Legislators shouldn’t have rushed to mandate notification of breast density.
I applaud your June 20 editorial, “A new and dubious breast cancer law.” As a 24-year breast cancer survivor, co-founder of the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition and a board member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, I share the concerns noted in your editorial.
As you point out, “The notification may also send the wrong message that this is the only breast cancer risk factor that women need to worry about.” Breast density is also a risk factor that is largely not modifiable. But there are important ways that a woman can lower her risk for breast cancer — reduce alcohol consumption, maintain a normal weight and exercise regularly. There are multiple quality studies detailing the importance of those three behaviors in reducing breast cancer risk.
Before rushing to mandate notification of breast density, Minnesota legislators would have been wise to consult with researchers and clinicians at Minnesota’s premier cancer facilities: the Masonic Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.
Readers can access additional balanced information about breast density at http://www.breastdensity.info. This website was developed by breast radiologists and breast cancer risk specialists in California to assist patients, clinicians and radiologists in understanding breast density laws
Christine K. Norton, Cottage Grove
The writer is president of the Minnesota Breast Cancer Coalition.
DNR AND HUNTING
Save our pristine areas for future generations
I want to thank Ellen Fuge and Bob Djupstrom for their continued service to Minnesota (“DNR weighs opening more rare natural sites to hunters,” June 23). Because they are seasoned experts, I trust their stewardship efforts in the debate over opening more pristine areas to hunting and trapping. While I support the rights of our citizens to hunt for a food source, we do not need access to rare and therefore sacred places to do so.
I have grave concerns regarding the ability or desire of our DNR leadership to manage our state’s natural resources in the best interest of all Minnesotans today and tomorrow. Our grandchildren deserve a state with pristine natural areas still intact.
It would appear that the moneyed interests behind hunting and trapping are impacting this decision, just as moneyed interests have impacted other recent and, I believe, poorly made decisions. I encourage other concerned Minnesotans to speak up and send this matter back to those we elect to represent us and then stay with the issue until it is resolved. This is the only path that can take the decision out of the hands of DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr and the moneyed few that have his ear.
Laurie Stammer, Buffalo, Minn.
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These SNAs are what remain of our Minnesota natural heritage. Aren’t there enough places to hunt and trap in Minnesota? Is there anywhere left these purveyors of destruction cannot go? The DNR as stewards of these last remaining riches are behaving as foxes guarding the chicken coop. Have we become completely incapable of passively enjoying our natural world? Will we leave our children and grandchildren nothing unspoiled?
Gregory Nayman, Edina
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.