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Remember to remember

You can make a statement against hate crimes in our community and affirm that an individual’s sexual orientation doesn’t diminish his or her humanity by attending the second annual Service of Remembrance.

Originally conceived as a memorial to Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was murdered in 1998, the service now stands as a recognition of all lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people who have been killed or attacked simply for being themselves.

This year’s service will be hosted by former Sacramento Mayor Anne Rudin and attended by local politicians and clergy of many faiths throughout Sacramento. A reception following the service will feature panels from the Names Quilt and a nationally touring photo exhibition titled, “Love Makes a Family: Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgendered People and their Families.”

The service will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, at St. Francis Church, 2500 K St. All are welcome to attend this event to remember those who have suffered and to proclaim an end to hate.

Breast cancer hope

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, a new study could possibly spare you unnecessary surgery and provide researchers with valuable information that could advance the ability to fight the disease.

The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group, a clinical trials cooperative group of the National Cancer Institute, is taking important steps to find a less invasive means of determining whether breast cancer has spread beyond a woman’s breast.

Currently, surgeons remove 15 to 30 lymph nodes from under the armpit area to determine whether the cancer has spread. About half of the women who go through this procedure experience complications, including infection, shoulder stiffness and numbness and swelling of the arm.

To decrease complications, researchers are looking at removing and testing for cancer only the sentinel lymph node—since it is the first node to which cancer is likely to spread. In more than 80 percent of the cases, breast cancer is detected before it has spread to the sentinel node.

Researchers are looking for women who have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, but who have not had surgery on the lymph nodes of the armpit. This is an ongoing study at the UC Davis Medical Center, one of only two institutions in the state to participate in the national study. To participate or for more information, call 734-5900 or toll-free (800) 362-5566.