Review Category : Health

Study: Drinking Coffee Slashes Colorectal Cancer Risk

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — If the mere thought of work isn’t already enough to have you reaching for a cuppa joe, consider a new study that reveals drinking coffee — even decaf — can greatly cut your risk of colorectal cancer.

According to researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, a study of more than 5,100 people proved that drinking coffee boosted your chances of not being diagnosed with the deadly disease — “and the more coffee consumed, the lower the risk,” according to the senior author of the study, Stephen Gruber, MD, PhD, MPH.

The study examined the health habits of the more than 5,000 men and women who had recently been diagnosed with colorectal cancer — and 4,000 who didn’t have the disease as a control group. When weeding through factors including drinking, smoking, the subjects’ diet, and other markers, the researchers determined that those who drank one to two servings of coffee per day saw their risk for the disease cut by more than a quarter.

Those who drank more could see their risk slashed by half.

What’s more, it didn’t matter whether they drank decaf or caffeinated joe, the scientists discovered to their surprise. “This indicates that caffeine alone is not responsible for coffee’s protective properties,” Gruber noted.

The beverage contains antioxidants and other components that could do the trick, however.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Dad Lets ‘Gender-Creative’ Son Do His Makeup

Raising My Rainbow(NEW YORK) — A California father-son duo are shattering gender stereotypes, one makeover at a time.

Matt and Lori Duron go above and beyond to support their 9-year-old son C.J.’s self-described “gender-creative” identity. The parents have been chronicling their journey of raising a gender-nonconforming son on their blog, “Raising My Rainbow,” and in a recent post titled “Real Dads Let Their Sons Do Their Makeup,” Matt explains why he allows C.J. to give him a makeover whenever he asks.

“A couple of years ago, C.J. asked if I would allow him to do my makeup. Of course I said yes. Why wouldn’t I,” Matt wrote. “Why wouldn’t I want to be a part of something that brings joy to my son’s life?”

Matt, 39, explained that for him, it’s the father-son bonding part of the makeup sessions that matters the most.

“My son doing my makeup is the same as a dad throwing a football with his son,” Matt continued. “It’s not about what you are doing together; it’s about doing it together.”

Lori, 38, told ABC News that while she writes a majority of the posts on the website, she felt that it was important for Matt to share his story on the blog because Matt, who she refers to as a “guy’s guy,” gets out of his comfort zone in order to support their son.

“This is all about C.J. — not about us,” Lori said.

Lori explained that when she and Matt first noticed C.J.’s preference for dresses and makeup, they originally thought that their youngest son might be gay. However, C.J. made it clear to his parents that he was dealing with a gender issue, not a sexuality issue.

Lori began writing her blog in 2011 in an effort to engage with the gender-nonconforming community and share her family’s story as well.

“We were looking for other families to connect to because we were trying to figure out how to deal with C.J., and so I started [my blog] to be the thing that I was looking for,” Lori said.

Lori noted that while she and her husband support C.J.’s gender-creative identity, the biggest challenge that they’ve faced comes from parents and other adults who don’t understand.

“Kids kind of just accept it, ask a question or two or move on once they have an answer, but adults can be really tough to deal with,” Lori said. “They have these beliefs and views that interfere with accepting C.J. as being gender nonconforming.”

Lori noted that through writing her blog and her book of the same name, she’s found a way to make a difference in the gender-creative community and is excited to continue sharing her family’s journey.

“I used to say that I was reluctant advocate but now I’ve removed the word reluctant,” Lori said. “Now I feel like I have a purpose.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Six-Year-Old Has Sweet Reaction to Learning Dad is Transgender

Shalee Olivia Ellis/Facebook(NEW YORK) — An adorable 6-year-old girl named Layla is warming hearts on social media with her sweet reaction to finding out her dad is transgender.

Shalee Olivia Ellis, Layla’s mom, said that she had been explaining Mallory Ellis’ transition to her daughter in the car earlier this year. She started filming halfway through the conversation after seeing her enthusiasm.

In the video, when Shalee asks her 6-year-old how she feels about Daddy being a “she” now, little Layla replies with delight, “Good!”

Later on in the video, Shalee tells Layla that “Daddy’s still going to be the same person, and still going to be your daddy forever.”

In response, the 6-year-old puts her thumb up and smiles wide.

“Daddy, I love you so much!” Layla exclaims. “Even though you’re a ‘her,’ I still love you.”

Mallory told ABC News that when she first saw the video, she “teared up” and was overwhelmed with joy.

“I hadn’t yet come out publicly and to see that response, I was just so happy,” she said. “I feel so proud of my wife and children for being such great people.”

