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Tri Challenge: A view from the kayak
June 30th, 2011
11:07 AM ET

Tri Challenge: A view from the kayak

By now, with less than six weeks of training left before the Nautica New York City Triathlon   most of us  “six’ers” - the six iReporters chosen to compete alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta   have completed at least one multi-sport event as part of our training. I was seeking one as well, and was happy to learn of an Olympic-distance triathlon scheduled for early June that was right here in my hometown of Rome, Georgia.

It was the second annual “Tri for the Shelter,” proceeds of which benefit our local homeless shelter and the setting was a lovely nearby mountain-lake recreation area. My plan was to gain some open-water experience by doing the swim, and then do the bike course as well.

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The joy of comfort sex
June 30th, 2011
07:07 AM ET

The joy of comfort sex

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.

Sex with a spouse is like ordering takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant: Sure, you know what you’re getting and there’s no need to ponder the menu, but the meal is still consistently yummy and generally hits the spot.

The virtues of comfort sex are vastly underrated. We live in a culture that’s obsessed with what’s new and fresh, and sex is no exception: From magazine headlines that regularly trumpet newfangled positions and heretofore undiscovered hot spots, to our culture of serial monogamy in which couples regularly trade in their old partners for new in search of excitement, variety is heralded as the spice of life while familiarity breeds contempt.

But in my experience, the tried and true often has distinct advantages over the path not taken - especially when it comes sex.
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CT scans show promise for lung cancer screening
June 29th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

CT scans show promise for lung cancer screening

A heavy smoker for more than 45 years, Fernando Sandoval quit cold turkey after a CT scan revealed he had a tumor in his lung.  Nine years ago Sandoval was one of the first people to participate in a clinical trial at UCLA to determine whether  a low-dose CT scan can be used as a possible screening tool for the deadliest cancer. Final results from this clinical trial, which enrolled more than 53,000 people at 33 different sites, found low-dose CT screening reduces the number of lung cancer deaths in high risk smokers by 20%.

Sandoval received a regular chest X-ray in 2002 and was told his lungs looked like those of a 40-year-old, even though he had already passed his 60th birthday.
But his wife didn't believe the X-rays because she knew he smoked too much, so she urged him to participate in the clinical trial.

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Don't blame people for their pain, report says
June 29th, 2011
01:38 PM ET

Don't blame people for their pain, report says

Chronic pain – no matter where it strikes – is a problem not many of us really understand.

It can sometimes be dismissed and not effectively managed by health care professionals.

Pain is widespread, but underdiagnosed and undertreated, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine.  The independent, nonprofit organization that gives advice to decision makers and the public focused on pain as a public health issue.

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Drug addiction usually starts before 18
June 29th, 2011
11:55 AM ET

Drug addiction usually starts before 18

The top public health problem in the United States is not obesity, as many might guess, says one public policy organization. The National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse, also known as CASA, leaves no question as to where it stands on the subject, titling its latest study "Adolescent Substance Use: America’s No. 1 Public Health Problem."

The report released Wednesday finds that the consumption of alcohol, the use of tobacco and marijuana and the abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise among teens.  That's not terribly surprising but this might be:  CASA found that 9 out of 10 adult addicts started using before the age of 18,  compared with  1 in 25 Americans who started using these substances at age 21 or older.

Another finding: 75% of high school students have used addictive substances with 1 in 5 of them meeting the medical criteria for addiction.

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FDA panel rejects arguments for cancer drug
June 29th, 2011
10:36 AM ET

FDA panel rejects arguments for cancer drug

An FDA advisory panel on Wednesday unanimously rejected arguments from Genentech that its controversial anti-cancer drug should continue as an approved therapy for advanced breast cancer.

In pointed comments, several members of the panel said the company had not demonstrated that Avastin could help breast cancer patients live longer, or improve their quality of life. They also pointed to significant side effects, including high blood pressure in many patients, and cases of hemorrhage and intestinal perforations. One panel member, Dr. Wyndham Wilson of the National Cancer Institute, said that given the data, prescribing Avastin to breast cancer patients would be akin to violating the physician’s oath of “first, do no harm.”

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June 29th, 2011
07:24 AM ET

How can I stop this high-pitched noise?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Question asked by Alex from Bulgaria

Two weeks ago I began having a really disturbing sound in my ears. The noise is constant, with high frequency. I can hear it almost all the time, especially in the mornings. Why is this happening? I have not had any accidents. What can I do about it?
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June 28th, 2011
04:26 PM ET

Dangerous drop side cribs no longer for sale

Cribs are supposed to be the safest place in the house for a parent to leave a baby unattended and any new parent shopping for a new crib should now feel a little more confident that their child will indeed be safe.  Beginning Tuesday, companies that manufacture or sell baby cribs in the United States have to comply with the latest safety standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The standards will no longer allow the manufacture and sale of so-called drop side cribs, where one side or both sides of the crib can be lowered to provide easier access to a baby.

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June 28th, 2011
02:41 PM ET

Can an abuse victim 'fix' aversion to sex?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Asked by Sharon from Alaska

I was abused as a child. Never intercourse, but I was threatened about it, and I had to watch my sister and this man. I was always called a prude by him. Anyway, I'm married and celibate. I do not enjoy sex nor do I have any interest in it. I am on Effexor and unsure how I feel about my husband. I do not know if this is a physical issue, mental or marrying the wrong man. Obviously this causes issues for my husband, but why should I suffer so he doesn't have to?
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June 28th, 2011
01:50 PM ET

Human Factor: How a triathlon saved my life

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle - injury, illness or other hardship –- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. This week Dr. Sanjay Gupta tells one man's story of overcoming major depression through exercise. In a previous post, Dr. Joseph C. Maroon talks about the importance of triathlons in his life.


Filed under: Human Factor

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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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