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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow Letters to the Editor for May 11, 2011


Letters to the Editor for May 11, 2011

More tips about preventing breast cancer
To the editor:
I wanted to write in response to the paper’s article about digital mammography.  I’d like to make a few clarifications and some additional points. 

I don’t want women to be afraid of having a mammogram. The exam may be uncomfortable, but very few women would say it is painful.  Since “going digital” here at the hospital and the implementation of MammoPads (the soft foam pad mentioned in the article) the exam has been made significantly more comfortable.   
St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Baker City does require an order from your health care provider for a mammogram.  Whether or not that provider will require you to have a clinical breast exam prior to giving you an order is up to them. It is a good idea to have a clinical breast exam done yearly. Women should also be doing self-breast exams monthly. 
An estimated 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Age is the greatest risk factor for women.
Women need to be aware that 90 percent of those who develop breast cancer do not have a first-degree relative with the disease. 
Unfortunately, breast cancer is symptomless in its early state. The best way to detect breast cancer before symptoms occur is with screening mammograms.  Mammograms can reveal cancers that are so small that they cannot be felt. Some can be found that are the size of grains of sand. Early detection increases successful treatment and saves lives.
Men do get breast cancer.  Approximately 1 percent of breast cancer cases occur in men. 
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations have been criticized by more than the American College of Radiology and the American Society of Breast Disease. Voiced opposition has been made by the American Cancer Society, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the Susan B. Komen Foundation and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  All of these organizations recommend yearly screening mammograms for women 40 years and older in good health.
Coby Mastrude
Baker City

School food program getting a lot of help
To the editor:
I am writing out of gratitude for the outpouring of community support that the Learn & Grow 2 Go program has received. This backpack food project delivers food to school on Friday to cover the weekend for students who receive free or reduced lunches during the school week. This year the Baker Middle School was chosen as a place to test out the program, but next school year there are plans to expand Learn & Grow 2 Go in grades K-12.
Support has come from different churches and places in the community.  The regular customers of The Dollar Store donated an average of three carts of food per week while The Dollar Store hosted a food drive for Learn & Grow 2 Go. Aletha Bonebrake and volunteers from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church have provided enough bread for several weekends. The Catholic Church has offered to donate money, and Juanita Bergacker at the Methodist Church has invited me to speak to the congregation about the program. I really appreciate how all of these people and groups have so graciously offered to help the growing students in our town!
There were also several generous individuals who donated food or money after the article was published in this paper.
Thank you all! Please keep in mind that this is an ongoing program in need of ongoing support.
Liz Romtvedt
Baker City

Support local schools, vote yes on Measure 1-54
To the editor:
Please support your local schools and vote “yes” on Ballot Measure 1-54. This levy is needed to maintain the current level of classroom teaching, transportation and routine maintenance. The district is not asking for a shiny new car, only to keep the current model fueled and maintained. A “no” vote means cuts in all areas, which would bring larger classes and reductions in programs, such as music, visual arts and libraries, as well as options for advanced classes, vocational and community-based courses, online classes and alternative schooling.
Some have asked what’s the big deal, why can’t the schools make do with less?  To forestall layoffs or a tax levy, even the Baker City Herald has editorialized (irrationally) in favor of the school district and board to adopt a hard line position and negotiate across-the-board cuts in pay and benefits for teachers and staff, now shown to be among the lowest paid for comparably sized districts in Oregon. Aside from the rank unfairness of this suggestion — why should teachers and staff be the only persons called on to make sacrifices for the benefit and service to all in the community? — research over the last 30 years consistently finds that teacher-led instruction best leads to student achievement. That seems like a great place to invest precious tax funding: teachers, classrooms, instruction.
Please join me in voting “yes” on Ballot Measure 1-54.
Gene Yates
Baker City

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