The video was taken earlier in January, shortly after Mallory came out as a transgender to Shalee, the family told ABC News. But it was posted to Facebook last week after Shalee bought a new phone.

The couple from Port Royal, Pennsylvania has been married for three years. Mallory had identified as a man named Landon until around Christmas of last year, she said.

Mallory explained she “had always felt like a girl” as a kid, but “suppressed it.”

Shalee said that Mallory’s “gender identity had no bearing” on her love for Mallory. When she saw Mallory look at herself in the mirror with makeup and girl’s clothes for the first time, she was happy to see her “finally free.”

“Mallory accepted me when I came out as pan-sexual to her and told her I was attracted to all sorts of people, when we first started dating,” Shalee said. “She really helped be embrace my sexuality. Now I feel it’s come full circle. Here I am helping her embrace her true gender identity now.”

Shalee added that she hopes the video helps fight transphobia and shows people that hate is taught. “Children are loving and compassionate naturally.”

“I feel so strongly about our marriage together and our family,” she said. “You know, I’ve always said, you’re either by our side or in our way. We are always going to rise up and be happy and be with each other.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Seven-Year-Old Calls 911, Saves Her Father’s Life

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A 7-year-old in Maryland is hailed a local hero after she called 911 to help her diabetic father, who fell unconscious.

Jenna Viloria of Gaithersburg, Maryland was awarded an “Everyday Hero” Award yesterday by the Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein.

After his blood sugar dropped to dangerously low levels on February 28, Jenna’s father, Giovanni Viloria, lost consciousness. Jenna was the only one home at the time. The precocious first grader called 911, gave the dispatcher her full address, and stayed on the line until the paramedics arrived.

“She is our poster child for how to make the right call,” Beth Anne Nesselt of the Montgomery County Fire Department told ABC News. “Her actions clearly saved her father’s life. She even got to the point where she was counting respirations with dispatchers while she waited for paramedics to arrive.”

Nesselt says 911 calls from children are extremely rare.

Jenna received her award yesterday, although the incident was in February, because she did not want to miss a day of school.

“She is a very diligent student, and she made a request,” Nesselt said. “Because she didn’t want to miss school, she requested that the ceremony take place during spring break.”

Michele Viloria, Jenna’s mother, told ABC News how proud she was of her daughter. She works 30 minutes away from home and was panicking as she drove home from work that day.

“When I got home the minute that I open the door Jenna came to me,” Viloria said. The little girl asked, “Mom are you mad because I called 911?”

She assured her daughter, ‘No, Jenna, I am proud.'”

Giovanni Viloria has since made a full recovery.

Young Jenna told ABC affiliate WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. that this was the first time she has saved someone’s life and that it was her first award.

Michele Viloria said her daughter is receiving plenty of praise, like being called a superhero. But Jenna’s response is, “Mom, I can’t fly, I don’t have any powers.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Texas Toddler Reportedly Dies After Going to Dentist, Health Officials Launch Investigation

iStock/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) — Health authorities have launched an investigation after a Texas toddler died from complications related to dental work.

Daisy Lynn Torres, who was 14 months old, died on Tuesday after going to Austin Children’s Dentistry for a procedure, according to ABC affiliate KVUE-TV. A fundraising page set up for the family reported that Daisy went to the dentist to have a cavity filled and was put under anesthesia. It goes on to say that she quit breathing and was rushed by ambulance to a hospital, where she passed away.

According to KVUE, the toddler was rushed to the North Austin Medical Center after suffering complications from the procedure and was pronounced dead that day.

A spokeswoman for the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners confirmed to ABC News that the board was investigating a patient death at the Austin Children’s Dentistry. Any patient death related to dental treatment is investigated, the board said.

Austin Children’s Dentistry did not immediately respond to a request by ABC News for comment. A spokeswoman for the dental office told KVUE that these types of procedures are handled all the time and that the clinic is heartbroken by the events.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. This is a tragedy, and we’re just waiting to learn more information from the medical examiner’s office,” Sarah Marshall, spokeswoman for Austin Children’s Dentistry, told KVUE. “We want to keep the privacy of the family, legal privacy, and just respectful privacy of the family.”

The family of the toddler released a statement saying the girl was “healthy” when she went in for a procedure.

“Daisy was a happy, healthy, baby. She was playing with the family on Easter. She went to the dentist and didn’t come home,” the family said in a statement to KVUE.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Conjoined Sisters Fused at Waist to Be Separated Next Month

iStock/Thinkstock(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) — Doctors at a Texas hospital are mapping out a plan to separate conjoined infant sisters who are fused at the waist.

