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  • ABC NewsBy PAIGE MORE"Good Morning America" booker and segment producer Paige More shares her personal experience of under going a double mastectomy in her early 20s after she tested positive for a BRCA1 genetic mutation, which greatly increases your risk of developing breast cancer, according to the National Cancer Foundation.I have always been fearless. I grew up snowboarding, surfing, and cliff diving in southern California. New adventures excite me and nothing stresses me out. I have always believed that no matter what happens in my life, I can handle it.That all changed when I was 22 years old and tested positive for the BRCA1 genetic mutation. I had just started working as a booker for Good Morning America, when my mom urged me to take the test. I didn't think much of it as I was busy trying to prove myself at my new dream job. I figured if it would make my mom happy, then I would take the test. I found out a few weeks later that I had tested positive when my doctor called me with my mom on the line. They both told me they were sorry. I still didn't really understand.It wasn't until a few months later when my mom came to visit me in the city that the gravity of the mutation set in. It is so important to make sure you are ready for the results before you get tested. We didn't understand how much this was going to impact my life. It is so important to be prepared for the results. I was told that I essentially had two options. I could begin intensive surveillance programs, which meant endless visits to the doctor's office for mammograms, MRIs and blood work. That felt like waiting around to get cancer. My other option was to have a preventative double mastectomy. I left my oncologist's office feeling overwhelmed and scared of my future for the first time in my life.I spent the next few months talking with my close friends and family. Everyone was incredibly supportive. But no one told me what to do. I really wanted some guidance either way. Should I have the surgery or should I wait until I was older? What if cancer struck while I was waiting? What was I waiting for?I was never a worrier or an anxious person and I worried about getting cancer every single day. Every time I tried on a new top, took a shower, or looked in the mirror I thought, "I am going to get breast cancer." It was so overwhelming I realized I couldn't live in constant fear anymore.Fortunately, I was in a great place in my life and I felt like I was ready to have a preventative double mastectomy. My friends, family, and boyfriend were incredibly supportive. I had a stable and steady job. I was healthy and fit. I knew I didn't want to worry and I knew that I would most likely have to do this someday anyway. I was ready now. I wanted to do everything in my power to be a "Previvor," not a survivor.A previvor is someone who is a survivor of a predisposition to cancer but who hasn't had the disease. This group includes people who carry a hereditary mutation, a family history of cancer, or some other predisposing factor.In October, we set my surgery date for January 3. I had 90 days to really prepare. I asked my doctors if I should do anything to better prep myself for surgery. They said no. I didn't listen. I joined the gym across from my office and started working out regularly. I ate as healthfully as I could. I made sure I was in the best shape of my life for January 3.Walking into surgery was one of the strangest experiences in my life. I wanted to turn and run away, but I knew I had to face this head on, like I do with everything else in my life. After a few hours my doctors came out to tell my parents that the surgery had gone incredibly well, in part because my muscles were so strong and I was so healthy. I am so thankful I chose to be proactive and make sure my body was as strong as possible before my surgery. It gave me something other than the surgery to focus on and gave me a sense of power that I had control back over my body. Having a strong core a
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  • ABC/Eric McCandless(NEW YORK) — Julianne Hough hopes being vocal about her struggle with endometriosis will help more women feel comfortable talking about their own experiences. In an interview with People, she talked about her diagnosis."When I was 15, I had symptoms of endometriosis, but I had never heard of it, didn't know what it was," she said. "I thought that this was just the kind of pain you have when you're on your period. For years, I was just thinking that it was normal and never really talked about it."After being rushed to the hospital in 2008, she found out about her condition and soon had surgery."The first initial thought was a little bit of fear because I didn't know what it was, especially because it's not talked about as much as it is today," Hough said. "And then also relief because I was able to put a name to the pain, and know there were treatments and I could talk to my doctor and create a plan to help manage the pain."She's now working with a campaign to raise awareness of endometriosis. She said it's about starting an open conversation about symptoms."I don't care about being private about this anymore because I really want the women that are going through debilitating pain to benefit from my story or this campaign," the Dancing With the Stars judge said.She's made some adjustments since her diagnosis — she slows down when she needs to, and takes days off when necessary, but said she still leads an active, healthy lifestyle. Her fiancé, Brooks Laich, has been a source of support, Hough said."He's amazing," she said. "The first time he found out about it was because I was having an episode, and I couldn't even speak. As soon as it passed, I was able to tell him what it was. Now he knows when I'm having a little episode, and just rubs my back and is there for me and supports me. There's comfort in knowing that the people around me get it and understand, so I don't feel like I have to push through the pain because I don't want to look weak."