Health & Wellness

Women Urged to Take Charge of Their Health at Belmar/Lake Como ‘In the Pink’ Program

Breast cancer survivors of Belmar Cares greet attendees to the “In the Pink” event, including, from left, Pat O’Keefe, Carol Barnwell, Claire Deicker, Kyle Rizzitello and Helen Becker. Credits: Cathy Goetz
From right, breast cancer survivor Rosemary Bobay of Belmar gets a manicure from beautician Carol Cupoli, whose sister Camille Witkowski, both of Belmar, is also pictured at the "In the Pink" event. Credits: Cathy Goetz
Enjoying conversation and some pink treats at the “In the Pink” program are, from left, Doris Hayes, Betty McCann and Barbara Travis, all of Belmar. Credits: Cathy Goetz
Julia Nicolay, 11, of Belmar displays breast cancer awareness shells — each with a word of inspiration on the underside — created by her Girl Scout troop in Wall, with donations made to Belmar Cares. Credits: Cathy Goetz
Chiropractor Veera Gupta, D.C., offers women at the “In the Pink” program this advice: “Take care of yourself for us because the world would not be the same without you.” Credits: Cathy Goetz
Denise Johnson Miller, M.D., medical director of breast surgery for Meridian Cancer Care, shows "In the Pink" attendees images of one of the many breakthrough treatments for breast cancer. Credits: Cathy Goetz

BELMAR/LAKE COMO, NJ — Women should take some time for themselves, especially when it comes to their health. That was the message of “In the Pink: A Program about Well-Health for Women,” held on May 3.

Keeping with its color-focused theme, pink was everywhere at Belmar’s Municipal Building, where women were treated to manicures and shoulder massages, cupcakes and lemonade, gift raffles and just the opportunity to join with friends.

But most importantly, they were offered information and advice from two physicians who stressed what they can do to make sure their health is a priority — not only for themselves, but for their loved ones.

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“Just take few minutes for yourself now, so you will have years later,” Manasquan-based chiropractor Veera Gupta, D.C.,  told the group of some 50 women. “Take care of yourself for us because the world would not be the same without you.”

Dr. Gupta delivered a talk brimming with ways to keep healthy through small steps taken throughout the day — a simple exercise, drinking enough water, eating foods that heal and don’t harm the body, taking the right vitamins, among a host of informative tidbits.

Emphasizing that bone health is particularly vital to a woman’s well-being, she related Wolff’s law — that bone adapts to the stress placed on it — to everyday living. “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” Dr. Gupta explained.

She stressed how several minutes of the smallest daily activity — for example, standing on each leg for 30 seconds without holding onto something — can help strengthen muscles to avoid breaking a bone.

The event’s other guest speaker, Denise Johnson Miller, M.D., medical director of breast surgery for Neptune-based Meridian Cancer Care, also encouraged attendees to make their health a top priority.  “As women, we are always busy, always taken care of someone else and not taking care of ourselves,” she said, focusing her talk on breast health — how both early detection and advances in the treatment of breast cancer are saving lives.

“The cancer in your breast doesn’t kill you; it’s when it spreads,” Dr. Miller said. “When you find cancer early, you have many success stories.”

In the last five years, she said, advances in cancer treatment have accelerated at a pace never seen before — whether it’s surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, gene therapy, immunology or other emerging technologies.

“Treatment is not like an anchor anymore. You can be treated with a minimum impact on your life,” Dr. Miller said.

As part of Hackensack Meridian Health’s Paint the Town Pink campaign held in May, Belmar/Lake Como’s “In the Pink” event was sponsored by both municipalities and organized by Belmar Cares, a support group for breast cancer survivors. “We started out to help each other, and now we’ve grown to help others,” said Claire Deicke, who founded the group nearly 10 years ago.

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