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Lewes, Delaware
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August 1, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 1, 1997
 

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Aug. 1 - Aug.7 1997 - 39 Cancer Watch Breast cancer stamp legislation supports research By_ Kerry Kester The United States Senate en- dorsed a bill last week that pro- poses funding for breast cancer re- search. If the bill passes into law, those. who purchase a newly designed first class postage stamp will be supporting research for the cancer that in 1997 will be diagnosed in approximately 180,200 women and 1,400 men. The Breast Cancer Research Stamp Act calls for proceeds from special stamps, Priced one cent higher than regular postal stamps, to be paid by the U.S. Postal Ser- vice to the Department of Health and Human Services at least twice each year. The department will then put the funds toward breast cancer re- search and related activities (with a percentage of the proceeds stay- ing with the postal service to cov- er its administration costs.) The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joe Biden, is one of several the legis- lator has supported to combat the disease or its ramifications. Also being considered by federal legis- lators is a bill proposing Medicare be mandated to insure women get- ting mammograms once a year, rather than every other year as is currently the case. With the increased movement toward managed care and insur- ance cost savings, one problem that has arisen in recent years is many women who undergo mas- tectomies or other breast surgery are released from the hospital af- ter only a day or two of inpatient care. Although many physicians across the nation have argued care is compromised by the reduced in- hospital stays, some health main- tenance organizations (HMOs) or insurance companies have refused to budge from their belief that care is equally provided as an out- patient service. According to Claire DeMatteis, Biden's press secretary, Biden is supporting legislation aimed at in- creasing the amount of time women may have in the hospital following breast surgery. "The goal now is to stop these HYDRATE IN HOT WEATHER If you exercise in hot weath- er, fluid replacement is very important. You can drink from a plastic water bottle that has ben stored in teh freezer. Water will thaw in the heat at about the rate you want to drink it during exercise. Submitted by Robert Cairo, licensed physical therapist, Tidewater Physical Therapy, 945-5111. 'drive-through mastectomies'," said DeMatteis. "It gives the doc- tor the ability to make the deter- mination with the patient, as op- posed to the HMO making the de- cision." Additionally, she said, some healthcare plans assert that recon- structive breast surgery is cosmet- ic only, and Biden is fighting that concept. "Sen. Biden is trying to get that reclassified as a necessary med- ical procedure," said DeMatteis. Breast can- cer and its ramifications are very im- portant issues to Biden, she said. "Sen. Biden is pleased the Senate has BIDEN recognized the importance of this issue. It certainly is important - especially in Sussex County," said DeMat- teis. "It's important not only for women but also for men who are spouses, brothers, fathers... throughout this country," she said but was quick to note Delaware's cancerrates are among the highest in the nation. According to the American Cancer Society, the incident rate of breast cancer in the United States is approximately 110 in every 100,000 people annually. In Delaware, approximately 570 new cases will be diagnosed this year. The American Cancer Society estimates that nationally 43,900 women and 290 men will die from the disease this year, and 140 of those people will be Delawareans. Research and developments in diagnoses and treatments have contributed to more people being diagnosed earlier. The result is that treatments now begin earlier, and mortality rates have declined. However, breast cancer remains the disease that is the most frequently diag- nosed cancer in women, supersed- ing lung cancer diagnoses - the next most often diagnosed cancer - by more than 100,000 new cases annually. According to the American Cancer Society's 1997 "Cancer Facts & Figures," "The risk of breast cancer increases with age. The risk is higher in the woman who has a personal or family his- tory of breast cancer; some forms of benign breast disease; early menarche; late menopause; lengthy exposure to post menopausal estrogens; recent use of oral contraceptives; never hav- ing children or having the first live birth at a late age; and higher education and socioeconomic sta- tus. "Additional factors that may be associated with increased breast cancer risk and that are currently under study include pesticide and other chemical exposures, alcohol consumption, induced abortion, and physical inactivity." Research areas for breast cancer range from a search for the cause to improved detection and treat- ment methods. Funds from the stamp's pro- ceeds, for example, may be allo- cated for one of the more promis- ing developments in current re- search - investigation of a possible genetic predisposition toward breast cancer development. Past research on the disease has included such breakthroughs as mammography, an x-ray device used for early detection and surgi- cal techniques that allow more [00earll about Health changing lives! An all natural, safe way to feel as good every D_ as you do on your best day! " 7:00 P.M.Every Thursday at the Plantations. Postal / U#.  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