29 November 2011

New study supports mammography screening at 40


Women in their 40s with no family history of breast cancer are just as likely to develop invasive breast cancer as are women with a family history of the disease, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). These findings indicate that women in this age group would benefit from annual screening mammography.

The breast cancer screening guidelines issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in November 2009 sparked a controversy among physicians, patient advocacy groups and the media. Much of the debate centered on the recommendation against routine annual mammography screening for women in their 40s.

"We believe this study demonstrates the importance of mammography screening for women in this age group, which is in opposition to the recommendations issued by the task force," said Stamatia V. Destounis, M.D., radiologist and managing partner of Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, LLC, in Rochester, N.Y.

For the study, Dr. Destounis and colleagues performed a retrospective review to identify the number and type of cancers diagnosed among women between the ages of 40 and 49—with and without a family history of breast cancer—who underwent screening mammography at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care from 2000 to 2010. The researchers then compared the number of cancers, incidence of invasive disease and lymph node metastases between the two groups.

Of the 1,071 patients in the 40 – 49 age group with breast cancer, 373 were diagnosed as a result of screening. Of that 373, 39 percent had a family history of breast cancer, and 61 percent had no family history of breast cancer. In the family history group, 63.2 percent of the patients had invasive disease, and 36.8 percent had noninvasive disease. In the no family history group, 64 percent of the patients had invasive disease, and 36 percent had noninvasive disease. The respective lymph node metastatic rates were 31 percent and 29 percent.

"In the 40 – 49 age group, we found a significant rate of breast cancer and similar rates of invasive disease in women with and without family history," Dr. Destounis said. "Additionally, we found the lymph node metastatic rate was similar."

According to Dr. Destounis, these results underscore the importance of early detection and annual screening mammography for women between the ages of 40 and 49 whether or not they have a family history of breast cancer.

Male circumcision cost-effective way to prevent HIV in S. and E. Africa


A collection of nine new articles to be published in PLoS Medicine and PLoS ONE, in conjunction with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), highlights how scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention in eastern and southern Africa can help prevent HIV not only at individual but also at community and population level as well as lead to substantial cost savings for countries due to averted treatment and care costs.

The first article by Catherine Hankins of UNAIDS, Steven Forsythe of The Futures Institute, and Emmanuel Njeuhmeli of PEPFAR/USAID, offers an introduction to the cost, impact and challenges of accelerated scaling up and lays out the rationale for the series. This article, as well as the one to follow, signposts the way forward to accelerate the scaling up of VMMC service delivery safely and efficiently to reap individual-and population-level benefits.

The remaining 8 papers also focus on the various factors that go into effective program expansion of VMMC, including data for decision making, policy and programmatic frameworks, logistics, demand creation, human resources, and translating research into services.

The cost savings are clear: an initial investment of US$1.5 billion between 2011 and 2015 to achieve 80% coverage of VMMC services in 14 priority countries in southern and eastern Africa and thereafter US$0.5 billion between 2016 to 2025 to maintain that coverage of 80% would result in net savings of US$16.5 billion between 2011 and 2025. However, as the articles in the collection show, strong political leadership, country ownership, and stakeholder engagement, along with effective demand creation, community mobilisation, and human resource deployment, are essential in effectively expanding and maintaining VMMC programs.

20 November 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance

We are There.
Tell others: If you have questions, need advice, feel unsure or unsafe, there are good people who want to help you. First stop is here.

16 November 2011

Susan Shaw: An Open Book

From the Department of Underappreciated Gems, here is some info you may not know about one of  the new members of Milford's Board of Aldermen.

Volunteer work

Local Proud, Vice-President—Through the Milford’s Economic Development initiative, Local Proud is tasked with the development and implementation of Milford’s Buy Local Campaign.  On-going marketing campaign.  Local Proud asks consumers to
    Choose personality over conformity
    Keep more money in their community
    Sustain and create more local jobs
    Support environmental responsibility and  sustainable practices
The Milford Diner (501c3).  Executive Director—The Milford Diner is part of a community preservation and cultural effort.  Once this historic building is rehabilitated, The Diner will be used as an arts, informational and community center for all of Milford.  As executive director, I have completed fundraising activities that have covered the purchase of the Diner; successfully formulated the non-profit incorporation; and received State funded grants to cover reconstruction costs.   
Planning and Zoning Board  Chairman, 2005 to 2011.   Worked with community groups, the Mayor’s office, and City Planning officials on revising and updating Milford’s Plan of Conservation and Development; the Plan of Conservation and Development provides the city with a blueprint for future development and enables the city to receive funding through State and Federal grants.  As the elected Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board, represented Milford at the Southern Connecticut Council of Governments.   

Awarded, as president of the Downtown Milford Business Association, the Chamber of Commerce award for Excellence. Development and Implementation of
  •  Milford’s Captain Kidd Treasure Hunt
    (attracting over 4,000 to downtown Milford),
  • Saturday Night Movies on the Green,
  • The Open Doors of Milford (raising over $25,000 for charity),
  •  Friday Night at the Festival     ……..and other events. 

Work experience
Owner, Collected Stories Bookstore.  12 Daniel Street and 16 Broadway, Milford, CT.,  March 2003 to present.  Collected Stories Bookstore is recognized as one of the leading resources of rare and first edition books.  They promote and sell books through auction and world-wide through an e-commerce site.  Collected Stories Bookstore also provides evaluations and pricing information to clients and dealers.  

Co-owner, Basset Publishing and Graphics.—established in 2001, Basset Publishing and graphics provides a full range of publishing services including all pre-press work, design, marketing, distribution and sales. Books published include This Time by Joan Szechtman and The Sword and the Spirit by Andre Bello; as co-owner, Susan also provides consultation help, editorial and layout services for independent publishers including The Hip Chicks Guide series.  The Graphics division has produced material for the Downtown Milford Business Association, Walnut Beach Association, Movie Night on the Green (video) and the Milford Democratic Town Committee. 

Taunton, Director Sales & Marketing—2001 to 2003.  Oversaw all sales, marketing and publicity efforts for $21,000,000 book publishing program

LPC Group, Sr. VP, President Sales and Marketing/Board of Directors Login Publishing—1995 to 2001. Responsible for overseeing the sales and marketing of over 100 independently published books on annual sales of $26,000,000; directed acquisition and series development; oversaw in-house and commission sales groups in the US, Canada, and the UK; developed and implemented corporate and client marketing and publicity plans.   

HarperCollins, Director, Sales & Marketing—1994 to 2001.  Directed sales to major national accounts including Barnes & Noble, Borders etc.

Waldenbooks, Merchandise Director, Superstore Division  1991 to 1994.  Responsible primarily for the merchandising of the Brentano’s chain of stores