The Baltimore Sun

Ignoring the millions treatment has saved?

Annie Siple has the right to eschew chemotherapy for her breast cancer, but in highlighting her view that chemotherapy is a "poison," I fear The Baltimore Sun ignores the success many women have had with traditional treatments ("The trial of their lives," Oct. 12).

Breast cancer mortality rates have been dropping steadily since 1990 because of earlier detection and better treatments, including treatments that involve chemotherapy.

Women today have a 1 in 8 chance of getting breast cancer, but the chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 35.

Of course, we need to improve those odds even further, and I commend The Baltimore Sun for publishing a six-part series on one doctor's work to develop a breast cancer vaccine.

But let's not forget that current treatments have contributed to the more than 2 million breast cancer survivors alive today.

Melissa McCabe, Arlington, Va.

Governor controls one inmate's fate

I applaud Leonard Pitts Jr.'s column about the Troy Davis case ("Compassion for the victims must have limitations," Commentary, Oct. 6). The fact that the Supreme Court has now refused to hear the new evidence in this death penalty case, including the fact that many of the witnesses against Mr. Davis have recanted their testimony, further diminishes our justice system in the eyes of the world.

Now a white man of privilege, Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia, holds the fate of this working-class black man in his hands.

Maureen Martindale, Towson

Free tickets open door to cool culture

Many Baltimore Sun readers were pleased to read Glenn McNatt's account of the Baltimore Opera Company's dress rehearsal for Aida ("Opera is cool," editorial notebook, Oct. 11).

The BOC offers students from Baltimore and other area school systems a marvelous opportunity to attend the final rehearsals free of charge.

As we lament the cutting of arts funding in schools nationwide, the opera company is doing a great service grooming future audiences.

Bravo to the BOC and to those who sponsor the free tickets.

John Shields, Baltimore

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