Hand Washing And Handshake Bans

Some hospital units have set up handshake bans because too few healthcare workers wash hands well enough to keep from spreading germs. The general public is even worse at washing hands, which has caused spread of serious disease. Some experts say handshakes foster important human connections and oppose bans. Experts discuss and describe what it takes to wash hands well enough to be “clean.”

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Broken Heart Syndrome

Broken Heart Syndrome

When a person suffers a severe emotional shock, they may suffer what looks like a heart attack but is actually what doctors call “stress cardiomyopathy.” Most patients recover but the condition can be fatal, confirming that it is possible to die of a broken heart. An expert explains.

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Medical Notes: Week of January 12, 2020

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of January 19, 2020, including: Late-stage age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss among older people. Then, long term effects of being born as a result of in vitro fertilization. And finally, people in Scandinavian countries say that taking a sauna has all kinds of benefits, and they’re apparently right.

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Telling Lies—Who Does It And Why

Telling Lies—Who Does It And Why

Lies aren’t always bad. Often, they’re told to be polite, and compassionate people are most likely to tell whoppers. But as the stakes of lies rise, honesty trumps kindness. Yet few people are ever able to distinguish when they’re being told lies. Experts explain.

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Avoiding Mistakes In Dealing With Aging

Avoiding Mistakes In Dealing With Aging

As loved ones age, tough decisions need to be made on finances, housing, and other concerns, and these decisions need to be made far earlier than they typically are. This is especially true if a person does not have family to act as support and caregiver. Two experts discuss managing the transition from complete independence as we age.

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Medical Notes: Week of January 5, 2020

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of January 5, 2020, including two experimental drugs that show promise in women with certain types of breast cancer. Then, the federal communications commission has started the process to create a three-digit number similar to 9-1-1 that connects to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. Then, it appears that teenagers aren’t very good at telling the difference between real and fake news, and finally, can magic mushrooms be used to treat depression?

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Hoarding Disorder: It’s About More Than The Clutter

Hoarding Disorder: It’s About More Than The Clutter

Hoarding disorder affects at least five percent of Americans, and despite TV programs showing its effects, it is still widely misunderstood. Experts discuss the danger hoarding poses to others, including neighbors, children, and first responders; why those with the disorder are so attached to things; and the right and wrong ways to address the problem.

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Melanoma Advances

Melanoma Advances

Fifteen years ago, advanced melanoma was usually lethal. But new treatments harnessing the immune system have increased survival so much that researchers haven’t completely been able to quantify it. An expert physician discusses the advances.

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A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 29, 2019

Medical Notes: Week of December 29, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 29, 2019, including: The last three flu seasons have been bad, but there’s a chance this year could be even worse. Then, sleeping too much can be a risk factor for stroke. Plus, more than 30 million people in the United States think they’re allergic to penicillin when they’re not. And finally, if you’re scheduled for surgery, ask your doctor what kind of music she listens to in the operating room.

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19-51 Segment 2: GERD And Your Holiday Feast

GERD And Your Holiday Feast

During the holidays, reflux problems are magnified by big meals with trigger foods like chocolate and alcohol. But reflux sometimes doesn’t show up as heartburn. A gastroenterologist discusses reflux, how it may appear as asthma or hoarseness, and how it can be treated.

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19-51 Segment 1: Christmas In The E.R.: It’s No Holiday

Christmas In The E.R.: It’s No Holiday

Winter in general, and the holidays in particular, are the busiest time of year in hospital emergency departments, even in places where it doesn’t snow. Experts discuss the increase in deaths of all kinds, including the “Merry Christmas Coronary” and possible reasons those deaths bounce up.

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Medical Notes: Week of December 22, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 22, 2019, including: A new study showing an injectable could be the answer for people with food allergies. Then, people suffering from depression may find some improvement by taking aspirin or ibuprofen. And finally, if you spend your workday wearing headphones, listening to music… you may be a lot less productive than you think.

