• 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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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Taking birth control pills has previously been associated with several non-contraceptive benefits. But now, a new study shows the pill can help protect women from certain cancers for decades after a woman stops taking it."This latest study reinforces what we have known for decades," ABC's Chief Women's Health Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said on Good Morning America Friday. "But this study represented the longest follow up." "[Researchers] looked at 46,000 women, followed them up to 44 years and found that the risks of certain types of cancers were dramatically reduced. We're talking lower risk of ovarian cancer, lower risk of endometrial cancer -- which is a type of uterine cancer -- and lower risk of colorectal cancer," she added.On the flip side, Ashton noted that taking the pill does slightly increase the risk of developing a blood clot."Some studies, though not this one, have shown a slight increase in the risk of cervical cancer and breast cancer but the breast cancer risk returns back to baseline after a woman stops taking the pill," she added.If you choose not to take birth control pills, there are other ways of reducing cancer risks. Ashton said pregnancy lowers the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer; avoiding obesity lowers the risks of ovarian, endometrial and colorectal cancer; and taking an aspirin can lower the risk of colorectal cancer.New data also shows that removing the fallopian tubes can cut the risk of ovarian cancer, she said.
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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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  • shironosov/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More women who were diagnosed with cancer as teens or young adults are surviving -- and many are having children of their own.But their path isn't always easy. A new study published on Thursday in JAMA Oncology finds women who survived cancer between 15 and 39 years old may have an increased risk of complications with pregnancies and births, even years later.Studies of girls who survived cancer up to age 14 have suggested that preterm birth and low birth weight babies are a risk, the authors of this study noted.But this analysis is the first expansive study showing how women treated for cancer in childbearing age have fared with having babies, according to Dr. Ellie Ragsdale, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.She said that many women don't realize that past cancer treatment could affect their future pregnancies."It's generally a surprise to them," Ragsdale said. "I think the biggest thing for us is making the patients aware that they can have the reproductive future that they want."Researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill examined data from 2,598 women in the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry who had cancer as adolescents or young adults and went on to give birth, as well as women who were diagnosed with cancer while pregnant.They found that, overall, premature deliveries and newborns with low birth weight were more likely for this group compared to women who had not been treated for cancer in the past. There was also a small, but statistically significant increase in the number of these women, who gave birth via cesarean section.The mean time between cancer diagnosis and pregnancy was about 3.1 years and the mean age of women at cancer diagnosis was 28 years.Certain kinds of cancer and treatments women received appeared to be associated with complications. Women who had chemotherapy without radiation were more likely to have prematurely born infants. Cesarean deliveries were also increased among this group, compared to women without cancer. Women who survived gynecologic cancers by having surgery only, were more likely to give birth to preterm infants. Additionally, women who had chemotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer were the most likely to give birth prematurely or have an infant with low birth weight.Ragsdale said when women who have had cancer treatment come in to her office, high-risk specialists will work with them to understand how the cancer and treatment may affect their pregnancies."There is a lot of fear of 'Can I have a healthy pregnancy?,'" said Ragsdale. She said some women are already given extra monitoring, but that further study may help oncologists figure out how to best treat cancer, while minimizing harm to the reproductive organs.Not surprisingly, women who were diagnosed with cancer while being pregnant had the highest rates of complications, but increased risk was also seen when there were months or years between cancer treatment and pregnancy. The study authors theorize that chemotherapy treatments could impair cardiovascular or pulmonary function for some time.They said more study would be necessary to assess risk for a wider variety of women, who may have been treated for various cancers and with many different treatments.The authors suggest that counseling women who had cancer would help, both before they are pregnant and during pregnancy. Additionally, they recommend more long-term monitoring for these survivors.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- A teen born with a birth defect that prevented him from walking is now getting used to moving around on his own thanks to state-of-the-art prosthetic devices.Christian Calamuci, 17, was born in South Africa with legs that bowed out dramatically, making it impossible to walk for long periods of time, according to New York ABC station WABC-TV."I couldn't stand for more than two minutes, I couldn't run," Christian told WABC. "My legs, they didn't bend."Laura Calamuci, of Staten Island, New York, adopted the boy from a South African orphanage as a child, according to WABC.
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