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April 18, 1997     Cape Gazette
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April 18, 1997

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32 - CAPE GAZETrE, Friday, April 18- April 24 1997 Biden proposes Medicare mammograr00hy legislation Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. re- cently introduced legislation to expand Medicare's mammogra- phy screening benefit. Biden's legislation, the Medicare Mammography Screen- ing Expansion Act, will cover mammograms under Medicare once every year, instead of every two years, which is now the law. To ensure that women are not discouraged from obtaining this important preventive measure be- cause of the cost, the legislation will eliminate the 20 percent co- payment that is currently charged to women when they receive a mammogram. "While there is a lot of confu- sion within the medical communi- ty over whether younger women should receive a regular mammo- gram to test for breast cancer," Biden said, "there is no disagree- ment that older women should re- ceive regular mammograms." "Mammograms save lives and the scientific studies con- firm it. If all women over 50 received regular mam- mograms, breast cancer mortality could be re- BIDP2q duced by one- third. The recommended screen- ing guidelines reflect this, no mat- ter what group's guidelines you read," Biden said. Parent conference set April 19 for families of chUdren with cancer The Childhood Cancer Com- mittee of the American Cancer Society will hold an all-day con- ference, "Helping Families Cope," for parents of children with cancer on Saturday, April 19 at the Radisson Hotel in Wilming- ton. The conference will be an op- portunity for parents to share ex- periences and talk with others about the unique issues and spe- cial demands associated with childhood cancer. The keynote address will be given by Naomi Luban, M.D., of Children's National Medical Cen- ter, Washington, D.C., who will discuss "Blood Transfusions: The Path from Donor to Recipient." Other workshop topics include Childhood Leukemia, Stress Re- duction, Radiation Therapy, and Nutrition. The Childhood Cancer Com- mittee is an organization of volun- teers dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer and their families through educational programs, development of re- source materials, recreational ac- tivities, and providing opportuni- ties for family networking and support. For more information, call 302-324-4227 or 1-800-ACS- 2345. Blood giving ]1 n mogram or a prostate exam. [] It onld pro] Continued from page 81 dehydrate them quicker. Strenu- ous exercise or weight training probably should not be attempted for one or two days after giving blood. The maintenance of water in- take is of vital concern for the ath- lete giving blood. If water is taken in, the athlete is in good condition and acclimated to the weather, no added dangers follow giving blood. REDUCE BACK PAIN: EXERCISE REGULARLY Exercise is essential for main- raining a strong back and protect- ing it from injury. Low back pain often results from weakness of the back muscles and the abdominal muscles that support the back. Submitted by Robert Cairo, licensed physical therapisi, Tidewater Physical Therapy, 945-5111. "The problem," Biden contin- ued, "is that women 65 and over have Medicare as their health in- surance. "The guidelines tell them - and their doctors are telling them - to get a mammogram once a year. But, Medicare pays for mammo- grams only once every two years. "This means that an elderly woman must pay the cost of every other mammogram herself, or go without every other year." Two years ago, a study pub- lished in the New England Journal of Medicine found that only 14.4 percent of women without Medicare supplemental insurance - private insurance that may cover mammograms on an annual basis - received a mammogram once every two years. Even among those women with supplemental insurance, less than half had a mammogram over the course of two years. The study concluded that a women's inability to pay a share of the costs for mammograms "is an obstacle to the effective mass screening of older women for breast cancer." "We know that mammograms save lives," Biden said. "Yet, cur- rent Medicare policy creates barri- ers that are preventing women from seeking this simple, life-sav- ing procedure. "My legislation will make mammography screenings more available and more affordable for American women." I Announces m Delbert J. Kwan, M.D. has joined the practice for expanded urological services, including: Female Urological Problems Kidney Stones including Lithotripsy Prostate Problems Diagnosis  Treatment of Cancers in the Urinary Tract Male Sexual Dysfunction Children's Urological Problems Urinary Incontinence Male Sterilization Disorders of Male Reproduction including Infertility