Ximena and Scarlett Hernandez-Torres are scheduled to undergo surgery next month to be separated. The conjoined sisters were born with a third identical triplet sister Catalina, who was not conjoined. The 10-month-old sisters were first detected to be conjoined when their mother, Silvia Hernandez, was just three months pregnant. She told ABC News that the girls have already shown different personalities even though they are not even a year old.

“Scarlett likes to dance, sing and she smiles a lot,” Silvia Hernandez said through an interpreter Thursday. “Ximena is most of the time sleeping but she smiles a lot.”

The girls are conjoined at their waist and share a colon and bladder, according to the Driscoll Children’s Hospital. The operation to separate them is expected to take 12 to 18 hours with specialists from urology, plastic surgery and orthopedics there to help the girls remain healthy.

“A dedicated team of specialists has been working for months to prepare for this complex surgery,” said Dr. Haroon Patel, pediatric surgeon at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, in a statement to ABC News Thursday. “This is an extremely challenging operation, but we look forward to a successful outcome.”

A special scanner called a “Spy Camera” will be used to help doctors understand the complicated blood flow in the girls and to help them stay healthy during the long ordeal. A 3-D model from a specialized MRI will also be used to help doctors map out exactly how to perform the surgery.

“The babies have been doing very well as we’ve focused on getting them healthy for this complex procedure,” said Dr. Miguel DeLeon, medical director of Driscoll’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, in a statement to ABC News. “Each member of our team has a well-defined role, and our ultimate goal is to give these two girls the opportunity to live healthy, normal lives.”

Hernandez said she’s hopeful for the surgery but still has reservations.

“I have fear of what could happen,” she said. “I do have to believe in God’s will and that everything will be fine and he will be there in the day of the surgery and he will make a miracle with them.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Family Asks for Birthday Cards for Boy Who Survived Brain Cancer

Courtesy Crisandra Green(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.) — A Colorado family of a boy who survived brain cancer is hoping people around the world will send him birthday cards.

Logan Green, 6, received “get well” cards from his kindergarten class after his brain surgery on March 17.

“We gave him those cards two hours after he got out of surgery,” Logan’s mom, Crisandra Green of Colorado Springs, told ABC News Thursday. “When we saw how big of a smile it put on his face we thought, ‘What can we do for his birthday?’ We wanted to do something special that didn’t take all his energy.”

Green, 30, a mom of five, said Logan was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June 2014 after collapsing in the house.

“[Doctors] said nothing could be done and the tumor was in his brain stem and we needed to say our goodbyes,” she recalled.

After the Greens were encouraged to get a second opinion, Logan was later taken to Phoenix Children’s hospital where doctors removed Logan’s tumor and he was “completely cancer free,” Green said.

“The doctors were amazing and there was finally hope for us,” she said.

Despite having to learn walking, talking and swallowing again, Logan eventually healed.

But one month ago, Logan had a stroke and was diagnosed with Moyamoya — a disorder caused by blocked arteries in the brain.

Warren Selman, director of the Neurologist Institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said that Moyamoya can sometimes result from receiving necessary therapeutic radiation.

“Moyamoya is the narrowing of the blood vessels so that can lead to one or two problems,” Selmen told ABC News. “It can either lead to small vessels rupturing, causing the stroke, or not enough blood supply–leading to the stroke. Either way, they can lead to strokes and those strokes can lead to the focus of the seizures.”

Green said Logan had a second surgery two weeks ago to fix the blood vessels in his brain.

“He did really well except the next day he had a pretty big stroke,” Green said. “He lost his vision that day for a little while but gained it back completely. Other than that, he has to take it easy right now.”

Logan was in the hospital for five days and is now at home recovering.

In an effort to keep him smiling, the Green family has put a call on Logan’s Facebook page, “Prayers for Logan,” for people across the globe to send him cards for his 7th birthday on April 5.

“Logan is hilarious, he always has everybody laughing,” Green said of her son. “He has been through more than most people do in their whole lives. He’s truly a superhero. Funny enough, my husband named him Logan after ‘Wolverine,’ and we always joke that he has those powers. We want him to be able to look back on this, read these cards, and see his scars and be proud. He is just so inspiring, it’s unbelievable.”

Logan’s already received over 100 cards, Green said.

Cards for Logan’s birthday can be mailed to: 3472 Research PKWY Suite 104-571, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80920.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Alarming Online Trend: The Banana Peel Challenge

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new social media trend that resembles something out of a cartoon could potentially cause people to sustain real injuries.

The banana peel challenge, where kids are walking on banana peels to see if they are as slippery as the classic cartoon cliché leads you to believe, is the latest viral challenge attracting thousands of clicks online.

