Home' Greymouth Star : December 12th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, December 12, 2013
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uLetters to the editor
627 - Battle at Nineveh: Byzantine emperor
Heraclius beats Perzen
1098 - 1st Crusaders capture and plunder
1474 - Isabella crowns herself
queen of Castile and Aragon.
1800 - Washington DC
established as capital of US.
1812 - French invasion of Russia
comes to an end.
1899 - George F Bryant of Boston
patents the wooden golf tee.
1901 - Marconi receives rst trans-Atlantic
radio signal, England to US.
1917 - French troop train derails in French
Alps killing 543.
1925 - Arthur Heinman coins term "motel";
opens Motel Inn, San Luis Obispo.
1953 - Chuck Yeager reaches Mach 2.43 in
Bell X-1A rocket plane.
1955 - First prototype of hovercraft patented
by British engineer Christoper Cockerell.
1963 - Frank Sinatra Jr returned after being
1963 - Kenya declares independence from
1988 - ree trains collide in London, 40 die.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Edvard Munch, painter/print
maker ( e Scream) (1863-1944);
Frank Sinatra, American singer-
actor (old blue eyes), (1915-1998);
Connie Francis, singer/actress
(Where the Boys Are) (1938);
Dionne Warwick, (American
"Work for a cause, not for applause. Live your
life to express, not to impress, don't strive to
make your presence noticed, just make your
absence felt." --- Author Unknown
"And let the peace of Christ rule in your
hearts, to which indeed you were called in the
one body. And be thankful.."
--- (Colossians 3:15).
the Coal Mines
Act 1925, have
been announced. Certi cates of competency
have been awarded to Raymond Eric Boote
(Runanga), Kevin Ferguson Douglas (Reefton),
William omas Foster-Lynam (Runanga),
Allen Robert Kydd (Waimangaroa), Desmond
Warner McKendry (Greymouth), and
Robert William White (Westport), reman-
deputy certi cates; Donald Joseph Banks
(Reefton) and William Ernest Neighbours
(Waimangaroa), underviewer certi cates;
Frank Powell Taylor (Greymouth), mine
surveyor certi cate.
e Greymouth Harbour Board has no
intention of either lling the Karoro lagoon
or of dredging the main lagoon area to
compensate for the area of the proposed
"All we are doing," said the board chairman
Mr W E J Steer, "is carrying out proposals
which were discussed with Mr Simpson (the
Marine Department's engineer). We're lling
around the proposed lagoon dock area. We did
not undertake to dredge any other land in the
lagoon to compensate for what we are lling
Reefton's modern playcentre was o cially
opened on Saturday. e Playcentre
Committee was rewarded with a bright sunny
day and a large crowd was in attendance.
President of the Playcentre Committee, Mrs
B Loughnan, gave an informative talk on the
bene ts and good work done by a playcentre
and of the many ways in which it can help the
parents as well as their children.
Anne McDowell, daughter of Mr and Mrs J
McDowell, Turumaha Street, is the dux of St
Mary's High School, Greymouth, for 1963.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Healy s view
Earlier this year, leading
American cancer scientists
called for a set of changes
to deal with the problem of
over-diagnosis and over-
treatment caused by cancer
E orts to raise awareness and detect
cancer early through screening have led
to signi cant increases in early stage
cancer diagnoses, without delivering a
proportionate drop in advanced cancers.
After three decades of breast cancer
screening, the United States has seen
a large increase (100%) in the rate of
early-stage breast cancer, but only a small
decrease (8%) in the rate of advanced or
late-stage cancer. is strongly suggests
overdiagnosis is the culprit, and could
account for nearly a third of all newly
diagnosed breast cancers.
In response to this emerging problem of
screening programmes detecting harmless
cancers, the scientists made a set of
recommendations to address and mitigate
One of their recommendations is
a major rethink about the use of the
word cancer when talking about screen-
e word cancer, they wrote in the
Journal of the American Medical
Association ( JAMA), should be reser ved
for life-threatening cancers, that is,
"lesions with a reasonable likelihood of
lethal progression if left untreated".
