Review Category : Health

Men Getting Fewer Prostate Cancer Screenings, Data Shows

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Men under the age of 75 are getting fewer prostate cancer screenings, according to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who looked at national survey data.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The drop follows a 2012 recommendation by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which looked at the benefits and risks of the screening and advised against routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood testing in men of any age.

Between 2010 and 2013, PSA testing decreased from 36 percent to 31 percent of men, with the largest declines observed in men ages 50 to 54 (from 23 percent to 18 percent) and 60 to 64 (from 45 percent to 35 percent).

Oddly, there was no decline in screening in men aged 75 and older, even though this was the second time the USPSTF advised men in this age group to forgo PSA testing entirely. Since prostate cancer is so slow-growing, the task force said treatment does more harm than good in men of that age group.

Other professional medical societies, including the American Urologic Association and American Cancer Society, still recommend various levels of PSA screening, depending on age.

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Your Body: Breastfeeding Your Baby

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Breastfeeding your baby is something encouraged around the world as a benefit to both your growing baby and you. But sometimes, that’s easier said than done.

The benefits of breastfeeding include the prevention of infections, diabetes and even some cancers. It also provides a closeness between you and your baby.

One important health benefit of breastfeeding is the prevention of future obesity. Both the breast milk itself and the way your baby feeds help him or her to develop healthy eating habits.

Breast-fed babies seem to be better able to regulate their food intake and, thus, are at a lower risk for obesity.

Bottom line: Breastfeeding is not all or none. You can pump and you can nurse. Find what works for you and try not to let others guilt or pressure you.

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Girl with Leukemia Who ‘Married’ Her Nurse Now Gets First Dance

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A 4-year-old girl who battled leukemia got to enjoy a very special night for her own “wedding reception.”

Abby Sayles, 4, is battling childhood leukemia. This summer, as Abby underwent treatment, she asked her favorite nurse Matt Hickling to “marry her.” That informal ceremony helped raise Abby’s spirits as she continued her treatment.

This month Abby got an even bigger celebration: she had a “wedding reception” complete with a fancy white dress and first dance. The celebration was more than just a party; it was a fundraiser for the Nicks Fight to be Healed, a foundation that offers financial support to pediatric cancer patients and their families.

“It really was a true honor to be involved in this event,” Hickling wrote on Facebook.

He told ABC News affiliate WTEN-TV that he was a little nervous about the dance.

“We actually had rehearsal for this one, so I’m getting a little jittery to see if I don’t mess up on the lead,” Hickling told WTEN-TV.

The pair danced in front of the big crowd and Abby even got to wear her favorite shoes.

“My sparkly shoes are my favorite because they have Dora inside of them,” Abby told WTEN-TV.

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Five Tips to Unlock the Mystery of Our Dreams

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For centuries, great innovators have made their legacy by dreaming bigger.

Google co-founder Larry Page said the idea for the now-most popular search engine in the world came to him while he was sleeping.

“It was kind of a strange dream. It went like, ‘I think I can download the entire Web on the small computers that were lying around,’” he said during a speech at the 2014 Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Mountain View, California.

“I stayed up a couple of hours in the middle of the night doing some math, and it seemed actually pretty possible,” Page explained.

Elias Howe said he invented the sewing machine in 1845 after a nightmare that he was taken prisoner by a group of natives with spears that had holes near their tips. Before his dream, he was struggling to come up with a functional design idea for the needle. When he woke up, he realized those holes in the spears were the solution he needed to make the machine work.

Our dreams can frighten us, soothe us and in some cases, inspire us.

But is it possible to solve real-life problems simply by paying closer attention to signs in your dreams?

Robert Moss, 69, known as the dream teacher, has spent a lifetime making it his mission to help millions of people answer this very question.

“A dream is a wake-up call to open your inner eyes and go within,” said Moss, who has written 24 books. His “active dreaming” techniques are practiced at popular seminars all over the world.

His in-depth workshops are in high demand and he has taught at some of the most prestigious wellness retreats across America from the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, to Esalen in Big Sur, California.