It’s no laughing matter, however. Experts say these kinds of falls can lead to long-term or even permanent damage.

“They see the attention other kids get and it seems like a good idea at the time,” clinical psychologist Dena Rabinowitz told ABC News. “Adolescents often think they’re invincible or immortal so they just don’t think they’re the ones who are going to get hurt.”

It’s not the first dangerous challenge to become a fad on social media. There was the cinnamon challenge, which in some cases caused potential long-term lung damage, and also the duct tape challenge, which ended with a brain aneurysm for 14-year-old Skylar Fish.

“Now I just regret doing that challenge that day,” Fish said.

The video credited with starting the banana peel challenge has already been retweeted more than 100,000 times and duplicated by hundreds.

“A frank, honest conversation about the real-life risks and the reality of how bad the injuries can be are often enough to help teenagers move into the real world and out of that social media world,” said Rabinowitz.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Treating Low Levels of Testosterone

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

Testosterone, a hormone responsible for masculine characteristics in men, has been shown to slowly reduce in men over time. Now, the largest ever study of its kind shows benefits to men over 65 with low testosterone who receive hormone supplementation.

While this may be a sensitive topic for men, have the courage to raise the issue with your doctor. He or she can help guide you regarding testing and possible treatment.

And don’t assume that more testosterone is better. There’s a sweet spot in terms of level.

Also, remember to consider the risks — like clotting, increased cancer risk and cardiovascular events — as well as the benefits of hormone supplementation, along with any other options.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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What’s Wrong with Mindful Mayo? Reporter Brings Critical Eye to ‘Mindfulness Inc.’

ABC News(NEW YORK) — If you’re a busy person looking for a little bit of mindfulness these days, you can buy books, subscribe to apps, or reserve a seat at one of the so-called “mindful dry-bars” that are opening up around the country. You can also buy mindful tea, mindful mints, mindful meats, or a dairy-free mayonnaise substitute called Mindful Mayo.

So is this a sign that our society is progressing toward a calmer, saner headspace? Or is an ancient technique being co-opted by craven capitalists?

This is the question that has gripped David Gelles, a New York Times reporter and the author of the book, Mindful Work.

“This is a billion dollar market now,” he said during the ABC News livestream podcast show, 10% Happier with Dan Harris.

Gelles, a self-described “sporadic mediator,” wrote an op-ed for the New York Times Sunday Review earlier this month called “The Hidden Price of Mindfulness Inc.,” in which he talked about the “mindfulness economy” and the hundreds of products out there, from T-shirts to cleaning products.

“With so many cashing in on the meditation craze, it’s hard not to wonder whether something essential is being lost,” Gelles wrote. “If mindfulness can be bought as easily as a pair of Lululemon yoga pants, can it truly be a transformative practice that eases the troubled mind?”

One of the points he wanted to make in his op-ed, Gelles said, was “to show the proliferation of mindful products and services in the marketplace today.”

“Which I frankly find kind of comical,” he continued. “If in mindfulness meditation we’re simply supposed to observe things as they unfold, we must be honest with ourselves that we are witnessing a great unfolding of ridiculous mindfulness products.”

In the end, Gelles concludes, the great proliferation of mindfulness products is probably innocuous, as long as people recognize that they can’t achieve mindfulness simply by buying mayo; they actually have to practice it.

For his book, Gelles spent a year traveling the country visiting companies that are incorporating meditation, mindfulness and yoga into the workflow. (And yes, he acknowledges that his own book falls firmly into the category of Mindfulness Inc.)

He said many companies have “home-grown” meditation practices, where it started with one employee or a small group who were interested in finding time to meditate, and then it gradually gained company support.

It’s “secular mindfulness” he said, that use themes from Buddhist teachings but not all of its lingo or metaphysics — which, Gelles says, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“What we’ve seen evolve over the last three decades … is the evolution of a new kind of secular mindfulness where the initial and the primary benefits that we can talk about and measure and quantify have more to do with stress reduction, perhaps some degree of focus, perhaps a more accepting mindset that can create better relations with one’s self and others, and has less to do with being a tool on the path towards liberation and enlightenment,” he said.

Gelles said he first started meditating when he was 19 years old and has practiced mindfulness meditation, including going to India for retreats, for more than 15 years. Now with a full-time job and kids at home, he said he tries to find quiet moments in his day to meditate, whether it’s early in the morning, late at night after his kids are in bed or even at his desk at work.

During the day, Gelles said he uses so-called “meditation hacks,” such as waiting a beat or two before picking up a ringing phone or practicing walking meditation around the office at work.

“It’s a moment to check in with my body,” he said. “It’s one more reminder to try to get into the habit of being mindful.”

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