Early cancers and pre-cancers (abnormal
cells that could turn cancerous) found by
screening tests, such as mammograms and
PSA tests, should be renamed without
(scary) words such as carcinoma or
neoplasia in their title. ey suggested
they could be renamed IDLEs - indolent
lesions of epithelial origin.
Chief medical o cer of the American
Cancer Society, Otis W Brawley noted:
"We need a 21st-century de nition
of cancer instead of a 19th-century
de nition of cancer, which is what we've
One example of a cancer that is a
candidate for a name change is ductal
carcinoma in situ (DCIS) of the breast.
Diagnosis of DCIS, which itself does
not metastasise or cause death but can
be a precursor of invasive breast cancer,
has soared since screening began. It now
accounts for about 20% of the breast
cancers found by screening, compared
with about 2% of all breast cancers in pre-
DCIS is treated very much like breast
cancer so it is understandable that
women diagnosed with DCIS may not
understand that they do not have invasive
breast cancer. Renaming it might reduce
In other suggestions for understanding
and mitigating overdiagnosis, the
scientists recommended the establishment
of registries of IDLE lesions to record
detailed information about the diagnosis
(including pathology and molecular
biology) and treatment of screen-detected
e information collected and analysed
would be invaluable to help us understand
how fast and how often IDLEs progress
to advanced cancer, or regress. It would
help us assess new screening tests, and
evaluate the new molecular and genetic
tests that aim to distinguish indolent
screen-detected cancers from their more
ese registries of screen-detected
abnormalities could extend the work of
existing cancer registries, which already
collect limited information about all
cancer cases in order to monitor trends in
diagnoses and mortality rates of di erent
In Australia, all cancer diagnoses are
recorded in State-based cancer registries,
and the statistics are compiled and
reported by the Australian Institute of
Health and Welfare (AIHW).
But this has been largely kept separate
from data recorded in registries of
cancer screening that collect data about
our nationally-funded cancer screening
programmes for breast, cervical and bowel
Linked together, and augmented with
data about molecular test results and
treatment provision and outcomes, cancer
registries and screening registries would
form a powerful resource to investigate
and one day solve the problem of
overdiagnosis due to screening.
e panel also said it is essential the
community (both medical professionals
and citizens) recognise that overdiagnosis
exists, and start to talk about it with more
e National Cancer Institute scientists
note: Physicians, patients, and the general
public must recognise that overdiagnosis
is common and occurs more frequently
with cancer screening. Overdiagnosis,
or identi cation of indolent cancer, is
common in breast, lung, prostate, and
thyroid cancer. Whenever screening
is used, the fraction of tumors in this
Overdiagnosis is one reason why ve-
year-survival rates are misleading when
it comes to cancer screening. By adding
harmless cancers to the number of cancers
diagnosed, overdiagnosis ensures ve-
year-survival rates improve, even if just as
many people still die from cancer.
Until doctors and citizens alike have a
better understanding of overdiagnosis,
we are at risk of being misinformed
and misinforming others about cancer
Alexandra Barratt is a Professor of
Public Health at University of Sydney.
--- New Zealand Herald
Over the centuries, the name cancer has become synonymous with the dreaded disease.
Giving cancer a new name
Traditionally alcoholism has been
understood as a black-and-white
condition. Just like it is impossible to
be a little bit pregnant, it is long been
considered that a person must be either
an alcoholic or not an alcoholic. Yet the
mood is shifting as various shades of grey
emerge and some experts claim that there
may be an entire spectrum of possibilities
that lie between the non-alcoholic and the
Welcome to the world of the 'almost
alcoholic'. It is far more accommodating
than the narrow de nition of old.
