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Letters to the Editor

November 28, 2009

Mammography is not perfect, but it saves lives



To the editor:

The U.S. Task Force for Preventive Care recently released new guidelines for breast care. Those guidelines recommend:

o Against screening mammograms for women ages 40 to 49.

o Biannual mammograms recommended for women ages 50 to 69.

o Against teaching self breast exams.

o Against routine clinical breast exams.

Many lay persons and professionals are confused and surprised by these recommendations. The American College of Radiology, American Cancer Society, Society of Breast Imaging and many other professional organizations are voicing their strong opposition to these recommendations.

Screening mammography has been proven with several trials to reduce mortality from breast cancer and, in fact, the study on which the U.S. Task Force for Preventive Care based their recommendations found a 15 percent reduction of mortality from breast cancer with screening in women up to 69 years old, including ages 40 to 49. In addition, most of the prior studies did not include digital mammography, which has been shown to have increased sensitivity in younger women.

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We at Diagnostic Imaging Services Women's Imaging concur with the opinions of the American Cancer Society and others who continue to recommend annual mammography beginning at age 40. In the past 30 years, thanks to early detection of cancer by screening mammography and improved treatment of these smaller cancers, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased 30 percent since 1990.

Mammography is not a perfect test -- no test is -- but it has saved thousands of lives. We urge you to continue to obtain annual screening mammograms, beginning at age 40, and to visit your doctor on a routine basis.

Kerri L. Hesley, M.D.

medical director

Women's Imaging at Diagnostic Imaging Services




Small businesses need table games to survive and thrive



To the editor:

Every year, Jefferson County is host to 5 million visitors from around the world, and 4.5 million of them visit Charles Town (W.Va.) Races & Slots. However, while Charles Town Races & Slots houses and feeds many of these visitors on site, they certainly cannot accommodate all 4.5 million visitors.

Our local hotels and restaurants benefit tremendously from tourism as visitors to the racetrack also patronize the surrounding local businesses over the course of their visit. For instance, our hotel patrons are extended the same free shuttle to the casino as Charles Town Races & Slots' patrons are. Those guests stay in our hotel and eat in our restaurant, helping us take a bite at the tourism apple. That, in itself, is proof that dollars are spent beyond the four walls of the casino.

Without the tourists Charles Town Races & Slots bring to Jefferson County every year, our businesses and, consequently, our community would suffer. There's a reason why the hotels I own have flashing signs saying "save our jobs, vote yes" -- it's all of our livelihoods at risk, not just the employees of Charles Town Races & Slots.

We currently have an opportunity with the table games referendum to ensure our local business community is able to sustain its current successes and also build upon them. By bringing table games to Jefferson County, we will bring even more tourists to our community who will patronize all of our businesses, not just Charles Town Races & Slots. This added business will result in new jobs for our friends and neighbors and increased tax revenue that will continue to raise our standard of living.

I am voting "yes" Dec. 5 for table games because we need to ensure that Jefferson County's small businesses do more than survive. We need them to thrive.

Terry L. Marcus

owner, Turf Motel and Quality Hotel

Charles Town, W.Va.




Kauffman and Rock's opinion of unionism not backed by facts



To the editor:

In response to Pennsylvania state representatives Rob Kauffman and Todd Rock on their opinion of unionism in Pennsylvania (HB 50).

Union dues collected from our union brothers and sisters are used within the surrounding community for items such as helping needy families, not only during the holidays, but throughout the year; bringing food and personal visits to the elderly in nursing homes; donation or sponsorship of local softball and baseball teams; bus trips for retired and active veterans; and catered meals and disc jockey services for our various functions throughout the year. We also annually donate to the American Red Cross, Girl and Boy Scouts, United Way, Easter Seals, etc.

Dues used at the international level are used for job security (fighting to keep jobs in the U.S.), workplace safety (working closely with OSHA to make sure we all go home alive), minimum wage increases (being able to earn a "living wage"), the list goes on.

Dues also entitle members access to years of knowledge for work-related issues utilizing the international representatives, legal department, safety department and more. Attorney cost for representation on any of the matters would easily be twice the yearly dues collected.

So, Mr. Kauffman and Mr. Rock, your outlook on unionism is not backed by facts, which makes it your opinion and opinions should not become law. Go back to your cushy chairs and vote yourselves a raise while the real working class fight to make a living.

The American work force does have a choice. If you don't want to pay union dues, don't work in a union shop.

United we stand, divided we beg.

Rich Newcomer Jr.

Greencastle, Pa.

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