Review Category : Health

“How I Met Your Mother” Star Cobie Smulders Reveals Secret Battle with Ovarian Cancer

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage(NEW YORK) — How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders reveals in a new interview that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during the show’s third season, when she was 25 years old.

In the May edition of Women’s Health magazine, the actress, now 33, reveals, “I had tumors on both ovaries, and the cancer had spread into my lymph nodes and surrounding tissues.”

Smulders says it took multiple surgeries over the course of two years to remove the cancerous tissue, all while still shooting the popular TV series.

“I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m cancer-free,” she tells the magazine. “Now that I’m five years out, I’m trying to think of it as a positive thing and what can I learn from it. And if I can create more awareness, I’ll do it.”

Medical experts say ovarian cancer killed about 14,000 women in 2014.

In the time since her diagnosis, Smulders has given birth to two children with husband, Saturday Night Live cast member Taran Killam. They have a five-year-old daughter and a son, born in January.

Smulders portrayed newscaster Robin Scherbatsky on How I Met Your Mother, which ended its run last May.

Smulders will next be seen reprising her role as Agent Maria Hill in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, opening nationwide May 1.

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Don’t Worry, Be Sex-Happy

Wavebreak/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — You’re probably not aware of it but you might be living in one of the most sex-happy cities in the U.S.

Men’s Health magazine has come up with its list of places where people are sexually active and the winner this year is the Austin, Texas, already considered one of the most liberal cities in the Lone Star State.

The metrics Men’s Health used for its sex-happy city list were sales of condoms, birth rates and even rates of sexually transmitted diseases.

Here are the nation’s top 10 sex-happy cities and pertinent information to boot:

Austin, TX

Overall Ranking: 1st
Condom Sales: 1st
Birth Rates: 15th
STD Rates: 23rd

Dallas, TX

Overall Ranking: 2nd
Condom Sales: 5th
Birth Rates: 6th
STD Rates: 25th

Columbus, OH

Overall Ranking: 3rd
Condom Sales: 13th
Birth Rates: 22nd
STD Rates: 15th

Durham, NC

Overall Ranking: 4th
Condom Sales: 18th
Birth Rates: 9th
STD Rates: 27th

Denver, CO

Overall Ranking: 5th
Condom Sales: 7th
Birth Rates: 20th
STD Rates: 19th

Indianapolis, IN

Overall Ranking: 6th
Condom Sales: 41st
Birth Rates: 11th
STD Rates: 12th

Arlington, TX

Overall Ranking: 7th
Condom Sales: 5th
Birth Rates:16th
STD Rates: 54th

Oklahoma City, OK

Overall Ranking: 8th
Condom Sales: 34th
Birth Rates: 10th
STD Rates: 20th

Bakersfield, CA
Overall Ranking: 9th
Condom Sales: 12th
Birth Rates: 3rd
STD Rates: 48th

Houston, TX

Overall Ranking: 10th
Condom Sales: 10th
Birth Rates: 8th
STD Rates: 50th

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Family Shares Heartbreaking Story of UK’s Youngest Organ Donor

monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — On what would have been their son’s first birthday, the family of the youngest organ donor in the United Kingdom are sharing the story of their son’s short life to encourage others to become organ donors.

Hours after being born, Teddy Houlston became the youngest organ donor in the U.K. last year, when doctors were able to successfully transplant his kidneys and other organs. The kidneys helped save the life of a recipient, according to the National Health Service.

Teddy’s parents, Jess and Mike Houlston, are now sharing their decision to designate their newborn son as an organ donor in the hopes other people will not be afraid to sign up to be organ donors.

“Following Teddy’s diagnosis we had some time to acclimatise to what might happen, therefore we decided early on as a family that we would want to go ahead with the pregnancy and donate his organs if this was possible,” Jess Houlston said on the NHS website.

Jess Houlston learned that Teddy had a life-threatening diagnosis when she was just 12 weeks pregnant with twin boys. She and her husband learned that due to a condition called anencephaly, Teddy would be born without parts of the brain and skull and likely only survive for a few hours to days.

Teddy’s twin brother Noah did not have the same condition and was born healthy.

“When we found out he wasn’t going to survive, it was obviously crushing, soul-destroying,” Jess Houlston, of Cardiff, said in a video for the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Jess Houlston said she had grown up hearing about the importance of being an organ donor from her mother and immediately thought about the option for Teddy.

“It was helping us that he could go on and live through someone else,” said Jess Houlston. “It was the only positive thing that could have come out of here.”

She said that despite the outcome, she was simply eager to meet Teddy.

