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A s readers know, I occasionally enjoy giving the opportunity to have their voices heard in my allotted space. Below, with a few asides of my own, are comments about recent columns (edited for space).

Our thoughts matter

From John Bomar: "Mike, thanks for your piece about diminishing gratitudes this morning. 'Thoughts are things' is a quote I try and keep in mind and 'mind is the builder ... or mind is the slayer' is another. The inspirational speaker Zig Ziglar used the term 'stinking thinking' to describe the thought patterns of cynical and pessimistic individuals who so often end up 'suffering' their way through life.

"Supposedly, the time to set the pattern for the day's thought is first thing in the morning and just before bedtime. Positive, reflective and inspirational reading can be life-changing if utilized consistently and persistently. In my medical practice I see all the time the ill effects of chronic fear, doubt and worry. It often becomes habitual, like a closed-ended tape that runs over and over.

"One can almost see the dark cloud above their head. For a true 'worrier' I say: 'If I had a magic wand and could take away all reasons for a person to worry, you know what they would do? They'd worry about having no worries.' Many seem to inherit this trait from worrying parents and pass it on to their own siblings.

"Your closing admonition for the value of daily prayer (and meditation), from my personal experience, is indeed the path away from chronic negative and destructive thought."

The egg inspectors

From Wayne Thompson: "Mike, For the first time in 27 years a woman came into Ferguson's Country Store and after flashing her badge, went straight to the kitchen. I was informed she was the Eggspector. She said she could tell what farm and which henhouse my eggs came from. I asked if she could tell which hen laid them. She failed to see the humor. I was told if she found a farm-fresh egg in my kitchen she would fine me, evacuate the building, wrap it in yellow police tape and call the state police. There were to be no farm-fresh eggs at Ferguson's Country Store! Just another example of 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help you'."

No 'yolk' Barbie

Subscriber Barbie wrote: "Mike, good grief! I kept wanting and waiting for your column about the Eggspector and the Townhouse Cafe in Harrison to be a joke. I'm still waiting. My tax dollars at work--as usual."

Surgery preferable

Dr. James Graham with Dermatology Group of Arkansas wrote: "Mr. Masterson, I read your article recently regarding the use of SRT-100 (Superficial Radiation Therapy). I am a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Central Arkansas. I wish that you would have reached out to some of the dermatologists in our state to get our opinion regarding SRT. There are reasons why this technology has not taken hold here in Arkansas.

Firstly, the utilization of SRT for treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers is not first-line therapy.

"Secondly, in my opinion, SRT should be limited to a small subset of patients as second-line therapy for those who are not surgical candidates or surgery is contraindicated. This technology should generally be avoided in younger individuals given the risk of secondary malignancy in the radiation field (superficial radiation itself is carcinogenic). Additionally, radiation decreases the vascular supply to an area and leads to poor wound healing if the patient requires additional surgery (i.e., another malignancy in radiated area). Lastly and unfortunately, this technology has the potential for overutilization/misuse due to high reimbursement rates. This has definitely occurred in other states and I witnessed this firsthand during my training in Florida where SRT is used more frequently.

"SRT does have a role in the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers in carefully selected patient populations ..."

I asked Joseph Sardano, president and CEO of Sensus Health Care (creator of this portable superficial radiation treatment machine for basal and squamous cells) for his reaction to Dr. Graham. He said he's heard similar arguments from various doctors in the eight states that still choose not to offer this painless alternative to surgery. He feels many doctors simply aren't as familiar as they might believe with the capabilities of SRT treatments that report a 95 percent cure rate. He also said he believes Mohs is more lucrative than SRT and in some instances "overused and abused." My online column included the names and numbers of dermatologists in nearby Missouri and Oklahoma who do use the SRT. My own 13 SRT treatments successfully erased the basal cells on the tip of my nose and my back without problems.

SRT patient speaks

Chuck Horn wrote: "I second your enthusiasm over SRT-100 treatment. I live in California and have undergone dozens of Mohs surgeries over the years. I discovered SRT a few years ago and have taken advantage of it five or six times. I'm unbelievably happy. I live in the Bay Area with a population of over 7 million and it still floors me we only have one SRT here. I drive 45 minutes to the nearest one."


Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist. Email him at

Editorial on 11/26/2017

Print Headline: My space, your voices

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