Alcoholics Anonymous has always set
the bar pretty high. e on-line quiz to
help you "decide whether Alcoholics
Anonymous is right for you" does not
make it easy for the average person to
Evidently four positive responses indicate
a problem. But when the questions include
"Have you had to have an eye-opener
upon wakening during the past year?", "Do
you have blackouts?" and "Do you ... keep
getting drunk when you don't mean to?"
they are unlikely to resonate with a high
proportion of people.
Never fear, there is a condition that more
moderate drinkers might genuinely be
able to claim for themselves. According
to Are you an 'almost-alcoholic'? 10 signs
you might have a problem, some of the
signals seem fairly benign. ey include:
"You drink to relieve stress," "You drink
alone" and "You look forward to drinking".
Perhaps I mix in the wrong circles but
most adults I know would admit to all
three of those.
Are You Almost Alcoholic? Taking
a New Look at an Old Problem says:
"According to the literature, you are either
an alcoholic or you are not an alcoholic.
But might more awareness of the in-
between help us?" It suggests that some
drinkers may be unaware of the negative
impact their alcohol intake is having;
"su ering may take the form of declining
job performance and declining health so
that the individual does not yet recognise
it as being related to drinking."
It is thought that a label for these
people, those who are not "fully- edged"
alcoholics but are nonetheless experiencing
booze-related negative consequences, may
help them reassess their drinking habits.
And, it certainly seems there could well
be a gap in the market for such a nuanced
One blogger, known as e Sober
Journalist, has embraced the term "almost
alcoholic". She wrote about going to an
AA meeting: "I sat there feeling like a
fraud. As I listened to other people share,
I felt guilty, like I wasn't 'alcoholic enough'.
So I slunk o and never went back." But
surely there is something wrong with a
support system that makes a woman who
admits to "years of binge drinking, black
outs and drinking in secret" feel she's not
e advertising blurb to the book
Almost Alcoholic: Is My (or My Loved
One's) Drinking a Problem? that launched
this movement and introduced the idea
of an alcoholic continuum says: "Every
day, millions of people drink a beer or two
while watching a game, shake a cocktail
at a party with friends, or enjoy a glass
of wine with a good meal. For more
than 30% of these drinkers, alcohol has
begun to have a negative impact on their
everyday lives. Yet, only a small number
are true alcoholics --- people who have
completely lost control over their drinking
and who need alcohol to function."
e website also o ers an on-line
assessment which provides a verdict on
your personal imbibing habits. I was
surprised that my score classi ed me as a
"normal social" drinker; no one has called
me normal or social before but I will take
it. --- New Zealand Herald
Are you 'almost alcoholic'?
Do people really change? Do
political parties? It is a question
that many people have been
asking this past week.
Well, I say 'people', but the one's
I am actually thinking of are those
who are old enough to remember
the days when apartheid was
a living system, and Nelson
Mandela's jailers still called him
We were all 32 years younger
back in 1981 --- most of us just
kids in our late teens and early
twenties --- but that did not mean
we could not tell the di erence
between right and wrong.
Because, seriously, how di cult
was it to identify South Africa's
racially segregated society as a
vicious a ront to human dignity?
After 1976 and the wanton killing
of hundreds of protesting high-
school kids in Soweto, you did not
need to be a moral philosopher to
know that apartheid was wrong.
And yet, there were hundreds
of thousands of New Zealanders
(and millions more around the
world) who just could not or
would not make that judgment.
When they saw the images of
black school-children doubled
over by 12-gauge shotgun shells,
their sympathies were with
the man holding the shotgun.
ey had no problem imagining
themselves into these horri c
scenes but, invariably, it was
alongside the white slayers ---
never with the black slain.
ey hated us --- the opponents
of apartheid --- with an intensity
that was frightening to behold.
We just would not stop telling
them that they were wrong to
back a tour by apartheid's most
e ective sporting ambassadors;
kept on insisting that only bad
people could possibly defend
such a self-evidently evil political
It made them furious.
Because they could not admit
that what they were doing was
wrong: their indefatigable racism
simply would not let them.
