LETTERS ON THE APRIL ISSUE
The fact is, we don’t know who is going to get cancer and who is not (“What’s Wrong with Cancer Tests”). We don’t know which cancers will respond to early detection and treatment and which will not. But at the American Cancer Society, we accept the risks of overdiagnosis and treatI was told I had an abdominal aneurysm. Every ment because we believe year, I had tests to see how much it had grown, that screening procedures, but there was never any change. Six months ago, when applied to large numan MRI showed no aneurysm at all. All that time, bers of men and women, do save lives. money, and worry for nothing. Too many doctors To suggest that cancer routinely order tests, and the results are often screening has hurt more misinterpreted. Edith Hach, Phoenix, Arizona than it has helped is ludicrous. Cancer screening, as imperfect as it may be, is not the Your article presented an unbalanced place to start cutting back on one’s perspective on colorectal cancer. health care. Please do not provide Colonoscopy screening allows docyour readers with horror stories tors to identify and remove polyps that strike fear. Inform, educate, (precursors of cancer), therefore and guide them. But do not scare preventing cancer from developing them. That is a terrible disservice. in the first place. The lifetime risk for developing colorectal cancer is Len Lichtenf eld, MD, M ACP, deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society approximately 6 percent, and we
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ADVICE TO CONGRESS … THE READER’S DIGEST VERSION
We asked our e-mail panel what their elected officials should hurry up and accomplish. Top of the list? Fix health care (30%) followed closely by rescue the economy (26%). Other ideas:
>> Refuse salary increases. >> Bring home our soldiers. >> Achieve bipartisanship. >> Get your hands out of my wallet
and give tax breaks to all businesses.
think that losing 50,000 people each year is significant, particularly if that number includes a mother, father, sister, or brother. And for the relatives of colorectal cancer patients, it does. Colorectal cancer is largely preventable. We encourage people to speak with their doctors to determine an appropriate screening schedule.
John L. Petrini, MD, FASGE, president, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
>> Quit approving earmarks and
This story generated a lot of controversy. For more information, see readersdigest.com/cancerletters.
>> Listen to the president. >> Work within the budget—we’re
only building up more debt. >> Provide incentives to use alternative fuels. >> Follow the Constitution. >> Pass a bill to give the president a line-item veto. >> Revise the No Child Left Behind Act. >> Stop interfering with the free market. Let businesses succeed or fail. >> Provide incentives to keep companies and jobs in the United States. >> Help people stay in their homes. >> Balance the budget. >> Stop giving money to those who contributed to this mess.
Want your opinion heard? Join Our Connection, the Reader’s Digest Reader Panel, and take part in short surveys. Sign up at readersdigestconnection .com and register to win $30,000.
I enjoyed “Going Green, the Reader’s Digest Version,” particularly the information regarding the use of paper towels versus electric hand dryers in public restrooms. I’ve traveled in Asia, where more often than not, neither option is available. I now carry a dry washcloth in a plastic bag in my purse wherever I go. I use it to dry my hands throughout the day, then take it out to dry when I return home in the evening.
Linda Stoddard, Laughlin, Nevada
When it comes to campaign finance reform, public financing may be part of the answer (Outrageous! “Dialing for Dollars”). However, I would also like to suggest that the time has come for a constitutional amendment to lengthen congresreadersdigest.com 6/09
sional terms from two to four years. This would not only cut the amount of money needed to fill a seat but also give members of the House of Representatives some time to focus on their jobs before gearing up for reelection.
La rry Wa ters, Tucson, Arizona
Our Readers in Action
I was so inspired by Chip Paillex’s garden that I’ve started to organize my local community to grow a garden in the spring (Make It Matter: “The Producers,” October 2008). Not surprisingly, there are many local organizations that are interested. We will be donating the harvest to the food bank in our town. Thank you for showing how easy it is for one person or a community to make a difference.
C. E., via Internet
I made my son read the stories in “Home of the Brave.” What an incredible eye-opener for both of us. These people suffered more than we will ever know. They chose to come to America because we are a free people and welcome those who want to join our family. They became Americans and now contribute with thankfulness, time, and experience. They are a blessing.
Since you told your readers about the Pay It Forward Fund (Make It Matter: “Up From Under,” September 2008), we’ve received thousands of dollars in donations. A Vietnam vet who lost his wife to breast cancer plans to donate all the proceeds of the book he wrote, Nobody’s Warriors, to the fund. Colonial Life, a local insurance agency, donated $10,000 to our upcoming fund-raiser. Being featured in the local media outlets has also brought in donations. Thanks to all the support, we’ve been able to extend the fund to a fourth hospital in the Michelle Morey, Orono, Minnesota Minneapolis area. try. Taking the Pledge of Allegiance and becoming a citizen was one of the greatest milestones of my life.
Gwendoly ne Graham, Palmyra, Virginia
K risten Smith, Nottingham, New Hampshire
These courageous people remind us of the importance of our freedom. We must be ever vigilant, informed, and determined to protect everything given to us by our Constitution.
M a ry A. M ercurio, Cincinnati, Ohio
I immigrated here many years ago as a teenager with a suitcase and $40 in my pocket. America has been good to me, and I love my adopted coun-
I identified with singer Gary LeVox’s comments about losing touch with his stepfather after he and his mother divorced (Up Close: “Ramblin’ Man”). LeVox should follow through with his desire to contact his stepdad. As someone on the other side of that equation, I believe that contact would be welcome and very uplifting.
Gary Pickering, Davenport, Iowa