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Cancer costs could increase 66% by 2020
January 12th, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Cancer costs could increase 66% by 2020

The costs associated with caring for cancer patients in the United States could increase as much as 66% by 2020, according to a study released Wednesday by the National Cancer Institute.

The predicted rise in cost is due in part to the nation's growing population of elderly, who are aging into a period of their lives when they are at increased risk of developing common cancers.

"We're expecting to see a lot more cancer in the future," says Dr. Robin Yabroff, an epidemiologist with the National Cancer Institute and one of the study's authors. "It's mostly in the elderly."

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On the Brain: Craving music
January 12th, 2011
01:42 PM ET

On the Brain: Craving music

Scientists are learning how music affects the brain, how to treat seasonal affective disorder better and how the brain develops in infancy. Here's what's new in brain and psychology research this week:

High on music
You probably have certain music that you love listening to, but you probably didn't realize that the same brain processes that happen when you're rocking out with your MP3 player are the same as those associated with food, psychoactive drugs, sex and money. WebMD reports on a study in Nature Neuroscience showing that the brain chemical dopamine gets released when listening to music - or even anticipating listening to music - and that contributes to your subsequent feelings of pleasure.

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January 12th, 2011
09:18 AM ET

New paint doesn't mask orphans' life on the edge

We first met the children at Patience Orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, six months ago. Despite living in often deplorable conditions, you can count on a smile. Their spirit is contagious.

Roughly 50 children, from infants to 13 years, occupied the small house.  At the time there were no beds. The children slept on a concrete floor.  Worse yet, they were on their last bag of rice and beans.  It was simply not enough.

We flagged the needs of the orphanage to a small U.S. based non-profit organization, Can-Do . Can-Do, in turn, located a food distributor just miles down the road that was willing to provide a truck full of supplies.

After that story aired, CNN viewers wanted to help. Thousands of dollars were donated to Can-Do.org to help the children at Patience Orphanage. The staff  bought supplies, rented trucks and hired local Haitians to give this orphanage a much-needed facelift.

Today, the kids have beds to sleep in. The walls are painted bright pink, and blue. The floors, now tiled. Two new bathrooms were installed, complete with plumbing and a septic system. For the first time, they have a kitchen and a kid-friendly water filtration system.

The thing that struck me about all these changes was that they didn’t take very much money.

Can-Do spent a total of $5,658 to make all these changes to the orphanage. $20 per gallon for fresh paint, $160 for light fixtures, $500 for kitchen cabinets,  $30 for five new light switches.  Turns out, money donated by you (no matter how big or small) can go along way here in Haiti.

And while the cosmetic changes provided to Patience Orphanage are tremendous for those 50 smiling faces, the children are still living on the edge. They may no longer be sleeping on the floor, but their food is still scarce. The owner of this particular orphanage has not been able to secure a coveted spot as a “beneficiary” from food distribution NGOs.  Becoming a beneficiary guarantees monthly deliveries.

That's the reality for many hungry in Haiti:  The demand for food outweighs the supply. So for now, Patience Orphanage rations the food it has and waits for donations.

Of course, the children at Patience Orphanage represent just a sliver of the roughly 350,000 orphans living in Haiti. Many of Haiti’s orphans are getting aid, but others have fallen through the cracks.


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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