Business Directory Now Online!!!

Main News
County Living
Church Announcements
Dated Events
Military News
Subscribe to the Transcript

Christmas Special December 23rd

Please visit our kind sponsors

Issue Home December 30, 2009 Site Home

Letters to the Editor Policy

Mammograms: No Or Heck No, Part II

Part I discussed the dangers and ineffectiveness of mammograms to increase survival rates of breast cancer victims. It cited studies and authorities who have long advised against this procedure. Part II details other problems inherent in mammography.

About 15 percent of mammograms are false negatives. This indicates that the breasts are normal when, in fact, cancer is present.

False positives present their own galaxy of problems. It is estimated that 10 percent of first-time mammograms indicate a tumor that isn't there. False positives cause emotional strain, extra expense, unnecessary surgical procedures such as mastectomies, and necessitate another mammogram. And each mammogram requires two exposures for each breast.

Additional mammograms are disconcerting because breasts are the most radiosensitive tissue in the body. X-rays are cumulative in their effects. Annual mammograms, required retesting, dental X-rays, and other medically suggested X-rays add up.

Ten percent of the women who require additional X-ray screening are advised to have a biopsy. A biopsy is the removal of a small sample of tissue for diagnosis. This is done by using a hollow needle to withdraw tissue. The physician may use X-rays to guide the needle.

But some experts are convinced that this procedure may dislodge cancerous cells which, if present, may be released into the blood stream and cause proliferation of cancerous sites.

In order to obtain a clear X-ray, extreme breast compression is necessary. The recommended force of compression is equivalent to a weight of between 25 to 45 pounds (depending on the patient) placed on a breast supported on a hard surface. A mammogram requires four compressions.

Tumors must be handled as gently as possible to avoid causing cancerous cells breaking off and metastasizing. During compression this precaution is disregarded.

If a mammogram discovers a malignant tumor, conventional treatments offer little hope. “Early detection and treatment with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy does not prolong life and may actually shorten it,” according to William Douglass, MD.

Thirty-seven million mammograms were taken last year. Women with breast irregularities have access to the best conventional medical care. If these protocols were effective, there would be a dramatic deduction in breast cancer. What do we find?

William Blot, PhD, did an extensive statistical analysis of all age brackets of breast cancer from 1950 to 1975. His conclusion: “[the] overall morality for breast cancer has changed little over time in the United States.”

But between 1990 and 2004 mortality from breast cancer decreased 2 percent every year. There are three probably causes for this decline.

First, generally there are two types of breast cancers, fast growing and slow growing. For fast-growing tumors the prognosis is grim. But if a slow-growing tumor is detected early, the survival rate is good. This is because whatever medical interventions are taken - even if nothing at all is done - the patient with a slow-growing tumor has a good chance of meeting the survival definition of five years.

The second reason for the reduction concerns hormone replacement therapy (HRT). For three decades HRT was widely prescribed to relieve post-menopausal symptoms. It was also believed that HRT would reduce the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. HRT did just the opposite.

An extensive study of HRT by the National Institutes of Health found that this treatment caused a greater incidence of breast cancer and heart disease. This result was confirmed by a study in the UK known as the Million Women Study (1996 to 2000).

As a result of these findings, the number of women taking HRT dropped by almost half and with it the number of breast cancers that HRT caused.

Third, since 2000 there has been a 16 percent reduction in the number of mammographies: less carcinogenic X-rays equals less cancer.

Clearly, prevention is the path to follow. Researchers estimate that about 40 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases could be prevented by making dietary changes. These changes advise women to decrease the consumption of sugar and white flour, replace supermarket cooking oils with coconut oil.

Avoid hydrogenated fats and petrochemicals such as pesticides and preservatives, and especially the estrogen mimicking chemical bisphenol-A used to make plastic pliable. Additionally, sufficient sleep and weight normalization are vital.

Concomitant with these modifications should be an increase in fresh fruits and vegetables. Physicians specializing in prevention universally recommend these supplements: omega-3 essential fatty acids, and vitamins D-3, C, E, and selenium.

