Letters To The Editor 1/1/2019

January 1, 2019

Cancer study out

Editor: The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute, a community-based nonprofit organization, has released the report, “Cancer in Northeastern Pennsylvania: Incidence and Mortality for Common Cancers,” which is available at cancernepa.org.

This unique, locally focused report was compiled by cancer institute surveillance coordinator Karen Ryczak, RN, and medical director Samuel Lesko, M.D.

The report documents that incidence and mortality rates for cancer are significantly higher in NEPA than the U.S. as a whole.

It also identifies those cancer sites for which there is a disparity in either incidence or mortality.

Of note, tobacco-related cancers, such as lung, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx and bladder cancers are statistically significantly higher than the U.S. rate in men and women.

Also noteworthy is an increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer in individuals under 50, a trend that has also been documented in the nation. Although screening for this cancer is not routinely conducted among patients younger than 50 without specific risk factors, clinicians should consider the possibility of an underlying malignancy among patients with symptoms consistent with this diagnosis. This may be especially true in Northeast Pennsylvania where the incidence of colorectal cancer is higher than the U.S. average.

The goal in sharing the data is to raise awareness across the community and to promote collaborative efforts to reduce the risk of select cancers through healthy lifestyle choices and adherence to proper screening guidelines. The report offers important insight for Northeast Pennsylvania residents, health professionals and government leaders.

The cancer institute can provide additional information or interviews regarding the report. A hard copy of this report can be obtained by contacting the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute at 570-941-7984 or admin@cancernepa.org.





Year-end thought

Editor: It appears we have once more made a successful trip around the sun.

That is, we have neither crashed into it nor hurdled off into the void. I must add that at the same time, this appears to be no golden age. The poor state of our republic can and, if history serves us well, will be traced back directly to the people we elect to represent us.

To that point and because some letter writer has a very simple view of history I offer the following description of John C. Calhoun written by history professor Clyde Wilson: “A statesman takes a long view of the future welfare of his people and says what he believes to be true, even if the citizens prefer not to hear it. A politician says what he thinks will make him popular and not offend the voters and the media. His span of attention is short-term: the next poll and the next suitcase full of cash.”

Locally, I think we have a dire need for statesmen, don’t you?




What political year

Editor: Politically, what a year 2018 was.

President Donald J. Trump had his lunch eaten repeatedly by Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman, North Korea’s Kim Jung Un and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, dictators all.

Mexico still won’t pay for one shovelful of dirt for the proposed border wall, but U.S. taxpayers might. The Oval Office occupant allegedly accepts charitable contributions and keeps the money himself. All of his three oldest children are under suspicion of having committed crimes.

He allegedly grossly overcharged invitees to his inaugural and then kept overages after expenses. Even the person hired to organize the inaugural cautioned against the exorbitant prices charged. His former lawyer, Michael Cohen, is referred to as a “rat” but former National Security Director Michael Flynn is a “fine man.” The difference? Cohen can illuminate Trump’s wrongdoing and that of his entire family. Flynn cannot. Trump owns the Christmas government shutdown, but now blames Democrats for it.

The stock market finished the year in wild swings, but in his deluded mind he can do no wrong because he knows more about everything than anyone else on the planet. I think that when special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is issued, the old axiom “follow the money” again will ring true.

Russia and Saudi Arabia likely will be shown to have their hooks into the Trumps and the Kushners financially. The end game for the Trump presidency will be shown to expand the family brand and aggressively monetize the advantages of being president.

In the meantime, with so many distractions he faces legally, who is doing the business of our nation? The new year, 2019, will be very interesting. I can’t wait for the 10 percent middle class tax cut he promised in September to be finalized by November.




Child safety first

Editor: In response to Tom McCarey’s letter regarding stop-arm cameras on school buses (“State camera law legally suspect,” Dec. 28), by his logic, E-Z Pass lane cameras may be illegal also after your car went through the E-Z Pass lane and you get mailed a bill for the toll.

It was your vehicle involved.

This stop-arm law is intended for the children’s safety. As a school bus driver I can tell you we need it. Emergency vehicles can’t pass us, such as ambulances, police vehicles or firetrucks yet so many people think they legally can pass us? As far as the issue of increasing visibility, what was it that McCarey didn’t see, the 40-foot yellow box bus, the flashing lights or maybe it was the kids boarding or exiting the bus?

Alleged violators should be responsible for proving that they weren’t driving when the vehicle went through red signals and hit a child that was exiting the bus. This law is about the safety of the children.



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