bell and Family, Sponsors

Abrams Fensterman Managing Partner Honored by North Shore LIJ

Child Life and Educational Services of the North Shore LIJ Health System honored Howard Fensterman for his outstanding dedication to the hospital.

The New Leadership Division of the North Shore – LIJ Hospital has said “We salute the members of the New Leadership division for their selfless devotion to improving the quality of life for hospitalized children”.

“A special thanks to our honoree” Howard Fensterman for his generosity and service to the children, and our heartfelt appreciation to the family of the late Gary M. Sherman for his many years of dedicated leadership.”

The North ShoreLIJ Health System is one of the largest integrated health systems in the United States.