Review Category : Health

Boy Who Won Over College Football World Battling Cancer Again

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(ATKINSON, Neb.) — The 8-year-old boy who won over fans everywhere after running a 69-yard touchdown for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers is again fighting for his life after doctors found his brain tumor is growing, despite being declared in remission.

Jack Hoffman of Atkinson, Nebraska, has spent the past few years fighting brain cancer and raising awareness about pediatric brain cancer, along with his family, as part of the Team Jack Foundation.

The pint-size football fan won over the hearts of millions last year after he made a 69-yard touchdown during a scrimmage game at the University of Nebraska.

Hoffman donned a specially sized uniform with the number of his favorite player, Rex Burkhead, and ran with the entire team for 69 yards to “score” the game’s final touchdown. The moment earned Hoffman an ESPY award for “Best Moment” and a chance to meet President Obama in the Oval Office.

While Hoffman was found to be in remission in October, his family confirmed on Thursday that the 8-year-old’s tumor was growing again.

Hoffman’s brain tumor had been declared stable or in remission after he underwent numerous operations and chemotherapy treatments. But new MRI scans revealed this week that the tumor had again started to grow.

“This is a mild setback and everyone remains optimistic for Jack, including and especially his Mom and Dad,” Jack’s parents, Andy and Brianna Hoffman, wrote online. “We love you all and can’t thank you enough for your support.“

Jack Hoffman will have to undergo treatment again, including chemotherapy and possibly another operation, according to the family statement. The 8-year-old was first diagnosed after suffering a seizure in 2011.

His parents have started the Team Jack Foundation in his honor, which aims to raise money for pediatric brain cancer research.

In spite of the bad news, Hoffman and his family managed to salvage the day by going out for a special treat.

“After getting some crummy news, about the only thing a person can do is go and eat a hot fudge brownie sundae,” the family wrote on the Team Jack Foundation Facebook page. “So that’s what we did.”

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Get Buzzed: Coffee Scrubs Promise Smooth Skin

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The beauty industry is abuzz.

According to a growing number of experts, there’s an easy secret to smoother skin and it’s hiding in your kitchen cabinet.

“Caffeine has long been used as a cellulite remedy,” explained Alexis Wolfer, editor-in-chief of and author of The Recipe For Radiance: Discover Beauty’s Best Kept Secrets In Your Kitchen. “It’s in most of the highest end cellulite creams that are currently on the market.”

Red Flower, a luxury organic skincare label, fortified its Lemon Coffee Blossom Olive Stone Scrub with Arabica beans.

Frank, which operates out of Australia, based an entire brand on the concept of caffeinated scrubs. The all-natural exfoliant, which bills itself as 200 grams of “tough love,” vows to reduce the appearance of cellulite, stretch marks, psoriasis, varicose veins, eczema and even acne.

But those looking to test-drive the trend, “don’t really need to spend a lot of money or buy a fancy ingredient,” said Wolfer. In fact, they don’t need to spend any money at all.

In her book, Wolfer whips up a DIY scrub from spent coffee grounds and wheat-germ oil. The paste is not only “literally free,” but also made of pronounceable, chemical-free ingredients that Wolfer swears by.

Wheat-germ oil, says Wolfer, is high in Vitamin E, which means the simple scrub will target, “not only cellulite, but stretch marks.”

Wolfer is quick to stress that even her miracle scrub will only temporarily minimize cellulite and mask stretch marks. And skeptics point out that even potent scrubs are not designed to penetrate skin for visible improvements in tone and texture.

Heidi A. Waldorf, a professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, confirmed that many topical treatments contain caffeine to combat cellulite, but said that scrub alone is unlikely to improve skin condition.

“We tell people, there’s no cure for cellulite yet. The best cure for cellulite is Spanx,” she said.

Still, Waldorf added that massage can stimulate blood flow, which will, “make the skin feel smoother” and promote increased blood flow.

If you do decide to concoct your own brew, be sure to apply a body oil or moisturizing lotion after the treatment.

“Exfoliating will get rid of an excess layer of skin,” said Waldorf. “But you want to maintain that [moisture] barrier.”

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Jaime Pressly Opens Up About Undergoing a Mastectomy

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for TV Land(LOS ANGELES) — Jaime Pressly revealed that after giving birth to her son Dezi in 2007, she suffered mastitis.

“I had something that happened to me years ago, I didn’t know,” she said on The Talk Wednesday. “I have a high threshold for pain, I was a dancer for 25 years. When I had my son, I got mastitis but I didn’t know, ’cause I thought it was just regular breastfeeding pain.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue, and treatment usually includes antibiotics.

