Fourth Annual 5K Run/Walk Raises Funds for Artsakh Healthcare

By Stephan S. Nigohosian

Editor’s note: This article was published in the Armenian Mirror Spectator on February 4, 2023.

LEONIA, N.J. —Overpeck County Park is a world away from Artsakh, but that distance became inconsequential last October when upwards of 100 people participated in the Armenian American Health Professionals Organization (AAHPO) Fourth Annual 5K Run/Walk event.

This year’s activity (the date is yet to be determined), which will be held to raise desperately needed funds to support healthcare and medical services for the Armenian population of Artsakh and Armenia, will be even more significant in light of the humanitarian crisis caused by Azerbaijan’s unlawful blockade of the Lachin Corridor. Armenian


Examples of this are the training of doctors in the rural areas of Artsakh in innovative approaches, methods, and technologies in medicine, as well as underwriting the cost of curating and sending medical equipment and medicine to the region.

“The continued growth of our 5K Run/Walk Event is a testament to the dedication and compassion of Armenian-Americans in NY, NJ and CT,” said AAHPO President Lawrence V. Najarian, MD. “The situation in Artsakh has been very difficult for quite some time now, but the most recent repercussions caused by the Azeri blockade has made our mission of providing assistance to our brethren in the region all the more critical.”


HPV Vaccine Prevents Six Types of Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can cause six types of cancer. While there is no treatment for HPV, there is a vaccine that can prevent it.

“I recommend all children between the ages of 9 to 14 receive the HPV vaccine before they are sexually active,” advises AAHPO Vice President and pediatrician Garbis Baydar, MD. “There are medical studies which clearly show that the vaccine not only prevents sexually transmitted genital warts, but also prevents cervical cancer in females, penile cancer in males and oral and food pipe cancer in both sexes.”

The American Cancer Society asserts that the HPV vaccine can prevent more than 90% of HPV cancers, including most cervical cancers. Talk to your child’s doctor and visit to learn more.

Recall of EzriCare Eye Drops

If you have purchased eye drops sold under the brand names of EzriCare or Delsam Pharma Artificial Tears, immediately discontinue use of the eye drops. They have been recalled due to possible contamination linked to eye infection cases in 12 states, including New Jersey and New York.

“Fortunately, these brands have very small market share in our region,” noted AAHPO President and ophthalmologist Lawrence V. Najarian, MD.


Should You Be Smoking Marijuana to Treat Your Glaucoma?

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. AAHPO President and ophthalmologist Lawrence V. Najarian, MD is sharing this article from the Glaucoma Research Foundation, which notes: “Although marijuana can lower eye pressure, please consider its side effects, short duration of action, and lack of evidence that its use alters the course of glaucoma.”

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, the cable that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve from glaucoma can result in vision loss and blindness. Treatments that lower the pressure in the eye both lower the risk of developing the optic nerve damage that defines glaucoma, and the risk of pre-existing damage getting worse.

Marijuana as a Treatment Alternative
One of the commonly discussed alternatives for the treatment of glaucoma is the smoking of marijuana, because smoking marijuana does lower the eye pressure. Less often appreciated is the fact that marijuana’s effect on eye pressure only lasts 3-4 hours, meaning that to lower the eye pressure around the clock it would have to be smoked 6-8 times a day.

Furthermore, marijuana’s mood-altering effects prevent the patient who is using it from driving, operating heavy machinery, and functioning at maximum mental capacity. Marijuana cigarettes also contain hundreds of compounds that damage the lungs, and the chronic, frequent use of marijuana can damage the brain.

Learn more from the Glaucoma Research Foundation

Protect Your Family from the Dangers of Radon

Did you know that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after smoking?

What is Radon?
Radon is an odorless and invisible radioactive gas naturally released from rocks, soil, and water. In outdoor environments, radon levels are very low and generally not considered harmful.

Radon can get into homes or buildings through small cracks or holes and build up to higher levels. Over time, breathing in high radon levels can cause lung cancer.

The good news is that lung cancer from radon is preventable.

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