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A4 • Friday, July 26, 2019 | Seaside Signal | SeasideSignal.com
Vending machine can dispense life-saving information
SEEN FROM SEASIDE
isitors to the Sunset Pool will soon
ﬁ nd a new type of vending machine,
dispensing DNA collection kits to
determine inherited cancer risk of
those who choose to participate. The
testing — which can cost $3,000 if paid for
privately — comes to users without charge
as part of the Healthy Oregon Program.
At “spit spots” like the ones coming to
Seaside, voluntary participants will consent,
create a secure account, and donate a sam-
ple using mouthwash. Users will receive a
small cardboard box, a bottle and a 2-ounce
tube to collect saliva samples. Specimens
will be returned to a diagnostic lab for
recording and analysis. All samples will
be genetically screened for inherited syn-
dromes in the current panel.
Participants ﬁ ll out a questionnaire and
their samples will be genetically analyzed
for early detection research at no charge.
All samples will be genetically screened
for inherited syndromes.
If a submitted sample is found to contain
the genetic markers for inheritable cancers,
that person will be retested and then pro-
vided with a consultation with a geneticist.
Clatsop County was recently selected as
the pilot county for this unique study, which
aims to detect early cancer and save lives in
the process. The county was chosen for its
population size, proximity to Portland, and
“relatively compact” geography.
“With our coordinator Steven (Blakes-
ley) in Clatsop County we have a good net-
work that integrates our research portfo-
lio with the population and the medical care
providers in the county,” said Paul Spell-
man, Ph.D., professor in the Department of
Molecular and Medical Genetics in the Ore-
gon Health & Science University School of
Medicine and co-leader of the Quantitative
Oncology Program in the OHSU Knight
The program will have tables at the
Astoria Sunday Market and Hood to Coast.
Collection kits will be placed at Providence
Seaside Hospital and at the Sunset Pool.
Participation is free and “completely
voluntary,” Sunset Empire Park and Rec-
reation District Executive Director Skyler
Archibald said at the district’s June board
According to Spellman, about 1% of the
Ph.D., professor in
the Department of
Molecular and Medical
Genetics in the OHSU
School of Medicine
in the OHSU Knight
REC DISTRICT TAKES THE LEAD
cancer particularly, he added.
A test for cancer that aims to save lives — or an
invasion of privacy of little practical value?
Members of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation
District held this debate before approving participa-
tion in the OHSU Healthy Oregon Project to detect
inherited risk of cancer.
Board members showed concern for the potential
of false positives, privacy breaches — and the ques-
tion of how participants might respond to results,
especially those who might not have the ﬁ nancial
resources for treatment. In addition, district staﬀ
may be unprepared to answer questions or guide
users, he said.
“This is a good opportunity to help people in the
area,” the district’s executive director Skyler Ar-
chibald said at the district’s June meeting.
The board voted 3-1, with one abstaining, to move
forward with the OHSU vending machine for cancer
Clatsop County shows a higher rate of diseases and
population could have an inherited cancer
risk — and of those, only 20% are aware.
“If you have hereditary breast and ovar-
ian cancer, your lifetime risk of getting
ovarian cancer is about 40 or 50 percent and
your risk of dying from that ovarian can-
cer is extremely high if you were to get it,”
“The pilot project is to test speciﬁ cally
for a small fraction of the population that is
very high risk,” Spellman said.
While the vast majority of the population
will not test positive for hereditary cancers,
he said, for those who receive a positive
test, there will be “very speciﬁ c concrete
and impactful changes” to their medical
care: increased screenings; screenings at
an earlier age; or potentially surgeries that
could dramatically cut the risk of dying
“Right now we have interventions that
cut that risk by more than 90%,” Spellman
said. “These interventions are not nec-
essarily fun. We don’t do them for peo-
ple who don’t have these syndromes. But
for people who have these syndromes, it’s
important for them to know it so they can
make an informed decision themselves.
They are extreme interventions that we do
for people who have very high risk.”
For some individuals with the inher-
ited colon cancer syndrome, the guideline
would call for colonoscopies at an earlier
age and more frequently.
“Instead of having a colonoscopy
every 10 years, it’s to have a colonoscopy
every year,” Spellman said. “There’s not
a lot of people who ask to have a colo-
noscopy every year. The guideline is in
place because it turns out it matters. If
Close encounters in Seaside bring smiles
you identify the polyps that develop in the
colon early and remove them, you cut your
risk of developing cancer later on. ”
Future studies could help provide early
determinations of other types of cancers,
including environmental, genetic or medi-
cal features. For those who do not have the
hereditary gene, Healthy Oregon may pro-
vide information about healthy lifestyle
“Our hope is everything we do we
return value to someone,” Spellman said.