“We just wanted to meet him, we wanted to meet him alive, we knew he was never going to be coming home with us,” she said. “But those few minutes we had were just the most amazing few minutes that we’ll ever have.”

The day that Teddy was born, the family was able to bond with both Teddy and Noah in the hospital for hours. When Teddy died a few hours after being born, Jess Houlston said the family was able to cope by knowing he could end up helping others.

“There was so much sadness and so much joy as well that he had just achieved something that we didn’t think was going to happen,” Jess Houlston said.

The boy’s kidneys were able to be transplanted into an adult recipient, helping save that person’s life, according to the NHS.

“He couldn’t have done more for us,” Mike Houlston told reporters. “We just couldn’t have wished for any more, we had such precious two hours with him, that we couldn’t ever, ever forget, that we couldn’t wish for more. He was truly a hero to us.”

The couple and many in the medical community are hoping that in sharing Teddy’s story on what would have been his first birthday, others will be encouraged to think about signing up as an organ donor.

Dr. Paul Murphy, National Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said the family was “an inspiration to us all.”

“In telling Teddy’s story Mike and Jess demand that everyone, young and old, follows their example,” Murphy said in a statement. “Put simply they say, ‘Do it for Teddy.'”

The need for organ donors remains an issue in both the U.K. and U.S. In the U.K., there are approximately 7,000 people waiting for an organ transplant, while in the U.S. 78,566 people are on the active organ transplant waiting list.

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Meet the Mother, Daughter Behind the Viral Instagram ‘Crazy Jewish Mom’

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Many mothers and daughters have intensely close relationships, but it might be difficult to be more hardcore than Kate Siegel and her mom Kim Friedman.

Siegel says her mom texts her as often as 50 times a day, with messages like, “Unless you are carrying my grandchild, go to the gym and stop eating garbage,” or “Happy birthday spawn, welcome to the wrong side of 25. The expiration date on your eggs is officially in sight. Tick tock.”

Watch the full story on ABC News’ Nightline Thursday night at 12:35 a.m. ET.

Last November, the intensity and hilarity of these exchanges reached a point where Siegel decided to create the Instagram account @CrazyJewishMom. The account, where she posts texts from her mom, now has nearly half a million followers.

“I don’t get why people are interested in other people’s texts to their kids. It’s like reality TV, people interested in other people’s lives,” Friedman told ABC News’ Nightline.

“I want to say this also in light of this conversation. It’s a humorous Instagram account. I’m posting the most over the top wildest things that she sends,” Siegel told Nightline. “I actually cannot post everything. It’s more than would be good for the Internet.”

I guess I have @fyi to blame for this. #crazyjewishmom #arranged #killme

A photo posted by Crazy Jewish Mom (@crazyjewishmom) on Apr 14, 2015 at 5:56am PDT

Friedman, a former Hollywood director who worked on TV shows like Love Boat, Star Trek, Dynasty and Beverly Hills, 90210, left it all and moved east when Siegel went to college.

“I love her, and my husband and I looked at each other and were like, ‘What are we doing in [Los Angeles]? She’s 3,000 miles away. She’s our baby,” said Friedman.

When Siegel, her only daughter, graduated and moved to New York, where she now works as a video producer, Friedman embraced texting as the principle means of reaching Siegel at all hours.

Nightline recently spent a Saturday with them, and during one 20-minute period when they were apart, Siegel received a total of 11 texts, mostly as her mom went shopping on her behalf.

One of Friedman’s primary preoccupations in the texts posted on Instagram is the fact that Siegel’s boyfriend, whom Friedman calls “SuperJew,” has not proposed after more than a year of them being together.

“I’m looking ahead to the future. I mean SuperJew, a year and a half, obviously a year and a half, it’s not going to work because she’s going to leave, or he’s going to leave,” Friedman said.

“It might work!” Siegel said.

“Either seal the deal, or move on so she can date other people,” said Friedman.

THANKS A LOT, @fyi. #crazyjewishmom #arranged

A photo posted by Crazy Jewish Mom (@crazyjewishmom) on Apr 9, 2015 at 5:24pm PDT

Other recurring fixations from Friedman’s texts include her disapprovals of Siegel’s apartment, which she refers to as the “death trap,” and her frustrations with Siegel’s taste in bras.

But it’s all just one woman’s maternal adoration and idiosyncratic — and maybe a little crazy — crusade for her daughter’s optimal health, well-being, wardrobe and love life.

“Oh my gosh, she’s my baby. Are you kidding? And I’ll kill anybody that hurts her, anybody,” Friedman said.

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USDA Approves Import of Apples from China

Purestock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday approved regulations that would allow for the import of fresh apples from China.

