Tuesday, November 17, 2009

President Carter, breast cancer and the hungry

In an interview yesterday former President Jimmy Carter admitted that his advisers pressed him to attack Iran to free the Amercian hostages, some 30 years ago now. Carter has said, he didn't want to kill 20,000 Iranians. He also admits that if he had successfully rescued the hostages, he would have been re elected. I couldn't agree more.

While the health care debate rages in the Senate and lines in the sand drawn out over ideological differences, (from the WSJ) a government sponsored review from the new US Preventive Services Task Force state that routine mammograms aren't necessary fro women in their 40's and that women between 50 and 74 years old don't need to undergo mammograms more often than every other year. The new guidelines were formed by weighing the benefits of screening compared with the harm of false positives, such as anxiety and unnecessary additional tests and biopsies. The recommendations are only for women who have no family history of breast cancer and who don't have genetic mutations know to be associated with breast cancer, BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Many groups have come out against the new recommendations and Medicare and Medicaid will continue to screen as usual, but this report MAY have some influence on private and public insurance companies on how they pay for the routine test. 3.3 Billion dollars was spent on Mammograms in the past 12 months.

The cupboards are bare at various food panties around our area. The US Department of Agriculture who tracks food security levels states that 14.6%, or about 49 million people, including 17 million kids, don't have enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. The need is greater than last year here in Mass and I know first hand how hard it's been for our neighbors to keep food on the table. If you can share any donation to a food bank around your area, please do so. And if you have the need to put food on the table, please contact: The Salvation Army, 35 Concord Street, downtown Framingham or St Bridget's Church at 15 Wheeler Street, 875 5959.