White was right, and anyone who
said di erent was a treacherous
commie stirrer. And they were
not the only ones saying so: the
National Party Government said
exactly the same thing. e Prime
Minister, Rob Muldoon himself,
had accused Hart and Care of
actions "bordering on treason".
And the New Zealand prime
minister was not alone. When
the United States Congress
passed the Anti-Apartheid Act,
mandating economic sanctions
against the South African regime,
the Republican President of the
United States, Ronald Reagan,
vetoed it. As late as 1987 the
United Kingdom prime minister,
Margaret atcher, was still
telling the House of Commons:
" e ANC is a typical terrorist
organisation ... Anyone who
thinks it is going to run the
government in South Africa
is living in cloud-cuckoo
Her Conservative Party
colleagues were blunter: "How
much longer will the Prime
Minister allow herself to be
kicked in the face by this black
terrorist?" asked Terry Dicks.
"Nelson Mandela should be shot,"
declared Teddy Taylor.
Seven years later Nelson
Mandela and the ANC were
running the South African
e racists and the haters
had backed the wrong horse.
History was spitting in their
faces. Reluctantly, and seething
internally, they found themselves
nodding and smiling as the world
celebrated the end of Apartheid.
How sorry they were, the smarter
ones confessed, that they had not
seen it earlier, because, clearly,
Nelson Mandela is the Black
Messiah: Jesus with a Xhosa
And Mandela, bless him, forgave
them their trespasses. He simply
declined to notice that his former
persecutors (and the multitude
who had apologised for their
crimes) still had blood on their
hands. And when the white
world nally acknowledged black
South Africans' formal political
equality it was only after the
saintly Madiba had conceded his
people's continuing economic
How confusing it must be
for the racists and haters: how
complex and mutable the language
and mechanisms of oppression.
e man who was once branded
a terrorist is now hailed as a
Statesman. Segregation, once as
blatant as Blankes, Nie Blankes, is
now achieved by the promise that
black and white, alike, are free to
live wherever they can a ord the
But the racists' visceral hatred
of the ones who called apartheid
and its supporters by their true
names has not diminished.
e same prime minister who
professes no memory of his
opinion of the 1981 Tour has
somehow remembered enough of
his National Party contemporaries'
hatred of John Minto to deny
the anti-apartheid leader a place
in the delegation to Mandela's
memorial service in Johannesburg.
But, perhaps, John Key's
instincts are correct. Where black
remains the colour, and their
number is still zero.
Chris Trotter is an
independent left-wing political
e wrong side of history?
Large sharks that swim into
designated 'kill zones' near popular
swimming and sur ng beaches in
Western Australia will be hunted by
e new tough approach to sharks
in Western Australian waters comes
after the death of surfer Chris Boyd
in Margaret River late last month.
Two 'marine monitored areas',
stretching 1km o shore from
Quinns to Warnbro in the metro
area, and Forest Beach to Cape
Naturaliste and Prevelly in the
State's south, will be established.
Any shark over 3m sighted in
these areas will be automatically
hunted by professional shermen,
who will have a licence to kill the
Drum lines --- drums with a
baited hook xed to the ocean oor
designed to attract sharks --- will
be placed 1km from the shore of
beaches and surf breaks, and will
be monitored daily by commercial
And in the event of a shark attack,
more boats will be deployed to
attempt to catch the threatening
" e safety of human life and
beachgoers must come rst,"
Premier Colin Barnett said.
Outgoing sheries minister
Troy Buswell said the new policies
were rolled out after talking with
the federal government about the
State's new policy thinking --- but
denied the measures constituted a
" is does not represent a culling
of sharks. It is not a fear-driven
hunt, it is a targeted, localised shark
mitigation strategy," Mr Buswell
e State government has come
under re for its catch-and-kill
orders, although the increased
mitigation policies including
increased air patrols have cost an
estimated $20 million.
And local experts say a cull would
be a pointless reaction, and that
a surge in shark-bite incidents
o WA's coast are linked to the
growing population, which means
more people in the water.
Western Australia sets up shark 'kill zones'
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