Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

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 and 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

and 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 and 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, andJuanita

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 andreductions in programs, such as music, visual arts

and libraries, as well as options for advanced classes, vocational and

community-based courses, onlineclasses 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 andnegotiate 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 onlypersons called on to make sacrifices for the benefit and

service to all inthe 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