For the actress, she ended up almost having a full mastectomy because it spread and mutated. She said four years after having her son, she noticed lumps all over her breasts.

“What do you immediately think of?” she said, alluding to breast cancer.

Pressly said she went to the doctor and had the scar tissue removed, but then it spread.

“I still have some breast tissue left, but almost a full mastectomy,” she said of her procedures.

She even said the mastitis mutated into something else and it was a big ordeal.

“[But] thank God it wasn’t [cancer],” Pressly said, knocking on the wood table.

A mastitis infection warranting a mastectomy would be extremely rare, said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a practicing OBGYN and senior medical contributor for ABC News. Mastitis is typically treated with antibiotics and warm compresses, she said.

“While mastitis is painful, upsetting and potentially can lead to a systemic blood infection, it can usually be effectively treated and breastfeeding can continue,” Ashton said.

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Sex Every Day for a Month? Couple’s Experiment Leads to Greater Intimacy

ABC News(PROVO, Utah) — With small children, hectic jobs and busy schedules, Meg Conley and Riley Bingham, both 29, worried they were losing touch with each other.

When Conley realized that she and her husband hadn’t touched each other for about eight days, she said that was “crazy” for them. He agreed.

“I thought, you know, I — how can you miss someone that you sleep next to and that you spend all your days with, but, yet, you still somehow miss them?” Bingham said.

That’s when Conley came up with an experiment to get that spark back into their marriage of eight years.

“He got home from work that night and I was like, ‘What if we just have sex every night for the next month?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah! What if we do?’” she recalled, laughing. “So, so, so we did!”

Bingham said the idea made him feel as though he’d “hit the lottery.”

“I dropped my bag out of shock,” he added.

The pair stopped watching reruns on Netflix after their children — daughters Margaret, 5, and Viola, 2 — went to bed and, instead, they started reconnecting with each other.

The Provo, Utah, couple had sex every night for 30 days.

Asked whether she ever felt too tired to keep her promise, Conley admitted that she did.

“There were times where I would have to look in the bathroom mirror and, like, psych myself up, like, ‘You can do this!” she said. “And then, after two weeks — I, I craved it.”

“At the end of the day, under the bills, the mortgage, the years, the kids, he’s that same boy that you fell in love with and you’re that same girl. And you get to have that spark,” she said.

Conley wrote about her experiment on her blog, Meg in Progress, at the end of 2012, and it struck a chord with other couples. Some said her idea was brilliant, while others felt it was oversimplified, but Conley and Bingham felt it was just what they needed.

“It added excitement,” Conley said. “He would come home from work and he’d come into the kitchen, like, pick me up and twirl me around. It felt like we were kids again and we were, we were talking more to each other. Our communication — those lines, like, really opened up. We got on the same team again.”

Bingham agreed.

“We did talk a lot more. We became much more generous, less selfish,” he said.

They’re no longer having sex every day, but they still figure out ways to show their affection to each other.

“We still make it a point to be intimate every day, whether it’s hand-holding or kissing…or, something that’s just her and I, where we feel close, no matter how long the day is — it’s just us,” Bingham said.

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See the Special Ward Designed to Treat Ebola Patients

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — With the deadly Ebola outbreak continuing to ravage west Africa, medical officials across the globe are ramping up containment and treatment plans in case the virus arrives in local emergency rooms.

The virus has killed at least 932, mainly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

In Nigeria, one nurse died after becoming infected by a passenger with Ebola, who flew in from Liberia. Although the virus has not been confirmed outside of Africa in this outbreak, a man in Saudi Arabia was tested after showing signs of hemorrhagic fever following a trip to Sierra Leone.

In the U.S., two American aid workers were evacuated from Liberia to Emory University hospital, where they are being treated in a specialized ward.

In the U.K., the Royal Free Hospital in London is prepping their specialized unit that would handle any patient infected with the disease.


Because the virus is spread through bodily secretions, such as blood or urine, doctors and other medical personnel would have head-to-toe protective gear. The disease is not airborne and only spread through close bodily contact or contaminated surfaces.

Health workers are some of the most at risk population because they treat the sickest patients, when their viral load is the highest.

According to the World Health Organization, 145 health workers have been infected and 80 have died.

The isolated beds at Royal Free Hospital are not only for Ebola but can be used to house patients with any contagious disease, including other airborne pathogens like the avian flu.

According to the Express, the unit will even filter the air to protect against any dangerous pathogen escaping. There are two units, fitting one bed each.

