The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 15, 1997 · Page 16
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 16

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 15, 1997
Page 16
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C4 THURSDAY, MAY 15, 1997 HEALTH THE SALINA JOURNAL T BREAST CANCER Preventive mastectomy extends life Women who have defective genes can live 3 to 5 years longer By KATHARINE WEBSTER The Associated Press Women with certain genes that strongly increase their risk of breast cancer could live an average of three to five years longer by having their breasts removed at age 30 while they are still healthy, a study found. . Women with the bad genes run a lifetime risk of breast cancel- that has been estimated at anywhere from 56 percent to 85 percent. Some women carrying the bad genes have chosen to undergo a mastectomy just in case. But until now, little data existed to show how much longer they might live by doing so. The study also looked at preventive ovary removal, since some women with the defective genes run a 40 percent risk of ovarian cancer. These women could live an average of two years longer if they had surgery by age 40. The researchers estimated that even without preventive surgery, women with the defective genes could expect to live an average of 65 years or more, as long as they got frequent checkups and mam- mograms. "We're not advocating these surgeries," said Dr. Deborah Schrag of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the study's lead author. "A woman facing these decisions will want to consider her self-image, her ability to have children, her ability to nurse her children, as well as relief of her anxiety about getting cancer." Mutations in the genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 cause about 5 percent to 10 percent of all breast cancer and 5 percent of all ovarian cancer. They often are to blame in families with high rates of both. Until recently, surgery to remove healthy breasts was rare. But the development of blood tests for mutations in the BRCA genes has increased demand for the operation. The study is a statistical analysis of data on breast cancer risk and life expectancy, not one that directly compares women who were randomly given preventive mastectomies with those who were not. However, the Dana-Farber researchers made conservative estimates, so the benefits of surgery could be even greater than the study suggests, said the Mayo Clinic's Lynn Hartmann, who has studied preventive mastectomies. The study is one of four in today's New England Journal of Medicine that examine BRCA mutations and their implications for breast cancer screening, risks and treatment. Dr. Bernadine Healy, dean of the College of Medicine at Ohio State University, said in an accompanying editorial that the studies show that not all mutations act the same and that other factors — such as environment and diet — may play a role in triggering breast cancer in women with bad genes. Another of the studies, by National Institutes of Health researchers, looked at more than 5,318 Washington-area Jews of Eastern European heritage. It found that more than 2 percent had defects in their BRCA genes and that women with the bad genes had a 56 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer. While that is high compared with the 13 percent risk for women without a defective gene, it is much lower than the widely quoted 85 percent chance estimated in earlier studies. The 85 percent risk was found in families who had numerous cases of breast and ovarian cancer. The study also found a 16 percent risk of ovarian cancer among women and an equal chance of prostate cancer among men with the defective genes, both much higher than in the general population. The University of Washington scientist who discovered the BR- CAl gene, Mary-Claire King, said the study is badly flawed because the risk estimates were based entirely on participants' memories of whether anyone in the family had had cancer. She said the risk is probably higher. A third study of patients at clinics that specialize in breast cancer screening found that only 7 percent of women with breast cancer and a family history of breast cancer had a BRCA1 defect. The University of Pennsylvania study concluded that routine testing for women with family histories of breast cancer is unwarranted, but screening for smaller groups — Jews of Eastern European heritage, women whose relatives got breast cancer by age 55 and women with family histories of both breast and ovarian cancer — could make sense. The fourth study, by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers, found the risk of developing breast cancer by age 32 is high among women with BRCA1 mutations but not among those with BRCA2 mutations. V MARIJUANA Researchers find little benefit in marijuana Active ingredient in its pure form is more effective than smoking By The Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — Smoking marijuana has less medical benefit than taking the drug's active ingredient in its pure form, and neither is of much use when side effects are considered, a new study says. