NEWS DAY | Who’s running, who’s winning / A new way to give / What’s with mammograms?

A short News Day post today – too much time reporting on SPPS school superintendent candidates!

Who’s running, who’s winning?
A new Rasmussen poll shows Norm Coleman leading other GOP gubernatorial hopefuls, according to Politics in Minnesota. Norm gets 50% of Republican support, even though he hasn’t said he is running, followed by “undecided” at 26% and trailed by Marty Seifert with 11%. On the DFL side, former Senator Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak are tied, with 30% each, followed by “undecided” at 20%, Margaret Kelliher at 85 and Matt Entenza at 6%.

Meanwhile, in greater Minnesota, five-term GOP State Senator Steve Dille is stepping down next year, apparently giving in to pressure from the right wing of his party. His five terms in the Minnesota Senate followed three terms in the house. Hard to believe that Dille, who once famously proposed a state-sponsored dating service for unwed mothers (to get them off public assistance by getting them husbands) is too far left for the GOP — but that’s the buzz. Hal Kimball, who once ran against Dille, calls him “a mild-mannered, principled, consensus seeking public figure.”

And in the suburbs, a second Democrat has thrown her hat in the ring to run against first-term U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen. MPR reports that Maureen Hackett, a physician and forensic psychiatrist from Minnetonka, joins Jim Meffert, president of the Minnesota PTA as a DFL hopeful.

A new way to give GiveMN.org is a leader in new, locally-focused giving efforts. The new website offers people an opportunity to browse Minnesota charities and nonprofits, or to give to their favorite nonprofit with no strings attached, and no bite taken out of the charitable dollar. Potentially, GiveMN.org could allow nonprofits to receive donations without setting up their own secure online systems. The focus on local giving is also attractive to many.

Today GiveMN.org is using a matching grant from the St. Paul Foundation to increase the amount of any donation made between 8 a.m. November 17 and 8 a.m. November 18. It’s getting lots of traffic, with donations slow this morning because of the amount of donating going on. I gave – how about you?

What’s with mammograms? A new government study says women under 50 don’t need mammograms, but the American Cancer Society says they do. Why the different recommendations?

Risk factors Everyone agrees that women with higher risk factors should have annual mammograms. This includes women with a family history of breast cancer.

Ages 40-49 The DHHS says the risks of mammograms outweigh the harms in this age group. Mammograms do save lives. But, says DHHS, the few lives saved are outweighed by the risk of psychological trauma from false positives and unneeded treatments. ACS stands by its recommendation for annual mammograms for this age group, and more than a few women think that saving lives is more important than saving women from worrying about false positives.

Ages 50-74 The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) agree that mammograms save lives for women aged 50-74. Both groups recommend mammograms for these women, with DHHS saying that every other year is good enough, and ACS recommending annual mammograms.

Ages 75 and older The DHHS report says that there is insufficient evidence to show whether mammograms offer any benefit to women 75 and older. The ACS recommends annual mammograms for all women over 40.

Breast Self Exams The DHHS report says there is no evidence that teaching Breast Self Exams (BSE) reduces breast cancer mortality. It also analyzes the importance of Clinical Breast Exams (CBE), and finds insufficient evidence to make a recommendation.

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