Food advocates have argued about pollution issues in China and the potentially resultant chemical residue that could be on imported apples.

Currently, the FDA inspects less than one percent of imported fruit. All apples imported from China, however, will be required to meet U.S.-approved standards, arrive with a “phytosanitary certificate” and be declared inspected and free of quarantine pests. The apples would also feature a sticker indicating that they are from China.

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Recalls All Products After Positive Listeria Test

Jeni’s sweet corn with blackberry ice cream. (Photo by Bonnie Trafelet/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)(NEW YORK) — Another ice cream company has recalled all of its products over listeria.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams recalled all of its ice creams, frozen yogurts and other products Thursday after a random sample tested positive for listeria as part of a Nebraska Department of Agriculture inspection. The news comes three days after Blue Bell Ice Cream issued an expansion of its recall to include all of its products.

Three people who consumed Blue Bell Ice Cream died, and seven more were hospitalized in four states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If you test for it, you will find it,” food safety lawyer Bill Marler said. “I think that’s what you’re seeing. People assume that pasteurized milk products — which ice cream is — don’t have to worry about pathogens.

“I think the situation is we’ve got companies not paying attention to basic microbiology as it relates to listeria in these plants.”

Listeria is a bacterium that can cause an illness called listeriosis when consumed by humans. It sickens about 1,600 people each year and kills about 260 people, according to the CDC.

Marler is representing the family of Shirlee Frey, who died in December of listeria found in tainted caramel apples, according to the wrongful death lawsuit he filed on their behalf. Although he said he has been contacted by the family of a Blue Bell listeria victim and several suspected Blue Bell listeria cases, he said it is unclear whether he will pursue legal action with any of them.

“I think all these [ice cream] companies are going to have to start thinking about it,” he said of better testing.

Jeni’s Splendid, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, was not immediately available for comment, but stressed in its recall announcement that the action was voluntary and no one had become ill.

“Our top priority is guaranteeing the safety of all consumers by taking every possible precaution,” Jeni’s CEO John Lowe said.

Sandra Eskin, a food safety expert at the Pew Charitable Trusts, said the Food and Drug Administration has a “zero tolerance” policy for listeria, but companies are not required to test for it.

“If there’s no requirement to test, I’m not quite sure how you figure out whether you have listeria or not,” she said, adding that many companies probably do test for it, and local inspections vary by state. In Nebraska, it’s routine, state Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Christin Kamm told ABC News.

It is unclear where the Nebraska Department of Agriculture requested the sample because the company does not appear to have any shops or plants in the state.

When the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act is implemented later this year, it will require more frequent plant inspections and give the FDA authority to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to food safety, Eskin of Pew Charitable Trusts said. Right now, plants are only inspected once every 10 years, and the FDA mostly takes action when someone has gotten sick after eating a tainted product, she said.

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Cancer Blogger Belle Gibson Now Says She Was Never Sick

iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) — Australian wellness guru Belle Gibson reportedly built her career around claims she survived several different kinds of cancer with alternative medicine, but this week, she confessed that it was all a lie.

“No. None of it’s true,” she reportedly told The Australian Women’s Weekly magazine in an issue on stands Thursday.

Gibson, 23, claimed to have had blood, brain, liver, spleen and uterus cancers, according to Mashable, which published a skeptical piece about the embattled entrepreneur last month. The Whole Pantry writer said she cured herself by shirking traditional medicine, eating whole foods and using alternative therapies instead, according to Australian Women’s Weekly.

“I don’t want forgiveness,” the Australian Women’s Weekly reported her saying. “I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘OK, she’s human.'”

ABC News reached out to Gibson through The Whole Pantry App but did not receive a response.

In addition to blogging, Gibson founded The Whole Pantry app, published a recipe book and had hundreds of thousands of social media followers. She appears to have deleted her Instagram posts.

Earlier on Thursday, Gibson allegedly tweeted from the Whole Pantry App account, “For the record, I haven’t retreated to the United States. and didn’t. Media, continue to ‘humiliate and condemn’ – Belle.”

Unfounded claims of having cancer aren’t new, but this is different because Gibson was offering unproven advice to a wide audience for profit, NYU Langone bioethicist Arthur Caplan told ABC News. He said the case should serve “as a reminder that there are people out there willing to prey on the desperate and the vulnerable.”

“It is beyond despicable that you would give advice to people with terminal diseases like cancer and have them forgo the only therapies that might offer some hope,” Caplan said. “I admit that the therapies often are poor, but that’s all there is. To talk about alternatives that don’t work, claiming that they did work on you is to not only step over the ethical line, it is to throw yourself into ethics hell.”

