Forum, Oct. 8: Mammographic Screening Saves Lives

Saturday, October 07, 2017
Mammographic Screening Saves Lives

The Oct. 4 article “Breast Cancer Death Rate Dropping” did not mention the main reason the death rate from breast cancer dropped for the first time in history. Organized mammographic screening began in the mid 1980s and is credited with starting and continuing the decline in the percentage of women dying from breast cancer. Screening mammography finds breast cancers sooner and decreases the need for extensive surgery and chemotherapy. Women suffer physically, psychologically and financially when breast cancer is detected later. Mammographic screening decreases both deaths and suffering from breast cancer. Finally, all organizations agree (including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force) that the most lives saved occur when women initiate annual mammographic screening beginning at age 40 and continue as long as they are healthy. This unanimity is something we can celebrate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Rebecca A. Zuurbier, M.D.


‘Granny D’ Was an Inspiration

As I, along with many other citizens, seek opportunities to become further engaged in upholding our democracy, a source of continued inspiration and fierce determination is Doris “Granny D” Haddock, a lifelong New Hampshire activist, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 100.

At 5-foot-1, Granny D was a giant for justice and is fondly remembered for her epic 3,200-mile walk from Santa Monica, Calif., to Washington, D.C., to promote campaign finance reform. The trek included crossing more than 1,000 miles of desert, climbing the Appalachian Range in blizzard conditions and even skiing 100 miles after a historic snowfall made roadside walking impossible.

Since then, Concord-based Open Democracy and the NH Rebellion have carried on her work to educate the public and secure legislative goals.

On Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m., actress and playwright Dixie Tymitz will perform Granny D: The Power of One, bringing Haddock and her legendary feat to life at the Norwich Public Library. The play seeks to spark a discussion about the active role citizens must play to help get big money out of politics. It is an understatement to say that our democracy is in the middle of a historic upheaval.

Last year, political donors spent more than $62 million on New Hampshire elections — and that’s not even counting the presidential race. We must do better.

Carol Perera Weingeist