Setting The Record Straight On Cancer

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Editor:

In the Tuesday, March 11, issue of the Payson Roundup, you published a letter from a Pine resident that claimed the American Cancer Society "refuses to tell women that abortion is a significant risk factor for breast cancer." As a Team Captain Chairman with ACS in Payson, I would like to set the record straight.

Abortion and breast cancer are both topics that can bring out strong emotions in people. The issue of abortion generates passionate personal and political viewpoints, regardless of a possible disease connection.

The fact is, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and it is the second-leading cancer in women. However, the public is not well-served by false alarms.

In 2003, a panel of more than 100 of the world's leading cancer experts convened by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reviewed existing human and animal studies and concluded induced abortion IS NOT associated with an increased-riskor breast cancer.

Linking these two topics understandably creates a great deal of emotion, as well as controversy. But the fact is most reliable research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer.

It is also important to point out that men can also be afflicted with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that this year, some 1,900 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men in the United States. While breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women, the effects are just as devastating.

Through the diligence of dedicated community volunteers, like the ones in the Payson area, the American Cancer Society is able to disseminate reliable, cutting-edge cancer information to people from all walks of life. Every dollar raised locally benefits our community, and one day we will eliminate cancer as the No. 1 health threat for Arizonans and all Americans.

DJ Craig,
Team Captain Chair Payson Relay for Life

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