“After we pilot in Clatsop County, our
goal is to go statewide, probably launching
region by region. The ultimate goal is to
get hundreds of thousands of Oregonians
enrolled in the Healthy Oregon Project to
participate with DNA, as well as surveys
and potentially other research projects in
Monday, July 29
Seaside City Council/Planning Commission,
work session, vacation rental dwellings,
6 p.m., City Hall, 989 Broadway.
Thursday, Aug. 1
Seaside Parks Advisory Committee, 7 p.m.,
City Hall, 989 Broadway.
hree weeks ago I was walking Lucy,
my young dog, on Avenue U past
The Osprey Café when I noticed a
young man on the sidewalk doing a sun
salutation. Beside him on the ground was
a large and fairly new looking backpack;
a large dog was guarding it. I was star-
tled when he called out, “Have a beauti-
ful day!” and called back, “You, too.” I
thought that was the end of it.
Twenty minutes later and four blocks
north, emerging from the beach to the
Prom, the man and his dog were right
there. As he was clearly about to start for-
aging cans from a bin, I tried hard not to
look and slunk past.
“Find any strawberries?” he said. “I
did.” He held out his hand, offering me a
berry. Five or six berries were nestled in a
somewhat grubby looking cotton handker-
chief in his hand.
“Thank you,” I said, accepting one.
“But I feel badly taking this as I have
nothing to give you in return.”
“You could talk to me for a few min-
utes,” he said. “People turn away when
they see me. This life is so lonely.”
So I did talk to him.
A week later I was working at my desk
when a car rolled up out front. Two older
women were in the front seats. They were
pointing at my house. I think I fright-
ened them when I opened the front door. I
called out, “Can I help you? Are you look-
ing for someone?”
They said they were sisters who grew
up in Astoria. Now they live someplace
else. They were back in town for a family
reunion and decided to drive around. My
house, they said, decades ago, belonged
to their aunt and uncle. I asked if they
wanted to come in and take a look.
Inside, they marveled at the remodel,
which was done long before I bought
Tuesday, Aug. 6
Community Center Commission meeting,
10:30 a.m., Bob Chisholm Center, 1225 Ave-
nue A, Seaside.
Seaside Library Board, 4:30 p.m., Seaside Pub-
lic Library, 1131 Broadway.
Seaside Planning Commission, 7 p.m., City
Hall, 989 Broadway.
Wednesday, Aug. 7
Seaside Improvement Commission, 6 p.m.,
City Hall, 989 Broadway.
Gearhart City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall, 698
Paciﬁ c Way.
Thursday, Aug. 8
the house. They conﬁ rmed what is now
the master bedroom was at one time the
garage. They described exactly how the
original kitchen was. They said all their
family gatherings were held at this house.
They had lots of happy memories of being
in the house.
The house does have a good vibe.
Last week I was walking both dogs
past The Osprey Café. A couple hav-
ing breakfast at an outdoor table began
talking to me. It actually started when the
man called out, “Hey, is that dog double
jointed?” referring to Basil’s twisted leg.
I explained he was born crippled. That
made them sad. They said they drove to
the Oregon Coast from Tennessee. This
was their ﬁ rst time in Seaside. They were
loving the weather. The husband wanted
to know where he could shoot elk, to
which I replied, “It’s the wrong season,
they’ve recently calved, and nowhere right
around here anyway.”
For a week the house next door has
been ﬁ lled with a large family of vacation
renters. No rules have been broken regard-
John D. Bruijn
ing parking or noise, but yesterday the
trash bin overﬂ owed on to the street and
the crows were having at it. It’s my cus-
tom to attempt eye contact or at least say
hello to anyone who rents the house, but
this time I was feeling a tad unfriendly, at
least until I met their happy and excited
Chihuahua, whose name is Titan.
Two young women came to the gate
the other day. They said they were from
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints. They were looking for good works
to do and did we need assistance.
“Doing what?” I asked.
“Yard work, moving furniture, paint-
ing, whatever someone needs,” one of
them said. “I love your belt, by the way,”
she added, referring to the silver skull at
I said I didn’t need any help at the
moment but accepted the card they gave
me. It had a bit of scripture printed on it
from Acts 10:38.
“HE Went About Doing Good,” it said.
If you do need help, dial 503-468-9086
and ask the missionaries.
Convention Center Commission, 5 p.m., Sea-
side Civic and Convention Center, 415 First
Monday, Aug. 12
Seaside City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall, 989
Thursday, Aug. 15
Seaside Transportation Advisory Commis-
sion, 6 p.m., City Hall, 989 Broadway.
Tuesday, Aug. 20
Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District,
Bob Chisholm Community Center, 5:15 p.m.,
1225 Avenue A, Seaside.
Seaside Planning Commission, work session,
7 p.m., City Hall, 989 Broadway.
Seaside School District Board of Directors,
7 p.m., 1801 S. Franklin, Seaside.
Wednesday, Aug. 21
Seaside Tourism Advisory Committee, 3 p.m.,
City Hall, 989 Broadway.
Monday, Aug. 26
Seaside City Council, 7 p.m., City Hall, 989
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