Review Category : Health

Girl with Down Syndrome, Cancer Reacts to Portrait of Herself

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One little girl’s reaction to a photo taken of herself almost a year ago is priceless.

“[Celia] was thrilled,” mom Katie Furtado of Cranston, Rhode Island, told ABC News on Monday. “When she saw it, she started screaming and pointing to herself. I think the whole world looks at Celia differently now since she doesn’t have any hair and she’s lost a lot of weight, but I was relieved that Celia still sees Celia.”

Celia, 5, who has Down syndrome, was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in April. Furtado said Celia is starting to bounce back from her chemotherapy treatments, which will last two years.

“A lot of her personality was put on hold for quite a few months, but like I said to someone the other day, ‘She’s back,'” said Furtado.

Photographer Laura Kilgus of Providence said she voluntarily snapped photos of Furtado’s children last fall in conjunction with the Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island — something she said she does for a number of families in the area.

“I have a nephew with Down syndrome and I wanted to do something to raise awareness,” Kilgus said. “I thought it would be cool to do a mini-shoot, so I contacted the director about it and the Furtados were one of the families that took us up on our offer.”

On Oct. 1, Kilgus hosted a gallery for Down Syndrome Awareness Month at the Warwick Public Library, where she displayed her photography, including shots of Celia and her sister Ava.

As the Furtado family arrived at the event, Kilgus took another photo of Celia — this time, capturing her reaction while viewing a portrait of herself.

“She spotted herself right away and she pointed and smiled,” Kilgus said. “The past few months for Celia and her family have been so difficult and exhausting. This was something that could be a little light for them and give them a little hope and showcase some memories that were such fun days.”

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New Treatment Claims to Reduce Cellulite and Smooth Skin

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — From firming lotions and invasive plastic surgery, some women try many methods to get rid of stubborn cellulite.

Brianne Edwards, of Los Angeles, says she runs up to 6 miles a day and eats right, but she has always struggled with cellulite, especially in her buttocks and thighs.

“I’ve had it, it seems like forever, and I just have not been able to find anything that works,” the 35-year-old said. “When you’re always thinking about it, it kills your confidence.”

Edwards heard about a new treatment called Cellfina. The Food and Drug Administration-cleared, outpatient procedure, available nationwide, promises to improve the appearance of cellulite for at least one year.

Dr. Grant Stevens, a board certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, says his patients love the results.

Stevens said he understands that some people might be skeptical. So was he, until he saw the results.

“It’s safe. It’s easy. It’s affordable and it really works,” he said.

Cellfina uses a very small blade to cut through the connective bands that pull down the skin and create a dimpled appearance. Once the fibers are released, Stevens said the skin bounces back and becomes smooth.

Before people spend $3,000 to $6,000 on the procedure, however, critics warn not to expect perfection.

“It’s not going to fix everything,” said Dr. Sharon Giese, a plastic surgeon in New York who said many people have cellulite “all over their butt and thighs.”

For her procedure, Edwards was given a local anesthetic. Then, one by one, Stevens released the fibers using a small blade.

“I can see the dimples actually releasing,” Stevens said.

Edwards even took a selfie during the procedure, which lasted for about 45 minutes. Stevens said Edwards might have some swelling and bruising, but he said she’ll be bikini-ready in just two weeks.

Edwards said the procedure went “really well.” She hopes it will get rid of her cellulite and bring back her confidence.

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Your Body: How Stress Can Lead to Weight Gain

Top Photo Group/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

In the battle of the bulge, sometimes will power can wilt. The culprit? It could be stress.

In a recent study published in the journal Neuron, researchers found that participants who experienced even moderate stress were more likely to choose foods that tasted good over healthier options.

Now, when people are under stress, their body actually wants to have glucose. Why? That’s the brain’s preferred source of energy. These foods activate the reward centers in the brain which can make you want more and more.

So what’s the best weapon to beat your brain’s wiring? If you feel like reaching for that cookie, remove yourself from that environment. Go outside or do another activity.

And plan ahead: Make sure you have healthy food choices for a variety of situations.

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Robot Trainer Whipping Seniors into Shape

Huntstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — While some may feel their personal trainer’s enthusiasm is phony, some seniors in Singapore know it for a fact: the residents of Lions Befrienders Seniors’ Activity Centre are being kept in shape by a robot.

Asia One reports Robocoach, which was originally developed by students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, has been leading fitness classes by example, demonstrating moves, and by employing its motion-sensor technology to ensure its trainees are keeping up.

Singapore’s tech-centric Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) wants to deploy the bots at five other facilities by year’s end, in addition to other gadgets meant to improve the lives and health of its aging population, especially those people suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

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Study: To Ward Off Depression, Don’t Just Call Grandma

(NEW YORK) — A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics found that elderly people who interact with their relatives in person — and not on the phone or by email — are less likely to suffer from depression.

Researchers pored through data on more than 11,000 adults from the national Health and Retirement Survey, and compared those who suffered from symptoms of depression with the method and frequency with which they kept in touch with their friends and family members.