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • School District of La Crosse(LA CROSSE, Wis.) — A high school freshman from Wisconsin has been hailed as a hero by his community after he performed the Heimlich maneuver on a fellow student who was choking on his lunch in their school's cafeteria.Ian Brown from La Crosse, Wisconsin, quickly jumped into action when his schoolmate, Will Olson, began choking and motioning for help."We couldn't tell if Will was choking or if he was just laughing and coughing at the same time," Brown told ABC News. "Eventually what started to give it away was the redness in his face and then the hand motions to his neck."Brown got up from his seat and performed the Heimlich maneuver four times on Olson until the food dislodged from Olson's throat."I feel thankful that I had Ian, a friend, there that had the training to do what he did," said Olson.The incident was captured on surveillance video at Central High School. The video has garnered more than 80,000 views on Facebook after it was posted this week on the School District of La Crosse's Facebook page.The La Crosse Police Department issued a statement applauding the "lifesaving actions" of Brown, who is a member of their police explorer program. The police department said that Brown learned how to perform the Heimlich maneuver as part of his training as a police explorer."I felt I was just doing what I was trained to do," Brown said. "I've wanted to be a police officer and that's what they trained me to do and that's what they told me to do."Michael Belott, a firefighter with the Cedar Knolls Fire Department in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, told GMA that he believes Brown's quick actions helped save Olson's life."This student jumps right in and starts a quick intervention with those abdominal thrusts and the Heimlich maneuver procedure and definitely saves this kid's life," Belott said. "We can all say he did an excellent job taking that initiative."Choking is the fourth leading cause of unintentional, accidental death, according to the National Safety Council. The Heimlich maneuver has been credited with saving more than 100,000 lives since the technique was created in 1974.Belott shared a few simple steps that he says anyone can use to step in and help with the life-saving maneuver: Remain calm, keep composure, call 911, ensure that someone is choking, check if something is stuck in a person's airway that could be removed, and initiate five abdominal thrusts.
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  • Photos.com/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The white working class in the U.S. has bucked a global trend of improved mortality rates in recent years as a host of factors including suicide, opioid addiction and alcohol-related liver disease have increasingly claimed lives.A new report published in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity focuses on looking at this trend of rising mortality and possible factors that have led to it."Ultimately, we see our story as about the collapse of the white, high school educated, working class after its heyday in the early 1970s, and the pathologies that accompany that decline," the authors Anne Case and Angus Deaton, of Princeton University wrote in the report.Case and Deaton both drew attention after publishing a 2015 paper that found the white working class has had growing mortality rates, while other groups including white people with college degrees continued to have declining rates of mortality. They now are expanding on the research to better understand that trend and to see if they can could come up with a preliminary hypothesis for the rise in mortality in this group.According to the report, white non-Hispanic people of all ages show an increased mortality rate from 1999 to 2015 with some age groups seeing nearly a 50 percent rise in mortality rates. People aged 25-29 went from a mortality rate of 145.7 deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to 266.2 per 100,000 in 2015 and people aged 40-44 went from 332.2 deaths per 100,000 to 471.4 deaths per 100,000.Case and Deaton found that while gains were made as fewer people died of heart disease and cancer, these gains have mostly stagnated and did not cancel out the rising number of "deaths of despair" or related to alcohol, drugs or suicide.In 1990, France, Germany and Sweden outpaced the U.S. in these deaths which totaled approximately 40 per 100,000 from those countries. After 2000 white non-Hispanic people in the U.S. were far more likely to die of these causes then their foreign counterparts with the related mortality rate reaching 80 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the report. Opioids alone kill an estimated 91 people in the U.S everyday according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Case and Deaton theorize multiple factors have helped cause this worrying rising mortality rate, but are careful to acknowledge these are preliminary theories. They point out that while stagnating wages can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair, they say there is not clear enough evidence that it was a sole factor. Instead they theorize that a steady deterioration in job opportunities for people with only a high school education as well as weakening social structures may have contributed to increasing numbers of "deaths by despair."The researchers say that automation and globalization diminished the opportunities for people with a high school diploma or less, while diminishing wages may have affected marriage rates and led to a rise of less stable partnerships. They also point to past studies that have found more people are moving away from the churches of their parents and grandparents to churches focused "seeking an identity" or no church at all."These changes left people with less structure when they came to choose their careers, their religion, and the nature of their family lives. When such choices succeed, they are liberating; when they fail, the individual can only hold him or herself responsible," they wrote.With longstanding forces possibly contributing to this rise in mortality rates, the authors have some suggestions but acknowledge little will be "quickly reversed by policy.""Controlling opioids is an obvious priority, as is trying to counter the negative effects of a poor labor market on marriage, perhaps through better safety nets for mothers with children," they wrote.Dr. Peter Muenning, the Director for the Global Research Analytics for Population Health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Having trouble getting your necessary serving of fruit in each day? Try blending them, says celebrity trainer and Jamba Juice representative Harley Pasternak.Pasternak says when blending one’s fruits and veggies, time is no longer an excuse.
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