103 and Cancer-Free: Whippany Man Beats Cancer

3
Oct

Marcia McCubbin, left, a nursing assistant and Diane Markt, RN, flank Herman Goldman with James Wong, MD.

Marcia McCubbin, left, a nursing assistant and Diane Markt, RN, flank Herman Goldman with James Wong, MD.

Born in 1913, Herman Goldman, at 103 years young, is one of the latest success stories in radiation oncology at Morristown Medical Center. Diagnosed with “squamous cell cancer of the right cheek with metastasis to the right preauricular region,” an aggressive, large skin tumor, surgery was not possible for Mr. Goldman. But 34 treatments later, Herman Goldman is as energetic and robust as people 3 decades younger!

“I take it one day at a time. Every day is a gift,” the centenarian, long-time resident of Whippany asserts.

Mr. Goldman, originally of New York City, had worked for Capitol Lighting in East Hanover since 1941. He has a happy family life with a son, a daughter, five grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. And now that he has finished his treatment at MMC, he continues to walk on a treadmill, and even has joined a gym program at Madison’s YMCA.

Chairman of radiation oncology at MMC since 1997, Dr. James Wong, MD, asserts that patients now live longer and age more slowly, so the range of possible cancer treatments is greatly expanded for them. In fact, Dr. Wong, who also chairs radiation oncology at Chilton and Hackettstown medical centers, has several patients in their 90s. When treating these mature patients, Dr. Wong alters their regimen and gives them a reprieve in the middle of treatment, which gives the patients a much-needed break of rest and relief, as well as the motivation to keep going. During his break, Herman Goldman’s medical team saw a shrinking of his tumor, which allowed for less invasive radiation doses during his second half of treatment.

Dr. Eric Whitman, MD, Medical Director, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, and Director, Atlantic Melanoma Center, Endocrine and Oncologic Surgery, says “This is yet another example of the outstanding personalized care and attention that the radiation oncology team gives their patients, and another reason so many seek our help for cancer treatment.”

“With cancer, you either treat it or you’re going to die,” Herman Goldman said. “The treatment didn’t bother me. As long as they were going to try to treat me, I had a chance. I didn’t hesitate a minute.”