“Dreams are forever coaching us on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. If we catch those messages, we can make better choices. That’s how it begins,” Moss said in an interview on ABC News.

In his latest book, Sidewalk Oracles, Playing With Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity in Everyday Life, he teaches us how to recognize the dream-like symbols around you and pay attention to synchronicity in our everyday life.

“As you go down the street, play the game of assuming that the first unlikely, unexpected thing that comes up in your field of perception is going to be something like a dream symbol or a sign for you,” he explained.

Once we have identified the signs, we can interpret the deeper meaning of events to receive and answer to our most burning questions.

“Dreams always tell us more than we already know. They might be big. It might be small things. But dreams are always taking us beyond the information and assumptions the ordinary world has if available to us,” said Moss.

Moss also spoke about four common dreams and what they mean: flying, reoccurring anxiety dreams about work, nightmares and dreaming about people in your past.

If You Dream You Are Flying

“It might mean you’re flying above your ordinary circumstances. You have a certain freedom available to you and a certain perspective; the ability to look at life issues from aerial perspective like an eagle,” explained Moss. “It could be about the fact that in dreams, we actually travel beyond the body and the brain and we have these experiences. That’s what a lot of people have thought historically.”

If You Are Having a Reoccurring Anxiety Dream About Work

“This dream is maybe holding up a magic mirage to my situation. And if I really cannot resolve the situation, and the dream is holding up the mirage again and again, maybe I need to get out of that job and do something else,” Moss said.

“Alternatively, when I look at the details of the dream, I might find clues inside the dream, how to handle things better in that work situation,” Moss added.


“Scary dreams are like a friend who’s trying to get through to you, and you’re not picking up the phone, you’re not responding to texts, not responding to emails, so eventually they come around through your door and they bang on your door and they throw road brick through your window. Sometimes it’s like that because you’re not listening to something. And sometimes it’s because that scary dream will take you back to an episode in childhood that you haven’t dealt with yet. Often you find that this dates back to some childhood experience that needs to be addressed and healed and to be cured. And huge healing can come through that,” Moss said.

“What I say to people who are having scary dreams or nightmares, if you can find the courage and the right time to go back in that dream and try to deal with the issue inside the dream, let the action unfold and try to deal with the monster,” he explained.

Dreaming About People in Your Past

“In a general sense, we’re linked to everybody who’s been closed to us,” explained Moss.

“It’s also possible when you think you’re dreaming about an old acquaintance, you’re dreaming about someone you don’t know very well that’s going to resemble that person. Maybe the next person who turns up will remind you of that boyfriend, in appearance, character or in terms of the situation or development,” he said.

Want to get started interpreting your dreams and use the clues for your everyday life? Here are 5 tips.

1. Trust Your Feelings

“Do you feel good, bad? Does it feel urgent? Does it feel personal? Your first feelings in the dream and directly after are really important. It will give you a clue of whether it is literal or more symbolic. If it is strong guidance, take action,” said Moss.

2. Run a Reality Check

“Say to yourself, how does this dream relate to my life?” explained Moss.

“If I’m running away, where do I do that in the rest of my life? I’m superwoman: where can I claim that power and be superwoman in some way in my everyday circumstances,” he said.

3. Future Clues

“Ask yourself, could any of this play out in some way in the future? If you like the feeling when you meet your dream lover, this could be a sign you will find him,” he explained.

“Recognize survival dreams. My life was saved by a car crash dream three times.” Moss said.

4. Play the ‘What Part of Me?’ Game

“You might recognize characters from your dream that symbolize pieces of you. What part of me is the dominant type?” said Moss.

“The meaning of a dream is actually inside the dream experience itself. We remember bits and pieces, fragments. But if you can get yourself inside the dream, you might be able to understand it better. You might be able to resolve a mystery,” he said.

5. Take Action

“Write yourself a one liner from the dream. If you are turning it into a bumper sticker what would it say? Or follow up on a funny word. Maybe its creative action. You see red in your dream so go out and buy a red shirt and wear it and see how your choice to wear red changes your life that day,” explained Moss.

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STDs On the Rise, Says CDC

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The number of annually reported cases of sexually transmitted disease is increasing, according to a new report, and some are increasing at an alarming rate.