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19-50 Segment 1: Bridging The Vax/Anti-Vax Divide

Bridging The Vax/Anti-Vax Divide

The debate over vaccination isn’t as civil as it once was, and leaves little room for common ground or even discussion. Pro-vaccine advocates often point to science showing safety and effectiveness, but as a noted medical humanities researcher explains, values common among anti-vaccine advocates lead them to reject this science, and both sides need to understand where the disconnect comes from.

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19-50 Segment 2: Affluenza

Affluenza

Rich people receive deference that the rest of us don’t, but do wealthy kids grow up knowing they can get away with what others can’t? Research finds that all children apparently know this. Experts discuss.

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Medical Notes: Week of December 15, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 15, 2019, including scientists may someday be able to treat alcoholic liver disease with something short of a liver transplant. Then, if you want to keep the mind alive as you age, play games. And finally, a new study shows giving buses an inexpensive engine retrofit helps not only the health of students who ride them, but also their academic performance.

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19-49 Segment 1: Workplace Bullies

Workplace Bullies

Some bullies never grow up, and just keep on bullying. Experts describe where and how it most often occurs, what workplace bullies are seeking, who they target, why it continues, and what needs to happen to stop it.

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19-49 Segment 2: Older Dads, Younger Kids

Older Dads, Younger Kids

The average age when men first become fathers has risen to 31, and more men are also becoming dads in their 40’s and 50’s. A National Book Award-winning author discusses his experience as a first-time dad at 56, and now as a 73-year old father with teenagers.

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A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 8, 2019 including a study showing all those messages about protecting yourself from the sun may be sinking in. Then, new studies in the journal “Pediatrics” could provide reassurance that the HPV vaccine is safe, and finally, with the new year not far away, more Americans are trying to lose weight.

Medical Notes: Week of December 8, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 8, 2019 including a study showing all those messages about protecting yourself from the sun may be sinking in. Then, new studies in the journal “Pediatrics” could provide reassurance that the HPV vaccine is safe, and finally, with the new year not far away, more Americans are trying to lose weight.

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19-48 Segment 1: The Sleep Deprivation Of Local Police

The Sleep Deprivation Of Local Police

Studies show that law enforcement is the most sleep deprived of all professions, with potentially damaging and even fatal consequences for decision-making and reaction time, as well as long-term health damage. Experts discuss the unique challenges in having a poorly rested police force and in fixing it.

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19-48 Segment 2: Pet Food: What Shouldn’t Your Dog Or Cat Eat?

What Shouldn’t Your Dog Or Cat Eat?

A growing number of pet owners are tempted to put their dog or cat on vegan, gluten-free or raw diets. An expert pet nutritionist and veterinarian discusses what pets should and shouldn’t eat to be healthy.

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A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 1, 2019.

Medical Notes: Week of December 1, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 1, 2019, including: A study that finds that artery blockages discovered during stress tests can be managed with medication. Then, a study indicating cigarette smoking has hit an all-time low. Also, having more meatless burgers now could cut your dementia risk later. And finally, if people are more anxious these days, maybe it’s because they’re not getting enough sleep.

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19-47 Segment 1: Homelessness Myths

Homelessness Myths

Around a half million people are homeless in the US on any given night, but the street homeless who are most visible often incorrectly influence our assumptions about the homeless. A noted researcher discusses myths and truths about their addictions, employment, residences, and more, and why people often become homeless.

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19-46 Segment 1: The Risks Of Egg Donation

The Risks Of Egg Donation

Some agencies estimate that 50,000 children have been born in the US using donor eggs. But egg donation (or sale, as some insist) is not regulated, and while short term risks are known, few donors have been followed for years. Long term risks are not well understood. Experts discuss what we know… and what we don’t.

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19-46 Segment 2: The Changing Face Of HIV

The Changing Face Of HIV

HIV/AIDS was once an epidemic and a death sentence. But many Americans are too young to remember that, so HIV awareness has faded. One of the nation’s top HIV experts discusses HIV as a treatable, chronic illness and the need to still be vigilant—and be tested.

