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Metastatic breast cancer is no longer a death sentence

Thursday, October 31, 2013
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Metastatic breast cancer is no longer a death sentence

This October, between the survivor celebrations and screening messages, you may be missing some important facts about cancer. For those who have survived breast cancer, they’ve conquered the first battle, but they must always be aware that a second fight — that of metastatic cancer — can recur years, even decades later.

Metastatic breast cancer is a cancer that started in the breast and has progressed to another part of the body. The most common areas of the body for this to occur are the brain, liver and lungs.

But a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer is no longer an immediate death sentence and thousands of women and men are leading happy and productive lives while fighting the disease. In the not-too-distant past, a diagnosis of metastatic cancer meant in most cases that the patient had only a short time to live. New treatments continue to extend the survival rate with an increase in the quality of life.

Up to 20 percent-30 percent of women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will develop Stage IV metastatic cancer. It’s especially important for those who have fought and won the battle against breast cancer at an early age. Those women are three times more likely to see a recurrence of cancer. For that group, and for all women, vigilance and regular check-ups are critical.

That vigilance was acknowledged this month when more than a dozen prominent breast cancer organizations, including Susan G. Komen, the Avon Foundation for Women, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the Sisters Network, came together to highlight the need for more funding and attention toward this stage of breast cancer.

Though metastic breast cance will take the lives of 40,000 Americans this year, there are many who are living longer and better lives thanks to advances and a better understanding of the disease.

Having advanced-stage breast cancer can be a different experience — recent studies of women with advanced or metastatic breast cancers say that many women report feeling isolated and alone. But as with those who are fighting cancer for the first time, there are resources available to help.

The new initiative of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance hopes to change that. The Alliance is taking on the many issues that face those living with metastatic breast cancer and in just a few months will issue recommendations for awareness and policy changes that will have a positive impact on the more than 150,000 people living with the disease. Find out more about this groundbreaking alliance at: www.MBCAlliance.org.

Lynette Stark

Albany

The writer is executive director of the Northeastern New York Affiliate of Susan G. Komen.

Vote for Gottmann for Malta town justice

Steve Gottmann has my vote for Malta town justice on Election Day, and he deserves your vote, too.

I first met Steve in a professional capacity, but have gotten to know him very well on a personal level over the last few years. He is a smart, talented, experienced lawyer who is well respected by his peers in the legal community. Equally as important, though, is his reputation as a trusted friend, wonderful neighbor and dedicated husband and father.

Steve has the values we need in our town justice. He is hardworking, honest and fair, and above all, he cares about our community and the people in it. I have no doubt that he will devote himself to the position of town justice in the same way he conducts himself in every other aspect of his life — with honor and integrity.

Please join me in supporting Steve Gottmann at the polls on Nov. 5.

Dawn M. Phillips

Malta

Re-elect Polak for town board

Walt Polak has done an excellent job representing Halfmoon residents on the Town Board. He is always approachable, responds to his constituents and has a great understanding of the issues our town faces. Walt truly puts his heart into performing the duties of town councilman.

Walt is a diligent advocate for the taxpayers. He makes sure every penny the town collects is spent carefully and ensures Halfmoon continues to have no town or highway tax. He has brought tremendous private-sector experience to town government while lending his expertise to infrastructure projects.

Walt’s main concern is that residents get the most bang for their buck. His knowledge of the planning and zoning system has been and will continue to be invaluable as the dialogue concerning the preservation of Halfmoon’s character continues.

Outside of the town government responsibilities, Walt has played an important role in creating recreational opportunities in our community.

Walt was Halfmoon’s first-ever Eagle Scout, and has since created opportunities for subsequent Scouts to give back to the community. Walt also helped create the Shenendehowa Baseball League. He understands how crucial volunteers are in our community, especially the volunteer fire departments. Walt was formerly an officer in the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire Department.

Walt Polak simply loves this town. He was raised here and raised his family here. He works hard to make sure other families get to enjoy the many benefits of living here as well. Walt is doing a remarkable job working for the community on the town board.

By voting for Walt Polak on Nov. 5 you’ll be joining me in assuring Halfmoon that it has chosen the very best man for the job.

