Opinion | Advice on Mammograms

More from our inbox:

To the Editor:

Re “Breast Cancer Centers Urge Early, Annual Scans, Countering U.S. Guidelines” (nytimes.com, April 6):

We take issue with an editorial in JAMA Internal Medicine that said frequent screening of younger women for breast cancer can do “more harm than good.” As physicians who diagnose and treat breast cancer at Weill Cornell Medicine, we seek to minimize the impact of this disease, which continues to kill about 44,000 American women a year.

We are especially concerned about the effect of such misinformation on the health of African-American women, who are more likely to receive a diagnosis of breast cancer at younger ages and are more likely to die from breast cancer at all ages.

Covid forced us to delay routine screening. The devastating impact of the pandemic on communities of color risks magnifying existing disparities in breast cancer outcomes.

We welcome research seeking to improve and personalize breast cancer risk assessment to inform screening. Screening mammography, while imperfect, is the best approach available for early detection and to reduce morbidity and mortality.

Lisa Newman
Tessa Cigler
Silvia Formenti
New York

Children at the Border

To the Editor:

Re “‘No Place for a Child’: Inside a Packed Tent Camp for Migrant Children” (news article, March 31):

Countless Central American families and children have made the excruciating decision to flee acute violence, poverty and danger in their home countries, and now children languish in U.S. government reception centers. There can be no doubt that these are children who, mere weeks ago, would have been callously turned away at the border. But that does not mean we can’t do better for them now.

We must ensure that children are swiftly reunified with safe caregivers in the United States and that those who have been trafficked, abandoned, abused or neglected, and those who are seeking asylum, obtain meaningful access to protection under our laws.

Vice President Kamala Harris must receive the resources she needs to promote efforts to address the conditions that drive these children north. As children are processed out of places like the center in Donna, Texas, they must be connected with legal services so that they can get protection. We can do better as a country.

Mary Meg McCarthy
Jonathan Ryan
Ms. McCarthy is executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center. Mr. Ryan is president and chief executive of the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (Raices).

Better Ways to Justice

To the Editor:

Re “Excessive Punishment” (editorial, March 30):

I applaud your suggested property crime reforms alongside other efforts to break our country’s decades-long addiction to incarceration. They should happen immediately.

And if we’re serious about ending mass incarceration, we must also acknowledge the abject failure of making punishment, rather than safety and accountability, the bedrock of justice.

Our justice system claims that punishment is a one-size-fits-all solution to such a wide array of needs as to be fantastical: healing for victims, accountability, prevention of future harm, rebuilding lives, safety for the community, a sense of justice and more. Inflicting more pain and trauma not only fails at those goals, but it also puts them largely out of reach.

True accountability requires an acknowledgment of the harm done, efforts to repair it and concrete change that will prevent future harm and strengthen community safety.

We’ll never end mass incarceration — and its egregious racial inequities — until we embrace this common-sense vision of justice that offers real healing and safety for all.

Shari Silberstein
New York
The writer is executive director of Equal Justice USA.

Defaced Art? ‘How Could One Tell?’

To the Editor:

Re “Defacing a $400,000 Painting, All Because of a Mix-Up” (news article, April 8):

JonOne is a graffiti artist, which means that he paints things on other people’s walls, buildings, sign boards and the like. At the site of his work in Seoul (described as a “paint-splattered canvas”), he left paint cans and brushes. Did he truly not expect that this was an open invitation to others to add to the work? Weren’t they simply doing graffiti on another person’s surface?

And yet JonOne claims that the couple who took him up on his implicit invitation “defaced” his work, which he likened to defacing a church. Defaced? My response, after looking at the “before” and “after” versions on the Times website, is “How could one tell?”

Finally, does he not realize that the couple who added dark green patches were really engaged in performance art?

David Winter

A New Life for My Mother’s Scarves

To the Editor:

Re “We Wear Memories, Not Just Clothes,” by Chris Vognar (Reporter’s Notebook, Arts pages, April 9):

After losing both of my parents within months of each other five years ago, I had to clean out the apartment they shared for almost 50 years.

In my mother’s drawer, I found a collection of scarves, which I took, rather than donate it. When I now see my three young granddaughters (one of whom is named for her) dancing around the room or playing peek-a-boo with them, I feel her presence, and I believe that she would be happy.

Ronnie Schwartz
Baldwin Harbor, N.Y.

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