Researchers found those elderly people who got “face time” with their loved ones once or twice a week suffered from fewer instances of depression, while those who primarily communicated via telephone enjoyed no such reduction.

The study also revealed that depression was lessened in people between the ages of 50-70 who had an active social life, while fewer signs of depression were found in people older than 70 who interacted regularly with family as opposed to friends.

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Florida Teen ‘Punched Back’ After Shark Attacked Him

Whitepointer/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — A 14-year-old boy was bitten by a shark while surfing in waters off of Volusia County, Florida Sunday, officials said, marking the 11th shark bite reported in the county this year.

The teen was in the water in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, about 15 miles south of Daytona Beach, with four other people, Volusia County Beach Safety Capt. Aaron Jenkins told ABC News.

The boy, from Vero Beach, Florida, was paddling on his surfboard when a 4- to 5-foot black-tip shark bit him once on the hand, Jenkins said.

“He kind of punched back at the shark,” said Jenkins.

The boy paddled to shore and flagged down a beach safety officer, Jenkins said, and was then taken to a hospital.

“He had pretty significant lacerations to the left hand … around the knuckle and palm of his hand,” Jenkins said.

His injuries were non-life-threatening, Jenkins said, adding that there was concern “about some possible ligament damage.”

The water in the area of the attack remains open, Jenkins said.

“This area, it’s kind of a common area for these small sharks … There’s a lot of bait fish … that kind of draws those sharks in,” he said. “The sharks, they can’t differentiate between someone’s hand … and some kind of small fish.”

This is the 11th shark bite in Volusia County this year, Jenkins said.

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Haze Over Malaysia Shuts Schools Down Due to Health Fears

NagyDodo/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) — Many schools in Malaysia will be closed for two days following the nation’s health concerns over thick haze in Southeast Asia, according to the BBC.

Forest fires in Indonesia are causing the haze.

Malaysian authorities determined that due to the haze polluting the air, most schools must be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

The haze is also a contributing factor to tensions between nations in the southeast Asia region, reports BBC News.

Exposure to the haze can cause lung infections and coughing.

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Class-Action Suit Filed Against Natural American Spirit Cigarettes Maker

Alessio Rigato/EyeEm Premium(WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.) — Sante Fe Natural Tobacco Co. is facing a class-action lawsuit for referring to its Natural American Spirit cigarettes as “natural” and “additive-free.”

The company has used those terms for American Spirit since it was founded and according to the plaintiffs, the parent company Reynolds American Inc. is misleading smokers by making them think the cigarettes are healthier than other brands, including selling them in health stores.

The lawsuit, filed at a Florida law firm this week, also cites the recent warning from the Food and Drug Administration issued to the company for using the healthy terms.

According to the Sante Fe New Mexican, the lawsuit was filed by Justin Sproule who seeks damages for himself and others who “smoke American Spirits because they have been deceived by claims, labels and advertising into regarding them as safer than other cigarettes.”

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Public Health Emergency Declared in Flint, MI After Water Crisis

iStock/Thinkstock(FLINT, Mich.) — There’s lead in Flint’s water system, and state officials are working to get rid of it.

On Friday, officials in Michigan released a new plan to fix the water system in Flint, Michigan, after reports last week surfaced saying the number of children in the city with elevated blood-lead levels jumped over two years.

The Genesee County health department had declared the crisis a public health emergency on Thursday.

The new plan includes free and immediate testing of water and individuals, and creating an advisory committee to work directly with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Organizers have already begun to distribute about 4,000 new water filters.

Officials said they believe the Flint River is not causing the increased levels of lead, but lead pipes in Flint residents’ homes could be the culprit.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the state’s plan includes:

  • Immediate testing of the water in Flint public schools, with a goal to reassure parents and students that the water is safe.
  • Expanding testing of individuals to determine levels of lead.
  • Offering free water testing to Flint residents and the state setting aside $1 million for free water filters for city residents.
  • Requiring and expediting additional corrosion controls in the city’s water system to minimize any leaching of lead into the city’s water.
  • Creating a safe drinking water technical advisory committee in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • A long-term acceleration of plans to replace old lead service lines.
  • Expediting the completion of the Karagondi water system into the city by making sure that permit applications are handled quickly and helping the city identify workers for a second shift at the new water system.

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    Keytruda Approved by FDA to Treat Most Common Form of Lung Cancer

    iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A drug to treat advanced stages of the most common form of lung cancer gets approved.

    On Friday, the Federal Drug Administration announced the approval of Merck & Co.’s Keytruda drug used to treat patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer when treatment is beyond chemotherapy and radiation, and tumors express a protein known as PD-L1.

    The FDA said it’s the first drug to be approved in lung cancer for patients whose tumors express PD-L1.

    “Our growing understanding of underlying molecular pathways and how our immune system interacts with cancer is leading to important advances in medicine,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “[Friday’s] approval of Keytruda gives physicians the ability to target specific patients who may be most likely to benefit from this drug.”

    In the U.S., lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths says the National Cancer Institute, with 221,200 new diagnoses reported in 2015 and 158,040 deaths.

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