Letters for May 25, 2006

It’s in the genes
Re “Preventing Cancer” (Cover story, April 27)

The cover story of the April 27 issue of the RN&R focused on cancer prevention. The accompanying story described the role of toxic exposures in the development of cancer. Any environmental influence interacts with one’s genetic information—the genes—to determine if conditions are right for cancer to develop.

Most cancer results from an interplay of several genes and one, or more, environmental exposures. However, some individuals have a change in a single gene that results in a substantial risk for cancer to develop. These individuals have “hereditary cancer,” a strong predisposition to cancer, and may be especially susceptible to environmental exposures triggering cancer development. About 10 percent of all types of cancer are hereditary, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, etc. One of several red flags for hereditary cancer is having multiple family members affected by cancer. An individual concerned about hereditary cancer in his/her family can have cancer risk assessment performed by a genetics professional. A directory of genetic counselors is available by clicking “Find a counselor” on the National Society of Genetic Counselors’ Web site, www.nsgc.org.

Robbin Palmer

Tell us what to do
Re “Preventing Cancer (Cover story, April 27)

Your well-written chief article “Preventing Cancer” reminds me of a cartoon I remember from the Sixties. A large bunch of hippies were carrying posters saying “Against! Against! Against!”

A bystander asked one of the protesters, “If you are against all those things, what are you for?” The hippie answered, “We are against that, too!”

This so timely RN&R article focuses on what to watch out for or to be against. That is good. Now we need to learn what to be for, that is, what course of actions to pursue to prevent cancer. I hope you will honor us readers with a corresponding follow-up article that informs us of constructive action to take for cancer prevention. Actions such as what lifestyle to choose, food to eat, exercise to pursue, how to rid our bodies of toxins, how to strengthen our immune system and, most importantly, how to avoid becoming a cancer personality. When we elect to be for such course of actions and pursue them we will win the war against cancer.

Hans Frischeisen

Culture clash
Re “Sleeping Giant” (Cover story, May 11)

I appreciate the addition of Dennis Myers to your staff of reporters. Whether he is defending your right to kidnap my daughter to get an abortion without my consent or authorization or examining the role of exclusively evil white America in the latest debate on immigration, his writing is worthy of Joseph Goebbels.

When I first emigrated to Reno, I went to the weekend swap meet at the drive-in. I was amazed to find cactus leaves available as food, and I tried to find someone to explain how they were prepared. Unfortunately, every brown-skinned individual I asked, from the vendor to the other shoppers, seemed to not want to answer my questions. Later, while recounting this story to friends, someone suggested that they may have thought I was with the INS. I was just asking a question …

Like every political conservative, I’m accused of being prejudiced. I suppose that’s easier than dealing with the real issues. Isn’t it amazing though, that in spite of our “white racist” origins, our Founding Fathers created a nation that every color of the human rainbow longs to be a part of? Go figure.

Bill Thibault

Future traffic woes
Have you driven off the main roads in the area lately? They need repair. Why? Because there isn’t enough money to repair all the roads at the same time. The money needed to build and maintain roads comes from the taxes collected from gas sales.

As long as you don’t have any potholes on the roads you use, why should you care about the road in front of my place? I pay just as much tax per gallon of gas as you do, and I expect the government to maintain the road in front as well as the roads I use [to go] to the grocery store and to work.

To put off collecting taxes on gas means putting off repairs until the roads get worse and so expensive to repair that they need replacement, which costs even more. It’s short-term gains today in exchange for long-term, long-traffic-lines grief. With less gas tax money, the funds needed will come from other tax sources. You may save a few cents at the pump, but you also pass on some of the cost to others who don’t have a car. Is that fair?

Speaking of traffic, have you noticed that the new highway construction is for current demand and not for future growth? For example, have you been on I-80 west past Robb Drive? The road merges back to two lanes past Robb when we all know that in a few years the area between Robb and Verdi will be filled with homes.

If you want to save money, have the state spend it wisely. When the new Cabela’s is built in Verdi, the state will open bids to widen I-80 from Robb to Verdi at twice the cost it would have been if they did it this time around.

Dewey Quong