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, has been shown to be medicinally useful for such things as fighting nausea after chemotherapy and restoring appetite in AIDS patients, said the study published Wednesday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. But THC is more effective when taken in its pure form, the prescription drug dronabinol, than when smoked, said Drs. Eric Voth and Richard Schwartz, whose conclusions came from analyzing earlier studies. And since it's the ingredient that makes pot smokers high, its medical value is negated by its intoxicating effects, which increase patients' risk of having an accident, such as falling down stairs, Schwartz said. "I don't see any advantage of smoking pot any more than I would suggest there's an advantage of smoking tobacco for weight control or anxiety," Voth said. The researchers are members of the International Drug Strategy Institute, an anti-drug think tank based in Topeka, Kan. Their findings were based on a review of studies published between 1975 and 1996 and did not consider anecdotal accounts. One medical marijuana proponent called the study's authors "missionaries" bent on convincing the public that marijuana is dangerous and questioned the quality of a journal that would publish their work. Dr. Lester Grinspoon, author of "Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine," said the omission of anecdotal evidence taints the research because so few other studies have been done. 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BJI WHITE female, 30, petite, seeks mature, soft, gay, bl white female, 38-48 to gulda ma on my first adventure. No commitments, no man. Oay Black Professional *22O2. Gay white male, honest, fun, spiritual, masculine. Seeking black male, 24-36 for friendship. No games or drugs. I'm Walling. MOVING TO SALINA #2248. OAY WHITE MALE mowing to Salina. Seeking Information on where fallow gays gather for entertainment and friendship. MAIL OR FAX YOUR FREE PERSONAL AD TODAY! The following information is kept strictly confidential and is necessary to send out instructions you will need: NAME: .. ADDRESS: — CITY/STATE/ZIP CODE: — TELEPHONE: FREE HEADLINE:. FREE 25 WORD AD: (No Abbreviations). Send To: Connection Line The Salina Journal 333 FAX: (913) 823-3207 CATEGORIES: Q Women Seeking Men Q Men Seeking Women Q Friends Seeking Friends South 4th St., Salina, KS 67401 E-Mail: SJadv@SaljOUmal.COm MIW~>MM. Q SpQIts Partners a women Seeking Women Q Men Seeking Men Q Seniors Seeking Seniors| Introducing the features that can introduce , *HP ' * * I i I ,, i •«£..->*'« U i V .ST. ADVERTISER MATCH Advertiser Match lets you know - when you place an ad - if there aie other advertisers out there who are just your type. All you need to do is answer a few simple questions when you record your voice greeting and this new feature will immediately direct you to other advertisers who meet your criteria. Then, just call 1-900-737-1160 i (call costs $2.19 per I minute. Must be 18 or older) to hear their voice greetings. AUTO BROWSE When you call and respond to a specific ad, this new feature will automatically let you know if there are other advertisers with the same profile. Then once you've left your first greeting, you can listen to as many of the other ads as you wish. Just think about it...with Auto Browse, you'll never have to worry about the one who got away! SUPER BROWSE With personal interview you'll record better, more interesting voice greetings and let listeners know even more about you. Here's all you need to know: when it's time to record your voice greeting, you'll be given the option of answering a few simple questions. Just take your time, and in no time, you've got a better, more interesting voice greeting than you ever thought possible. More interesting greeting... more responses. Better greeting... better responses. That's all there is to it. Similar to Advertiser Match, Super Browse automatically directs you to advertisers who meet your criteria. And like every new feature, It's so easy to use. When you call to browse ads, just answer a few questions and Super Browse will let you hear all the ads from people who are sure to be your type. It's no wonder Frequent Caller Is our most popular feature. For starters, It makes responding to ads faster and more efficient than ever before. And of course, It's easy to use, too. When you call to respond to an ad, simply answer a few questions and you'll be given your own personal Frequent Caller PIN*. Then every time you call and enter that number, Frequent Caller will let you know If there are any new advertisers who meet your criteria. You'll never have to listen to the same ads twice again. lividuals to ono another. You must be at loast 10 yuais old to submit or respond lo Co The Salina Journal Connection Line Is run lor the purpose ot Introducing ind, edit or relocl any ad or voice greeli

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