Voices From The Readers

TSA Decision Appalls

I am appalled by the Transportation Security Administration’s recent decision to allow knives back into the aircraft cabin. 

As a Flight Attendant and the last line of defense in the cabin, I believe that these proposed changes could endanger crew members and the passengers that we work so hard to keep safe and secure. 

Keeping dangerous items off the aircraft is an integral layer in aviation security and must remain in place.  Air Marshals, pilots, and Transportation Security officers and airline CEO’s agree with flight attendants.  The people on the front lines of aviation security know this is a bad idea. 

You can join us in helping protect air travel by signing our petition at: NOKnivesONPlanes.com
Doug Antos
Ocean City

A Big No To Gas Tax
When will enough be enough when it comes to the money we the average citizen forced to pay?

Everyone knows the gas tax is a horrible tax and it hurts the middle and lower income families. Just think when this tax is fully implemented it will add at least $3.20 for a 20-gallon fill up. This is enough for the average man to buy a dozen eggs and a loaf of bread for his family Where will this extra money come from?

We need to defeat this bill but with all the wheeling and dealing going on very few of our legislators will be voting their hearts, they will be voting for the extras. When will they have the guts to stand up and say no, enough is enough and we will not gouge the citizens any longer?

The Democratic legislators need to have the guts to tell the leadership (if you call it that) we are voting for the citizens not because that’s what you are demanding.

Please call all your delegates and senators and tell them we will remember in the next election how you voted and you will be held accountable.

Len Bender
Ocean City

Colorectal Cancer
Awareness Month

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. While the observance is a national one, it’s especially important to take note of it here on Delmarva, which has a higher-than-average colon cancer mortality rate. Prevention estimates that if all adults aged 50 or older had regular screening tests for colon cancer, as many as 60 percent of the deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.

The American Cancer Society says that nationwide, 50,000 people die each year from colorectal cancer. While the five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer is 90 percent if it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, only 39 percent of cases are caught at this early stage.

That’s why screening for colorectal cancer is so important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all men and women should be screened for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, and then continue getting screened at regular intervals.

You may need to be tested earlier than age 50, or more often than other people, if you or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer; or if you have inflammatory bowel disease or certain genetic syndromes that may make it more likely for you to develop colorectal cancer.

Speak with your doctor about when you should begin screening and how often you should be tested. As many as 30,000 lives could be saved each year if more people were screened.

Colorectal cancer usually develops slowly over many years. Most colorectal cancer begins as a noncancerous (benign) adenoma or polyp (abnormal growth) that develops on the lining of the colon or rectum. Polyps can be removed to significantly reduce cancer risk. Colonoscopy plays an important role in colorectal cancer prevention because precancerous polyps can be detected and removed during the same exam when they are discovered.

Colorectal polyps are diagnosed by evaluation of the inside of the colon and rectum. A colonoscopy is a test that allows examination of the large intestine using a flexible tube (colonoscope) that is equipped with a camera that visualizes the intestinal wall. The endoscopist has the ability to take tissue samples and remove colorectal polyps.

Certain symptoms might indicate colorectal cancer: blood in the stool, narrower than normal stools, unexplained abdominal pain, unexplained change in bowel habits and unexplained anemia. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor so you get evaluated.

You don’t have to wait until you’re 50 to start reducing your risk. According to the American Cancer Society, some ways to reduce your risk of colon cancer include increasing physical activity, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (and limiting intake of red and processed meats), limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding obesity.

Dr. Halim Charbel
(The writer is a gastroenterologist with Peninsula Regional Gastroenterology Medicine in Salisbury.)

Obesity Grows To Pets

Obesity is a growing problem in America, and not just for humankind. According to a recent survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats are overweight or obese. As with humans, improper diet and lack of exercise are largely to blame for this epidemic of excess.
Owners of overweight pets can help their pets achieve a healthier lifestyle by making better food choices and adding in daily exercise in the form of walks, runs, or playtime. But for dogs and cats in shelters these simple changes can be extremely difficult to implement. Shelter staff do their best to choose healthy foods and provide daily activity, but they lack resources to hire sufficient help. (National animal groups give little of the money they raise to shelters — just 1 percent in the case of the Humane Society of the United States.)
By dropping off a bag of healthy food, volunteering to walk dogs, play with cats, or simply donating to your local shelter, you can make sure that homeless dogs and cats stay healthy while they wait to find their forever homes.
Diana Culp
(The writer is the director of the Humane Society for Shelter Pets.)