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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
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April 29, 2010     The Ponchatoula Times
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April 29, 2010
 

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THE PONCHATOULA TIMES, APRIL 29, 2010, PAGE B-4 Are we over-diagnosing cancer? By DR. RANDOLPH HOWES M.D., PhD (EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime medical columnist for The Ponchatoula Times, the author is an accomplished surgeon, medical inventor, and Country music recording artist. Dr. Howes grew up on his parents' Ponchatoula strawberry farm. He is a graduate of St. Joseph, Ponchatoula High School, Tulane - two doctorates, followed by a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in plastic surgery. He says he is "re- tired" now in Kentwood.) After all of these years of teaching patients to be on the alert for signs of cancer, some so-called experts are saying that we may be over-diagnosing cancers of the breast and the prostate. With so much contradic- tory and confusing information out there, it is no wonder that most people just throw up their hands and go on trying to live a reasonably happy life the way they've always done. It is often hard to discern from what we see and hear in the medical media which course of action we should take in deal- ing with cancer. We hear so much contradictory advice from scientists and so-called experts that it is hard to know what to believe. And as scientists learn more about cancer, their advice .,.and don't foct, Car Ilspalr ,ool lxlmm olnamran A Vatton ,Jot lmprownmt JOtal Work R 4kmt ,dtrasl BUI ,You NamG Itt Cash  Are Am=tlabl+ Todol# Ca at t a a., tea u ' mh'.. We,ll e4w'l Dr. Howes changes. A change in advise could be understandable but a total about-face is hard to ac- cept. Now, experts suggest that, "Doctors need to address the problem of over-diagnosis in cancer care -- the detection and possible treatment of tumors that may never cause symp- toms or lead to death." They say that we may be over- diagnosing about 25 percent of breast cancers found through mammograms and about 60 percent of prostate cancers de- tected through prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests. Of even more concern, they claim that we may be over- diagnosing about half of lung cancers detected through some screening tests. Please remem- ber that the number of new cases of cancer (i.e., thyroid, prostate, breast, kidney and melanoma) has gone up over the past 30 years, but the death rate has not. It appears that more screening tests are re- sponsible for the increased di- agnosis rate. Dr. H. Gilbert Welch and Dr. William Black wrote in a news release from the U.S. National Cancer Institute that, "Where- as early detection may well help some, it undoubtedly hurts oth- ers. Often the decision about whether or not to pursue early cancer detection involves a deli- cate balance between benefits and harms . . . different indi- viduals, even in the same situ- ation, might reasonably make different choices." In my opinion, that did not clear up a thing. Confusion reigns. In the America that I love, organized medicine should try to stop sending conflicting and unclear messages to the public. Citizens hold medical practice in a place of respect but befud- dling reports will erode their confidence. It makes it appear as though no one in the medical community has a clear picture of screening tests, diagnosis and treatment, especially as it relates to common forms of can- cer, which is not the case. If confused, consult your doc- tor and do not be afraid to ask lots of questions. Make no mis- take about it, all forms of can- cer are potentially serious, and possibly deadly. Early detection is extremely important. American Life in Poetry By TED KOOSER U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004- 2006 The great American poet William Carlos Williams taught us that if a poem can capture a moment in life, and bathe it in the light of the poet's close at- tention, and make it feel fresh and new, that's enough, that's adequate, that's good. Here is a poem like that by Rachel Contreni Flynn, who lives in Illinois y The Yellow BoWl" By RACHEL CONTRENI FLYNN If light pours like water into the kitchen where I sway with my tired children, if the rug beneath us is woven with tough flowers, and the yellow bowl on the table rests with the sweet heft of fruit, the sun-warmed plums, if my body curves over the babies, and if I am singing, then loneliness has lost its shape, and this quiet is only quiet. Grand Opening. May 1, 2010 10:00 to 2:00 Refreshments and Door Prizes tOet&eoo Sdu//on00 Alternative Health and Wellness Products & Drug and Alcohol Testing Pain - Backaches- Lack of Energy Poor Circulation- You name it... I (:Free Demo on the SOQI Total Health Bed) SOQI Home Health Spa SOQI Chi Machine SOQI Far-lnfrared Hot House Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils IONIC Foot Detox ,etuuo Ohanging th Wo#d F_.nc2.e,ng Cllstian A/o/r/as Scripture T-Shirts Ondl 232 W. Pine 5t. - Ponchatoula, LA 985.370.7878 Terri Snow www.chidvd.com/snow I.D. # A160549 www.youngliving.com I.D. # 321199 Helping alients regain their maximum potential is the commitment of Specially L TCH Hospital of Hamond Call today )85) 902-8148 and speak with the nurse liaison Spectatty L TCH Hospital of Hammond 207,1 Vas A HamtoL LA 7010J May 14, 2010 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm St. Joseph Gymnasium North 8th St and 22 - Ponchatoula Food - Beverage - Music $15 per person / $25 per couple Sampling of Auction Items Round Trip Transport to Key West Florida . Skn (Courtesy of Erln Pierre) Fishing Trip for 2 Aboard a 50 ft House Boat (Courtesy of Glry Glmble) 4 Days 6 People at Caribe Resort Orange Beach AI (Courtesy of Gordon Mltheney & Rick Clblllero) BEFOB Autographed New York Jets Football Memorabilia (Courtesy of MIr, hell Plrenton) Extremely Rare Irish Manuscript (Donlted by Dr. Mlrtln Kelrney) Saints Helmet Autographed by Coach Seen Payton Biography of Vince Lombardi Autographed by His Grandson Joe Lombardi of the New Orleans Saints Full Page Ad in The Ponchatoula Times Tickets avsilable st The Ponchatoula Times Office CM K: : : Cosmec Surgen t,