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Births, breastfeeding rates may explain breast cancer disparities
August 16th, 2011
05:26 PM ET

Births, breastfeeding rates may explain breast cancer disparities

A new study may better explain why African American women have greater risk for developing more aggressive and difficult-to-treat forms of breast cancer, called estrogen and progesterone receptor negative cancers (ER-/PR-). The findings appear in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Breast cancer is the second-most common type of cancer among women, after skin cancer. While white women are slightly more likely to get breast cancer than African American women, African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, because they are more likely to develop more aggressive breast cancers. But why this happens has been less clear.

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Risk of bladder cancer among smokers increases
August 16th, 2011
04:46 PM ET

Risk of bladder cancer among smokers increases

Cigarette smoking causes bladder cancer at an even higher rate than previously thought, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The prevalence of bladder cancer in the United States has remained relatively stable during the past 30 years even as smoking – one of the biggest known risk factors for bladder cancer – has declined.

The study authors suggest that cigarettes may contain even higher concentrations of certain known carcinogens than they used to, and they are calling for more research into the current content of cigarettes.

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Get Some Sleep: Bang in your head waking you? It has a name
Many people have dealt with waking up with a sudden start, called a hypnic jerk. A similar condition adds loud noise to a wakeup.
August 16th, 2011
01:05 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Bang in your head waking you? It has a name

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs regularly on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

Most of us have drifted off to sleep, only to awaken with a sudden start. This is a benign occurrence known as a hypnic jerk.

There is a similar condition in which people awaken suddenly because they hear a loud noise in their head. They usually describe it as a loud bang or an explosion. In fact, this phenomenon is called exploding head syndrome.

Like hypnic jerks (or sleep starts), this is a completely benign condition. A hypnic jerk can accompany the clash of cymbals that people hear. Even though benign, it can be very disturbing to experience, and people often think that they are having a stroke.
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Filed under: Sleep

August 16th, 2011
12:35 PM ET

Why are my OCD feelings so intense?

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.

Question asked by Susan from Oklahoma

I have OCD. When I hear the sink faucet turn off, it makes a squeaking noise, and I feel tense and need to use antibacterial wipes on my hands. I also feel tense and need to use antibacterial wipes when I hear someone say the word "gas," when I see a red gas tank anywhere, when I see a gas nozzle at a gas station (or on TV), and the red color of a gas tank on anything plastic similar to a red gas tank. I also hate looking at sinks in the bathroom and kitchen because I feel tense and literally walk around the apartment covering my eyes so I do not see those objects when I am passing them. Why do I feel so intensely about these things? What can I do?
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Even a little exercise could improve health
August 16th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

Even a little exercise could improve health

Even a little exercise – about 15 minutes a day - can translate to health benefits, according to an observational study from Taiwan.

Researchers from Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes found that individuals who exercised an average of 92 minutes a week had 14 percent reduced mortality compared with inactive people.  This extended to three more years of life expectancy, according to the study published in the Lancet.

The authors surveyed 416,175 people who self-assessed how much they exercised.   Participants were asked to recall the examples of exercises they did the previous month such as walking, brisk walking, jogging or running, which were categorized into inactive, low, medium, high or very high activity. FULL POST


August 16th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

School's daily PE, fresh fruit set kids on a healthy path

Editor's note: Dr. Sanjay Gupta explores the signs, tests and lifestyle changes that could make cardiac problems a thing of the past on "The Last Heart Attack," Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

The school board said, "Make health a priority."

With that directive, Cheryl McIntire began the next phase of her career three years ago, as principal of Northeast Elementary Magnet School in Danville, Illinois.

This summer, she flew to New York to receive the first Gold Award given to an elementary school by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which has been working with schools since 2006 to fight childhood obesity.
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August 16th, 2011
07:30 AM ET

Human Factor: Brain tumor makes today more meaningful

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. Today Jennifer Giliberto shares her story of  embracing today after a grim diagnosis.

On June 20, 2007 we began a new life. In a brief moment, the world stopped spinning and a resounding smack signaled the closure of the life we knew. Nothing would ever be the same and we’d never be the same people again.

The glowing white lesion, a grade II astrocytoma, staring back at me from the MRI film hanging on the wall at the neurosurgeon’s office that day will always be a vivid memory. The flood of emotions, shock, tears and the entire aftermath are no less raw today than four years ago, but these emotions all exist with greater balance in my life now.

We're now grateful for the gift that has humbled us.

Since that warm, sunny June afternoon, we've faced my mortality, questions about quality of life, acknowledged that a new definition of “normal” would need to be created and have settled into our new life with unexpected ease.

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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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