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Clues to Why SkyWest Airlines Passengers Fainted in Flight

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Investigators have yet to announce what caused three SkyWest Airlines passengers to become ill and lose consciousness mid-flight, but some experts seem to agree on one thing: cabin pressure most likely played a role.

Dr. Michael Anderson, chief medical officer at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said people can respond differently to reduced oxygen and, even in a correctly pressurized plane, they might end up fainting.

“Although oxygen levels are normal … a slight change in oxygen could cause a person to faint,” he said.

SkyWest Airlines confirmed Thursday that three people suffered a “loss of consciousness,” but said there were “no indications of a pressurization problem or other issues with the aircraft.” All three passengers recovered Wednesday after the plane made an emergency landing in Buffalo, New York.

But the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot feared a potential cabin pressure problem and dropped the plane to get breathable air.

Anderson said when a passenger faints, the goal is to improve the person’s circulation either by giving oxygen or elevating the legs so the brain can get enough oxygen.

He said it’s also wise to check whether the person had underlying medical conditions such as diabetes. A worst-case scenario would be if a patient was in the middle of a cardiac arrest that would necessitate a defibrillator to try and save him or her.

But because multiple people became ill in this case, Anderson said there could have been a combination of things that led to their losing consciousness.

“I think the word that comes to mind is multifactorial … are multiple things adding to this situation?” he said. “Some people really stress out about flying [or they] haven’t eaten.”

Anderson said in these circumstances there’s also a possibility that “crowd mentality” played a role. Passengers who see a person pass out, if they are in a slightly less pressurized cabin, could end up having similar symptoms.

Mary Cunningham, a registered nurse and fellow passenger, assisted the sick patients on the plane and said she also started to feel sick after helping them get oxygen.

“She was gray, her color looked awful, as soon as she got the oxygen she was alert,” Cunningham told reporters of the first passenger who fainted.

The pilot feared a potential cabin pressure problem and dropped the plane to get breathable air, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

John Nance, ABC News’ aviation expert, said continued depressurization in a plane, even slightly, could result in passengers’ feeling ill or sick before cockpit alarms go off, whether alarm bells go off and overhead oxygen masks fall.

Also, with less oxygen, some passengers who exert themselves will feel the effects more strongly.

“The tell-tale thing is when the nurse gets up,” he said, “and gets to feel woozy.”

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Alanis Morissette Featured in New Film Trailer Touting Breast-Feeding

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Singer Alanis Morissette and health experts speak out in a trailer for an upcoming film that advocates for more moms to breast-feed their babies.

“This is a huge movement that needs to happen right now in America,” a lactation consultant says in the trailer for The Milky Way Movie that was released first to ABC News exclusively.

More celebrities set to make appearances in the full feature are actress Minnie Driver, model Justine Pasek and more, according to the group behind the film, The Milky Way Foundation, an advocacy group whose mission is to get more women to breast-feed.

“We’re trying to come at solving the world’s problems from the symptomatic stuff back,” Morissette says in the new clip. “I think it would be so much easier to start from the beginning and work up.”

A national breastfeeding report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 77 percent of infants begin breast-feeding at birth. That number drops to 49 percent by six months and 27 percent by 12 months.

“I like to be sensitive to women who don’t breast-feed for whatever reason,” said Dr. Jen Ashton, ABC News’ senior medical contributor. “Medical literature shows there are long and short term benefits to breast-feeding but you can only do what you can do.”

“As a mother, you already have more than enough guilt to go round,” she said. “I try to give women a little empathy on that because I know it’s not possible or feasible for every woman to breast-feed her baby. Every woman’s choice should be respected. But medically it’s clear there is a benefit.”

The Milky Way Movie will make its global debut digitally and on demand on May 5, according to The Milky Way Foundation.

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Study Busts Myth About Yogurt’s Health Benefits

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For years, yogurt has been marketed as a health food but perhaps it’s time to rethink that claim based on a study by Spanish researchers who say the tasty dairy product is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

What’s more, Esther López-García, lead author of the study, goes as far to say that yogurt offers no proven physical or mental benefits to those who enjoy it.

López-García isn’t saying that yogurt, which contains calcium, protein and probiotics, is bad for people who regularly consume it.

However, based on a three-and-a-half-year analysis of 4,450 Spanish adults, researchers found yogurt lovers weren’t any better off physically than people who didn’t eat it and only showed a slight improvement mentally but nothing that was remarkable.

Furthermore, López-García said that the study also ruled out the possibility that poor health choices might hide yogurt’s benefits since there wasn’t any correlation between the food and better health for those who ate a Mediterranean diet and didn’t smoke.

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