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Wrong Slant for Patient

July 26, 1985

President Reagan's colon cancer surgery may indeed motivate others to get preventive check-ups.

Perhaps the same cannot be said for The Times' article, "Like President Reagan, These Five Had Cancer of the Colon" (by Mike Eberts, July 23). I believe the story should have had a much more positive slant.

I, too, have had colon cancer surgery. Mine was three years ago. My memories of my surgery are not my favorite ones, but I am now energetic and optimistic. The general emphasis in the article on the pain of surgery and recovery jarred me. I don't mean to misrepresent the truth because each patient can be different, but in most cases post-operative pain can be controlled. Mine was. As far as I know, I lost no "friends," as the woman in the story reported, because they found my illness depressing.

Let's all try to stress that we are fortunate to be living in 1985 when medical science has progressed so incredibly--and let's also especially remember that regular check-ups save lives.

ROSE MARY DALLMAN

Coronado

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