R. J. Bagley

Waterford

Glenville’s economic growth, past and present, has been steady

I was at the debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters recently in Glenville, and I left there disturbed and, to be honest, rather appalled [Oct. 24 Gazette].

The implication by Ms. Cathryn Bern-Smith and the rest of her running mates that Glenville is stagnant and has no “new business” aside from Target is completely absurd. I can count off the top of my head at least 25 new business in the past four years that have chosen to make their investment in Glenville. These are people who have looked at Glenville and decided that yes, it is a place where they can grow and flourish.

To suggest that just because large parcels are not yet filled, that Glenville is stagnant and in need of new direction, is an uneducated view. She suggests that we need to “think outside the box.” Well, we have actually done so already. We have held a showcase of all vacant commercial properties in the town, complete with zoning maps, pictures, agent contacts and possible uses, for two years now. The last one was attended by over 150 property owners, developers, bankers, investment brokers and realtors. No other municipality has marketed themselves in this manner.

We have streamlined the application process for businesses large and small to come to our town. We have looked at certain areas and changed zoning and broadened allowed uses to try and attract other types of businesses to these business corridors.

We have established a local development corporation that will provide seed money to businesses large and small with low interest loans. I am not certain what Ms. Bern-Smith is thinking of for her “outside the box” approach, because in all the literature I have seen, she does not grace us with her thoughts. It’s nothing but an empty slogan that looks good on a mailer or palm card.

I could go on but the bottom line is, economic development takes time. Four years may seem long, but remember, until very recently, we were still considered to be in a recession. This town board has worked to build a strong foundation for future business investment and I would say, with the number of businesses that have chosen to make Glenville their home, that we are a model of success.

Gina M. Wierzbowski

Glenville

The writer is a councilwoman.

Koetzle deserves four more years

I have been a resident of the town Glenville for years and have never witnessed so much progress and growth as I have these past four years.

Under Supervisor Chris Koetzle’s leadership, our town has seen significant economic development and much progress on the fiscal front. He has cut our debt, our use of our savings account to pay our bills, and has cut spending. The staff has been reduced but the same services have been maintained.

Target and Panera have filled our town center, and he has worked with state and county officials to bring more economic development money into Glenville. Perhaps most impressively, he has earned our town a bond rating increase, which saved us $1 million in interest costs. Perhaps what’s so impressive about this record is that he did this during one of the worst economies that we have seen in upstate New York since the Great Depression.

I have also been impressed with Koetzle’s engagement of the community during his tenure as supervisor. He has an open and engaging leadership style and works to communicate with residents. He brought back the town newsletter, was the first supervisor to hold budget forums, the state of the town address and strategic planning sessions. That is the openness and transparency that governments need.

Best of all, he fought and won each of the residents a rebate from Time Warner for their years of overcharging customers in the town of Glenville. These overcharges occurred for years, but it was Koetzle and the Town Board who uncovered them and fought for almost four years on our behalf.

He’s clearly for the people of this town, and I am for him all the way.

Patrick Ragucci

Glenville

 
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comments

November 3, 2013
9:12 a.m.
mdraves1 says...

Gina M. Wierzbowski, I just would like to comment on the forum that I was also at...first off, you and Chris continue to take credit for bringing Target to Glenville, that project was brought to our town by our extremely hard working DEMOCRATIC County Legislature and Metroplex. And your LDC is giving many loans to Republican small business owners and is full of Republican "buddies" of yours, why are you all so afraid to have some Democrats on your committees. Both my husband and I have tried to volunteer, my husband was allowed on a committee, but, they scheduled all of the meetings while he was at work and I was told by Jamie MacFarland that I could not serve on a committee.

November 3, 2013
9:19 a.m.
mdraves1 says...

Koetzle DOES NOT deserve 4 more minutes!!! He did not want Target, as a matter of fact if you were at the 2/16/2011 Town Board meeting you would have heard him say, "I do not like big box stores!" He is out to make it appear as though he is looking out for the residents of Glenville, when all he is doing is looking out for himself and his own self interests. At this same organizational meeting, I asked about consolidated dispatch, and I was told that he was not concerned about public safety with regard to 911 calls, until he was receiving complaints that these calls were not being answered. Is this the type of Supervisor Glenville wants?!? Someone that is not concerned with public safety until AFTER something tragic happens?!?

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