“Everything is contained within the tent under negative pressure so the air is constantly added and removed,” Dr. Stephen Mepham, of Royal Free Hospital, told the Express. “Outside the tent, the air flows through a series of filters and is deposited outside the hospital.”

While the Ebola outbreak is the deadliest on record, health officials cautioned the scared public from over reacting. Mepham said the chances of meeting an undiagnosed Ebola patient in Britain were nearly impossible.

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Woman ‘Very Nervous’ Since Being Grazed by Lightning in Living Room

ABC News(WHEATFIELD, N.Y.) — A New York woman says she hasn’t been herself since she survived being grazed by lightning while sitting on a couch in her living room.

“I’m feeling the same, but…like very nervous,” Theresa Szelest told ABC News’ 20/20. “That’s not my personality. [I'm] even to the point of almost having panic attacks.”

While at her home in Wheatfield, New York, last week, Szelest said her mom was rubbing her feet for her when it began raining outside.

“And it was thundering, lightning. And one struck in the backyard, and I went, ‘Oh my god, Mom, that is so close,’” Szelest recalled. “I don’t remember feeling anything. I don’t remember seeing it. But it’s the sound that I remember. All I remember is the sound.”

That’s when Szelest said her mom felt a jolt through Szelest’s foot.

“I smelled her hair to make sure she wasn’t burning,” Lottie Waldron, Szelest’s mom, told 20/20. “And then it was too quick. We all jumped up, and the next thing I knew I was outside.”

Szelest, 52, said she was unharmed, except for being in such shock that she was having trouble breathing.

“It was funny because I guess I was hyperventilating, so my toes were starting to turn purple,” she said.

A neighbor, who is a volunteer fireman, came across the street and had them leave the house in case it was on fire. Fortunately, there was no fire in the house, just small pieces of plaster that fell on Szelest and in the area where the bolt of lightning entered the home.

Szelest’s home has no visible outside damage, but she worries it may be susceptible to another lightning strike. “Just because of the direction and the way the house sits, it’s one of the highest peaks in the neighborhood. Is it going to happen again? I hope not,” said Szelest.

The overwhelming number of lightning strikes occur outside, but can also strike inside, said the National Weather Service’s lightning expert John Jensenius.

“Lightning can go through the plumbing. It could easily go through water and get to you,” Jenenius told ABC News. “If it strikes outside, it can travel through the metal doorknob.”

Because she has trouble remembering what happened, Szelest feels like a part of her is gone.

“I just want everybody else to be aware that it can happen and to be careful,” said Szelest. “Just be aware of your surroundings.”

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday, Aug. 8 at 10 p.m. ET.

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The One Question that Reveals If One Is a Narcissist

iStock/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — The greatest love of all, Whitney Houston once sang, is the love one has for his or herself. However, even that love can get out of hand, given how some people are enamored with themselves at the exclusion of just about everyone else.

Psychologists call these people narcissists, and given the popularity of selfies on social media, it seems like an epidemic.

According to Brad Bushman, an Ohio State University researcher, there’s typically a 40-question survey that is used to determine whether one exhibits narcissistic traits.

However, Bushman contends that if you want to get to the meat of the matter quickly, all it takes is one question to determine if a person is truly self-centered and that is, “To what extent do you agree with the statement, ‘I am a narcissist’?

On a scale of one to seven, with seven being “very true,” Bushman determined that those likely to considers themselves narcissists were generally young and males.

The study did not analyze whether someone suffers from diagnosed narcissistic personality disorder, which can interfere with day-to-day living.

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Doctors Orders Often Don’t Include Taking an Aspirin

Purestock/Thinkstock(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) — For years, millions of middle-aged Americans have taken a low-dose aspirin each day to help prevent heart attack and stroke. The question is: who told them to do so?

Now, a University of Rochester study reveals the truth and it’s pretty shocking. Most older patients who pop an aspirin a day didn’t get that advice from their physician.

The UR researchers looked at the records of nearly 3,440 people who qualified for aspirin therapy even though they didn’t exhibit any signs of heart disease. They did, however, have other health risks such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

When asked if their doctor had told them to take a low-dose aspirin daily to prevent heart attacks, stroke or cancer, only 34 percent of the men and 42 percent of the women answered in the affirmative.

So why are doctors gun-shy about recommending aspirin to middle-aged patients who could probably benefit from it? Lead author Kevin Fiscella cites several reasons, including failure to assess whether a patient is eligible for an aspirin regimen and perhaps concerns that its disadvantages such as internal bleeding might outweigh the benefits.