Following these recommendations does not make you immune to cancer, but it does heavily tilt the odds in your favor for a healthy, cancer-free life.


Bob Scroggins

New Milford, PA


I’ve been following the incredible machinations taking place in the US Senate this past week. Without addressing the merits (or demerits) of the bill under consideration, it is astonishing to look at the behavior of our elected representatives.

Starting right from the beginning, there was an incredible press for passage before Christmas. We have now learned that upon Senate passage of the health care bill, the Senate was recessed until mid-January before returning to deal with reconciliation with the House bill. Tell me, where is the rush? This behavior is used to minimize the public out roar over the contents. Then there are the cases of Mary Landrieu of Louisiana who proudly sold her vote for $300,000,000 of your tax dollars. Following that disgraceful action, we have Ben Nelson of Nebraska who sold his vote for perpetual exemption from new Medicare costs for the residents of his state. Not to mention Bill Nelson of Florida who sold his vote for extension of Medicare Advantage for current residents of his state. Note that for every case of Senate bribery, there are citizens of other states who will pick up the bill. None of this has anything to do with the worth of the bill in question. It has everything to do with special perks and privileges gained for one group of citizens at the expense of another - solely for the purpose of gaining support for re-election. This must be some great bill - rushed to completion (at least in the Senate) by working (read: bribing) 20 some straight days and with votes in the middle of the night and on weekends. Sure makes me think that there is really good legislation on its way for me and our country. Oh, I forgot, as a senior, I believe that the $500,000,000,000 being cut from Medicare is meant to assure that I have the medical care I will need in my dotage. And kids - start saving that $750 penalty if you don’t want to buy in. And you think that this is going to save you money? Where is your head?

I have to wonder where integrity fits into all this, if at all. Integrity is defined as soundness of and adherence to moral principle and character. In all this rush to pass a health care bill, with the selling of votes in the most corruptive way, my suspicion is that this “Pass at All Costs” legislation is a front for the Progressive agenda of more POWER AND CONTROL by and for the all knowing, career politicians and bureaucrats. Did you see and hear Harry Reid say that if your Senator didn’t cut a deal, he wasn’t doing his job very well. I am astonished.

Parker Griffith, a Democratic Representative from Huntsville, AL, switched allegiance to the Republican Party last week. He knew this bill was wrong for the people and for our country. He demonstrates what is meant by integrity. We had better be looking for more like him.


Joe McCann

Elk Lake, PA

Heretical Defiance

God requested Mary to deliver the message of Fatima, but why? Mary answered blessed Lucia, the shepherd girl of Fatima: God wants to establish in the world, devotion to my immaculate heart, so that later may be brought along side devotion to His sacred heart. This and seven years of peace were to be granted to the world if the church consecrated Russia to the immaculate heart of Mary. Well, we didn’t get it because we didn’t do it yet. Meanwhile we are slipping into communist enslavement via abortion, that once planted in government health care will render our God given rights protected by the constitution of the United States null and void.

We have killed over 40 million babies and we’ve allowed our legislature to continue our dirty work. Well, it has caught up with us. All true Roman Catholics must demand from their representatives in Washington to immediately cease and desist from all pro abortion activity. A substantial majority of the democratic leadership of the democratic party are in heretical defiance of God and His church in their stand for abortion.

In the wake of the great miscarriage of justice, we, the overwhelming majority of the Roman Catholics faithfully recognizing our rights and responsibilities in the church, recommend our bishops to remove any politician who does not comply publicly with the teaching of God and His church. Better to have them removed now and repent than to lead millions more souls astray.

Mary said in the end, my immaculate heart will triumph. And I say with Pope Benedict XVI, may it be so. Glory to God in the highest on earth and peace to men of good will.


