Letters from Our Readers

CURE, Fall 2009, Volume 8, Issue 3

Readers respond to past articles.

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Thank you for the article about breast reconstruction redos. I find many of my survivor sisters are not aware that they can even have a redo or that their insurance should pay for it. I had my redo this past January mainly because the breasts were going in different directions, and I had always wanted to be smaller. My first plastic surgeon was wonderful but he just didn’t seem to equate “smaller” with breasts! This time, I chose a plastic surgeon I had heard my patients talk about, and the difference was remarkable.

Dorothy Head

Breast Cancer Patient Navigator

Fort Worth, Texas

I just wanted to say thank you for your very interesting and timely articles. Each magazine has articles that interest me, or let me know that I’m not alone. I especially enjoyed your article on reconstruction do-overs. I had a TRAM flap at the same time as my mastectomy. I didn’t check around, just took the only plastic surgeon in town. After leaving with a grapefruit- and orange-size difference I finally elected to get a second opinion. This time, I asked around and left town to go to a larger pool of plastic surgeons.

Mary Feldman

Smithfield, Utah

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In the Summer issue, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld cites a study done in the U.S. and states that it “found no evidence that the PSA test saved lives.” I beg to differ, as it saved at least one life: mine. The urologist who performed my surgery told me that without the PSA exam, my cancer would not have been discovered and, given its advanced stage, would likely have killed me by the time I was 52. I will turn 52 this November. Statistically, my case may be an outlier on a bell curve, but as far as I am concerned, the fact that I am alive, primarily due to regular PSA exams, is the one statistic that really matters.

Matthew Potter

Cheyenne, Wyoming

The screening controversy is a complex issue, so we've examined the topic in more detail in "Life Preserver?" and Speaking Out in this issue.

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I was pleased to see the article about children with cancer returning to the classroom. I was disappointed, however, that there is no mention of school nurses and the role they play in the child’s re-entry to school. It is the school nurse that is well educated in the medical issues, which could be overwhelming to the staff. Please don’t leave the school nurse out of the loop, because she is the best advocate that a child can have in the school.

Susan Shriver, RN, MEd

Emmett, Idaho

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I was excited to read your article on cancers of unknown primary in the Summer issue. My oncologist guessed my cancer was either lung or breast, so I was treated for breast and responded. I would have loved to talk to someone. Because of patient confidentiality laws, I couldn’t find the few other cases. So those of you who are diagnosed with CUP, keep the faith.

Sheila Kintop

South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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