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Americans Spending Billions on Billions of Drug Prescriptions

iStock/Thinkstock(DANBURY, Conn.) — Do the names Synthroid and Abilify ring a bell? According to the research firm IMS health, they happen to be the nation’s top-prescribed drug and top-selling prescription drug, respectively.

Synthroid, which is used to treat an underactive thyroid, averages 22.6 million prescriptions per month. Abilify, which is used to treat schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder I, and depression, had $7.2 billion in sales in the past year.

IMS Health notes nothing much has changed with the top 10 lists of drugs in each category among the top 100 prescribed drugs in the U.S. from June 2013 to June 2014.

Here are the top 10 drugs, per monthly prescriptions, and what they’re used to treat:

  1. Synthroid, 22.6 million (Treats underactive thyroid)
  2. Crestor, 22.5 million (Treats high cholesterol)
  3. Nexium, 18.6 million (Treats heartburn)
  4. Ventolin HFA, 17.5 million (Treats asthma, chronic bronchitis)
  5. Advair Diskus, 15.0 million (Treats asthma)
  6. Diovan, 11.4 million (Treats hypertension)
  7. Lantus Solostar, 10.1 million (Treats diabetes)
  8. Cymbalta, 10.0 million (Treats major depressive disorder, general anxiety and fibromyalgia)
  9. Vyvanse, 10.0 million (Treats ADHD)
  10. Lyrica, 9.6 million (Treats epilepsy, shingles)

Here are the top 10 by sales for the year and what they’re used to treat:

  1. Abilify, $7.2 billion (Treats schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder I, and depression)
  2. Humira, $6.3 billion (Treats arthritis)
  3. Nexium, $6.3 billion (Treats heartburn)
  4. Crestor, $5.6 billion (Treats high cholesterol)
  5. Enbrel, $5.0 billion (Treats rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
  6. Advair Diskus, $5.0 billion (Treats asthma)
  7. Sovaldi, $4.4 billion (Treats hepatitis C)
  8. Remicade, $4.3 billion (Treats rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis)
  9. Lantus Solostar, $3.8 billion (Treats diabetes)
  10. Neulasta, $3.6 billion (Treats low white blood cell count)

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American Says ‘Sense of Humanity’ Makes Him Fight Ebola

Hemera/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Wellbody Alliance operates the largest primary care clinic in Sierra Leone. The clinic is close to the epicenter of the deadly Ebola outbreak that is raging throughout western Africa.

Raphael Frankfurter, the group’s 23-year-old executive director, returned from the country last week after spending several months there. The chief Ebola physician in the country recently died from the virus, wreaking havoc within the healthcare community there, he said. His team felt that as a non-medical person, he would be safer and more useful raising funds and coordinating programs in Boston where the organization is based.

Before Frankfurter left Sierra Leone, a woman died from Ebola in a nearby hospital after attending a funeral where she likely washed and wrapped an infected corpse, as is the local custom. He was tasked with finding all 35 people she had come in contact with and convincing them to come in for testing.

“People are not always receptive to us because of the aggressive way healthcare workers have met people in the community,” he said, explaining that armed military often surround the homes of suspected Ebola cases and isolate them for weeks at a time. “We tried a much more relaxed approach to engage them respectfully so they don’t feel as marginalized or intimidated.”

Frankfurter said with Ebola cases on the rise, the mood in Sierra Leone is tense.

“I couldn’t help feeling some of the tension myself, but rationally I was not afraid for my life. I know it is very difficult to contract Ebola unless you come into contact with a very sick person’s bodily fluids,” he said.

His family is concerned but they respect his work, he said.

“They are supportive and I appreciate the stress I am putting them through. I have reassured them many times that I have limited contact with patients,” he said.

Frankfurter said he is planning on returning to Sierra Leone as soon as it makes sense, possibly in September or October. He said a shared sense of humanity drives him to help the people of the region through this crisis.

“I’m motivated by a strong sense of ‘these people going through this in Sierra Leone could be me,'” Frankfurter said. “There is so much need. I couldn’t live with not engaging and trying to address some of these problems.”

Like many humanitarian aid groups, Wellbody Alliance has removed all but essential medical personnel from the hot zone. Their doctors remain to fight one of the deadliest Ebola outbreaks in history at great personal risk, Frankfurter noted.

Of the 1,711 Ebola cases currently reported, 145 of them are healthcare workers, according to the World Health Organization. There are 80 healthcare workers among the 932 confirmed deaths in all affected countries.

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