According to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sexually transmitted syphilis is up by 15.1 percent, and syphilis transmitted from mother to infant is up by 27.5 percent. Chlamydia has increased by 2.8 percent from 2013 to 2014, while gonorrhea has increased by 5.1 percent during that same time period.

Most of the increase has been in the male population, 83 percent are from men who have sex with men. It’s worth noting that syphilis, which is a disease that can cause sores on the genitals, can also make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV.

The 2014 data shows that young people between 15 and 24 account for a disproportionately high percentage of STDs; they’re getting about half of the estimated 20 million new STDs diagnosed each year.

Even with these increases, the CDC suspects the real numbers are higher, since many go undiagnosed – a particular problem in women, as it is estimated that more than 20,000 women become infertile each year due to undiagnosed STDs.

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American Medical Association Calls for Ban on Prescription Drug Ads

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Should drug advertisements be banned?

The American Medical Association is now calling for a ban on direct to consumer advertising after the physicians adopted a new policy to try to make prescription drugs more affordable.

According to AMA Board Chair-elect Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. in a statement, the vote was in a result of concern among physicians that commercials and other promotions is helping to fuel growing drug prices.

“Direct-to-consumer advertising also inflates demand for new and more expensive drugs, even when these drugs may not be appropriate,” said Harris.

The U.S. and New Zealand are the only countries in the world that currently allow direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs.

According to market research firm Kantar Media, drug makers have spent $4.5 billion in advertising, up 30 percent from the last two years.

The AMA says the new policy will launch a task force and an advocacy campaign to “promote prescription drug affordability by demanding choice and competition in the pharmaceutical industry, and greater transparency in prescription drug prices and costs.”

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Special Ed Teacher Begins Each Class With Compliments

Chris Ulmer(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — In classrooms across the country, the school day almost always starts off with some kind of routine. Announcements, a run-through of the day’s calendar or maybe the Pledge of Allegiance.

But in Chris Ulmer’s classroom, the day starts off with 10 minutes of compliments.

In a video posted to Facebook that’s been shared more than 8,000 times since it was posted on Sunday, Ulmer takes the time to pay several compliments to each and every one of the eight students in his special education classroom at Mainspring Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.

“I love having you in my class. I think you’re very funny. You’re a great soccer player. Everyone in here loves you,” Ulmer says to the kids as they each take their turn standing in front of the class, facing Ulmer.

Ulmer said he’s been posting videos — with the kids’ parents’ permission — almost every day, but this one, which he “spent about 10 minutes editing,” has really resonated with the public. “I actually didn’t think a whole lot about this one before posting it. It’s just something we do.”

Ulmer’s Facebook page, Special Books by Special Kids, was created because he has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get a book published about the kids. “I have 50 rejection letters on my fridge to keep me motivated,” he said. The book focuses on the story of each of the kids in his classroom and is collaboratively told by the child, his or her parents, and from Ulmer’s perspective as their teacher.

He’s had the same kids in his class for three years and said that they’ve “evolved as a family. We have an understanding that comes with time that you don’t naturally have.”

In his first year of teaching, he said, each day had a theme, like “Monday Funday” and “Toast Tuesday,” which is when the affirmations began. “I noticed the kids were always more motivated, happier and better behaved on Tuesdays. So we started doing it every day.”

Ulmer said the change has been remarkable in his students, whose diagnoses range from autism to traumatic brain injury to speech apraxia to agenesis of corpus callosum.

“They all came from a segregated environment [from general education students]. Now they’re participating in school activities, dancing in front of hundreds of other kids and in the debate club.” And while Ulmer agrees academics are important, he thought it even more important to reverse the psychological damage that came from being made to feel like outcasts.

And if a publisher never comes, Ulmer is committed to telling his students’ stories on social media to educate the masses about what life is like in their shoes. “Everyone has their quirks, and that’s a good thing,” he said. “We give ignorance a free pass. There is no excuse for a lack of empathy.”

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Find Out What Happens When You Give Up Sleep For Days

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ever wonder just what effect pulling an all-nighter can have on your body? After talking to a few experts, it turns out plenty.

