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Prostate cancer screenings: Who decides?
October 6th, 2011
07:15 PM ET

Prostate cancer screenings: Who decides?

The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force is expected to recommend  next week that men not be screened for prostate cancer.

It's an issue that's been the subject of much debate. In 2010, the American Cancer Society recommended that men be allowed to decide whether they're screened for prostate cancer.  As CNN reported at the time, "Cancer specialists know that because prostate cancer is usually a slow growing disease, many men are likely to die from other causes before they would die from prostate cancer."

So it's a decision that many men wrestle with. One of them, Andrew Traver, profiled in 2009, opted for surgery and believes the treatment saved his life.

Read about him and get tips on how to make the choice and be an Empowered Patient with advice from CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.


ER visits for kids with concussions up, says CDC
October 6th, 2011
07:13 PM ET

ER visits for kids with concussions up, says CDC

Emergency room visits are on the rise for kids with sports and recreation-related brain injuries, a CDC report said Thursday.

According to the study, almost 250,000 children were taken to the ER with concussions and other brain injuries in 2009, up from just 150,000  in 2002.

Dr. Julie Gilchrist, a pediatrician at the CDC, and lead author of the study says she believes the numbers are up because parents and coaches are better educated.

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Study lets transplant patients skip anti-rejection drugs
October 6th, 2011
01:58 PM ET

Study lets transplant patients skip anti-rejection drugs

A Stanford University Medical School team reports it has successfully performed kidney transplants that don't require patients to take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives.  The transplant method, 30 years in the making, was developed by Stanford immunologist Dr. Samuel Strober.

An estimated 83,000 U.S. patients are on the waiting list for kidney transplants, and the number increases each month, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Typically organ recipients are required to take a daily regimen of anti-rejection drugs –which can number 30 pills per day – for a lifetime. Not only are the drugs expensive, they can have harmful side effects that include greater risk for heart disease, infection, cancer and diabetes.  The new transplant method temporarily weakens the recipient's immune system, casting "a blind eye on the foreign tissue of the graft," until the body returns to its normal state of immunity, according to Strober.

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Maria Menounos' plans for her embryos
October 6th, 2011
12:48 PM ET

Maria Menounos' plans for her embryos

Last week, entertainment celebrity Maria Menounos made news when she announced she plans to freeze her eggs for future use.

But in an interview with CNN, Menounos clarified that she's actually freezing embryos, not eggs. Fertility doctors will make the embryos by fertilizing her eggs with her boyfriend's sperm in a lab. The resulting embryos will then be banked until the couple wants to use them to start a pregnancy.

The difference between freezing eggs and freezing embryos is significant. Women who freeze their eggs usually do it because they don't have a partner and they're concerned their eggs will be too old by the time they find one. Menounos, on the other hand, has a boyfriend, writer/producer/director Keven Undergaro.
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Re-establishing intimacy after cancer
October 6th, 2011
07:26 AM ET

Re-establishing intimacy after cancer

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

As a nation, we first observed Breast Cancer Awareness Month - dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of early breast cancer detection - 25 years ago.

As the years have passed, the campaign’s visibility has grown, making it one of the most successful of its kind. Proceeds from pink apparel make October one of the rosiest months of the year. Charity walks abound. Education regarding self exams and breast cancer symptoms has become part of the public consciousness.

But as caught up as we are in the dual causes of prevention and additional medical research (both crucial), not as much attention has been paid to the sexual aftermath of a cancer diagnosis.
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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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