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October 19th, 2011
04:59 PM ET

Cancer spurred Cain to go 'bigger and bolder'

Herman Cain took some hits in Tuesday's CNN Republican presidential debate, but so far the biggest opponent he has ever faced appears to be cancer – a battle he says he has won. In 2006, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO says, he was given a 30% chance of survival against his stage 4 colon cancer.

It started when Cain experienced discomfort in his lower belly, according to a letter written earlier this year by one of his physicians, Dr. Martin York of Peachtree Hematology-Oncology Consultants  in Atlanta.  The results of his colonoscopy showed stage 4 colon cancer that had spread to his liver. According to York's letter, Cain was treated in Atlanta with four cycles of chemotherapy before he underwent surgery to remove the cancer from his liver and colon at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The liver is one of the most common organs for colon cancer to spread to, says Dr. Cathy Eng, one of Cain's doctors at M. D. Anderson. Following Cain's surgery, he received six more cycles of chemotherapy, finishing his treatment in January of 2007, according to Cain's book "This is Herman Cain."  Now more than five years later, his doctor says he's still cancer free.

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Biofeedback: Can you teach your body to lose stress?
October 19th, 2011
03:39 PM ET

Biofeedback: Can you teach your body to lose stress?

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity: the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

When it comes to stress relief methods for me, the devil is in the execution. More likely than not, I will stack whatever it is (or an article or book about it) on my bedside table and expect it to sink in through magic and osmosis. Alas …

I got a call early last week from my friend Parvathi, who works for a Washington clinical psychologist specializing in cognitive therapy for patients with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. “You need to check out some of these biofeedback devices for stress,” she said. “My doctor has a few of them in the office. He lends them out to patients who are having anxiety."

I was skeptical. When I actually saw a picture of one of them, the question was obvious: How do you reduce stress by sticking your finger into a socket thingy and breathing for a while?

“Biofeedback is remarkable,” said Erik Peper, a San Francisco State University professor who has been involved in self-regulation and stress management for decades as both a teacher and a clinician.

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More than 1 in 10 in U.S. take antidepressants
October 19th, 2011
12:01 PM ET

More than 1 in 10 in U.S. take antidepressants

Eleven percent of Americans over age 12 take antidepressants according to a report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control.  The study, compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, looked at data from 2005 to 2008.  Among the other key findings:

  • Women are two-and-a-half times more likely to take antidepressants than men.
  • People over 40 are more likely to take antidepressants than younger people.
  • Non-Hispanic whites are more likely to take antidepressants than minorities.

But it was another finding that surprised lead study author, Laura Pratt, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control.  Only one-third of people with severe depression take antidepressants.  "That means many people with severe depression are not getting treated," says Pratt.

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October 19th, 2011
11:42 AM ET

Can Avastin use in macular degenration cause blindness?

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.

Asked by Rosamond, from Philadelphia

I have wet macular degeneration that is being "successfully" treated with Avastin. Please comment on reports of blindness related to this treatment. Many thanks!

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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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