Sleep is a key part of any healthy lifestyle and on Tuesday, Dan Childs, head of the ABC News Medical Unit, will attempt to show how important it is to get some shut eye by doing the exact opposite and stay awake for 40 hours.

Not sleeping can wreak havoc with your body in multiple ways including weakening your immune system and affecting your cardiovascular system, your cognitive function and even your memory.

The effects can take effect quickly. After just one all-nighter, a person’s cognitive ability is so impaired that it’s comparable to having a blood-alcohol level of 0.10 percent, according to a 2010 study.

The National Department of Transportation estimates drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States.

Namni Goel, a sleep expert and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, said a lack of sleep has plenty of effects on the body besides fatigue. A sleep-deprived person’s hormones will change so that they will crave unhealthy foods.

“What we’ve also seen is people tend to eat more…his intake of fatty foods and carbs may go up,” Goel said. “If you give him a choice between chips and apple, they’ll pick the chips.”

Sleep expert Dr. Ilene Rosen explained that memory is also severely impacted by a lack of sleep.

“Short-term memory is definitely affected and something you may have learned or studied right before bed might not be remembered in the morning,” she explained.

Rosen said a person will start to show slips in judgement after just 16 hours of wakefulness.

“As you extend past 16 hours you get exponentially worse and worse and worse,” she explained.

When people are acutely tired, Rosen said the body will sometimes attempt to grab whatever kind of sleep it can, including “microsleep.” In those cases, a person can appear awake, with their eyes open, but actually be sleeping.

“They might have been thinking about nothing [until] something brings them back to focus attention,” she explained.

Watch the live stream of ABC’s Dan Childs trying to show what it’s like to go without sleep for 40 hours:

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

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Singer Raises Awareness About Complications of Preterm Births

DigitalVision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The members of Fifth Harmony are most famous for their hit song “Worth It,” but today, group member Ally Brooke Hernandez is more focused on an issue close to her heart.

Nov. 17 is World Prematurity Day, sponsored by the March of Dimes to raise awareness of premature birth, and Hernandez feels strongly about this because she herself was born three months early.

“I was born [weighing] one pound, 14 ounces and I was really, really small,” she told ABC News. “My dad could hold me literally in his palm.”

Fifteen million babies around the world are born prematurely each year, and one million don’t survive. Hernandez calls it a “scary journey” for families.

“When I was born, the doctors came out and told my parents, ‘She’s got two things going for her: One, she’s a girl and girls tend to do better than boys. And two, she came out screaming and her lungs shouldn’t have been developed,'” she recalled. “And now I’m here and I’m glad that I’m able to partner with March of Dimes so we can help other babies like me, and other families like my own who went through the scary journey.”

According to a study from the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University, female infants born prematurely learn to feed by mouth on their own sooner than their male counterparts.

“I just want to see people, of course, be aware of what’s going on and aware of this cause,” she continued. “But most importantly I want the people who are going through this — you know the tiny, little babies who are suffering in the hospitals and the families who are scared that their child may not make it — I wanna see them come out of there with joy.”

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Iowa Mom Welcomes Rare Identical Triplets

liquidlibrary/Thinkstock(CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa) — An Iowa woman gave birth to identical triplets — a feat so rare that it happens in only one in a million births.

Brooke Hogan welcomed three healthy sons on Nov. 3. All three babies were conceived naturally.

“It’s been around the clock 24-hour care, bottles every two hours. Just eating, changing, dressing, and doing it over again,” Hogan told ABC News affiliate KCRG-TV.

Dr. Stephen Hunter, director of maternal and fetal medicine at the University of Iowa Hospital, said that an identical triplet birth is so rare, he’s only seen a few in his 26-year career.

Hunter told ABC News that all three boys were born healthy at 35 weeks. While identical triplets are at risk for a host of complications including early delivery, he expects them to develop normally.

Hogan said she was astonished to find out she was having triplets.

“It’s crazy,” she told KCRG-TV. “We have a 2-year-old. “We were happy with one, and then two was exciting, but we didn’t picture a family of six.”

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