John Mann

Susquehanna, PA

Cold Blood

Who’s afraid of Sarah Palin? The current Representative for Pennsylvania’s Xth Congressional District might harbor somewhere in his heart, let’s say, trepidation. I never had a conversation with the man. Consequently, I have only the scantest clues for any appraisal of Mr. Chris Carney’s character or his intellect.

Rather recently, his name was on the lips of certain talking heads, who either inhabit or infest this or that cable news channel. Allegedly, losing presidential candidate Arizona Senator John McCain engaged Chris in a phone conversation. During which, likely enough, the good senator asked the good representative to consider very recent political history.

Evidently, McCain’s carrying the Xth by a respectable six (6) percent prompted that overture. Again allegedly, he asked Chris for an unusual Christmas present. Metaphorically, would Chris play Santa by bolting the Democrat(ic) Party?

Writing strictly for myself, had I been in Democrat(ic) Representative Carney’s shoes, the recipient of McCain’s request, my blood would’ve run cold.

And that would’ve been for several reasons. The label of “turncoat” would’ve been the least. Politics is like an omelet - promises like eggs get broken.

There are the “teabaggers,” had I been the recipient of McCain’s request, I certainly would have taken into consideration. I’d be willing to lay odds. No more than three minutes after bolting, that factious swarm of Astroturf gorpes will come out of the woodwork. Bad enough, they contaminate the political scene. Even worse, they vote.

Who knows? Out of spite for, in her mind, McCain’s keeping her out of the White House, Sarah Palin might decide to ruin my hypothetical chances for election as a Republican. It’s a good bet Chris can recall what she did to a Republican candidate up in upstate New York.

Then there’s the Club for Growth. Maybe, they would take a shine to me, maybe not.

Recently, the Republican Party suffered a stinging defeat more at the hands of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid than President Obama’s. Well, as President John Fitzgerald Kennedy once said, “victory has a hundred fathers. Defeat is an orphan.” That is certainly true enough. He neglected to add, “with lots of blame to go around.”

Ironically enough, Nevada Senator Reid had indispensable help from the Club for Growth. Thanks to their driving Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter out of the Republican Party, Reid got his notorious sixtieth (60th) vote.

Oh, yeah, there’s that fifty-ninth (59th) vote, which came courtesy of then Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain. Just some of those resources he used to try wresting Pennsylvania from the grasp of then Illinois Senator Barack Hussain Obama junior could’ve been used in Minnesota. That way, stand-up comedian Al Franken could’ve easily been denied his victory over then incumbent Senator Coleman.

By the way, our President is technically a junior. His father’s full name was also Barack Hussain Obama.

For all those reasons and more, my blood would’ve run cold.


A Alexander Stella

Susquehanna, PA

Walking Through Bethlehem

I would like to thank all the hard workers and Pastor Nancy Cubitt from the First Presbyterian Church in Hallstead for the night of December 20 in Bethlehem.

It made me feel like I was actually there. First we had to register, put on a robe, and had our pictures taken. Each person was given coins to purchase food and goods that were sold back in Jesus’ time. They were run by God’s chosen people.

We met Roman soldiers, the beggar and the tax collector, to whom we had to prove we paid this year’s taxes. Last, we heard the good news from the Shepherds of Jesus’ birth and walked outdoors to a stable with Mary, Joseph, “our Messiah” and a live donkey.

It made me feel really blessed. May we keep Christ in our hearts always and not just at Christmas.

If this even takes place Christmas of 2010, don’t miss it - you will be blessed also.


JoAnn Shofkom

Susquehanna, PA

Letters To The Editor MUST BE SIGNED. They MUST INCLUDE a phone number for "daytime" contact. Letters MUST BE CONFIRMED VERBALLY with the author, before printing. Letters should be as concise as possible, to keep both Readers' and Editors' interest alike. Your opinions are important to us, but you must follow these guidelines to help assure their publishing.

Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript

News  |  Living  |  Sports  |  Schools  |  Churches  |  Ads  |  Events
Military  |  Columns  |  Ed/Op  |  Obits  | Archive  |  Subscribe