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19-45 Segment 1: Suicide Survivors

Suicide Survivors

For those left behind when a loved one dies of suicide, recovery can be difficult. Stigma, guilt, and blame are exceptionally common. They need more support, but often get less, and their own risk of suicide is elevated. Experts—one a suicide survivor herself—discuss the difficulties and ways survivors can cope.

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19-45 Segment 2: Fertility Rate Decline And The Aging Population

Fertility Rate Decline And The Aging Population

Birth rates in the US are at an all time low, and fertility for all age groups under age 30 is dropping. Experts explain that it may not be as good a thing as we may think, and cite nations like Japan and Italy which are facing labor shortages and elderly populations as a result of less-than-replacement-level fertility.

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19-34 Segment 1: A Closer Look at Food Waste

A Closer Look at Food Waste

Experts believe about 40 percent of the food available in America is thrown away. Solving this environmental problem also creates an opportunity to help with food insecurity. It starts with consumers. Experts explain where waste comes from and how people can cut down on its production.

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19-44 Segment 1: Mass Violence: How Much Is Mental Illness To Blame?

Mass Violence: How Much Is Mental Illness To Blame?

Mass shootings and other forms of mass violence are on the increase. Where to assess blame is in sharp dispute. A new report from a blue ribbon panel of behavioral scientists has found that mental illnesses carry some of the blame, but mental “distress” is a much more likely factor. Panel members discuss mental health first aid, red flag laws, and other report recommendations on ways to prevent mass violence.

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19-44 Segment 2: “Mind Control,” Psychedelics, And The CIA

“Mind Control,” Psychedelics, And The CIA

Intelligence agencies have long sought ways to control the mind to get people to do their bidding. An author discusses his investigation into CIA mind control efforts in the 1950’s and 60’s through the use of psychedelic drugs, which unwittingly led to an explosion of the drugs’ use.

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19-43 Segment 1: Climate Change = Less Nutritious Foods

Climate Change = Less Nutritious Foods

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are making crops grow bigger & faster. However, researchers have found that these crops contain significantly lower levels of protein, iron, zinc, and other important nutrients, potentially endangering nutrition for hundreds of millions of people. Experts explain the effect will get worse as CO2 levels continue to rise, and what might be done to combat the problem.

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19-43 Segment 2: Paid Parental Leave

Paid Parental Leave

The US is one of the few world nations that provides no paid job leave for either new moms or dads. A new study shows that paid leave has benefits in infant mortality as well as mother’s health. An expert and advocate for paid leave discusses the benefits.

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19-42 Segment 1: The Psychology Of Gig Workers

The Psychology Of Gig Workers

Gig work is becoming more and more a part of the American economy. It takes a certain temperament for a worker to thrive on the freedom gig work offers without being paralyzed by the lack of security. Experts discuss the psychological benefits and difficulties of multiple part time jobs or freelancing.

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19-42 Segment 2: Caring For Strangers

Caring For Strangers

Emergency room physicians have to make sense of and care for complete strangers every day. A recently retired ER doctor looks back at lessons he’s learned that are applicable to everyone’s life.

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Rural Maternity Units Closing

A large number of hospitals in rural areas have closed, and many more have closed their maternity units, leaving many rural mothers-to-be with no nearby place to deliver their babies or even get prenatal care. Experts discuss the financial and demographic reasons behind these closures, the danger it presents to mothers and children, and some ways to counter the risk.

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19-41 Segment 2: Eczema In Infants: A Starting Point For Allergies And Asthma

Eczema In Infants: A Starting Point For Allergies and Asthma

Doctors have learned that childhood allergies and asthma may have their start in dry, dysfunctional skin in infancy, when allergens such as food particles enter the body through cracks in the skin. A noted pediatric allergist discusses this ”atopic march” and ways to combat it.

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19-40 Segment 1: Does Prenatal Fluoride Lower IQ?

Does Prenatal Fluoride Lower IQ?

Fluoride in community drinking water has been controversial since its introduction nearly 75 years ago. A new study adds to this with evidence that pregnant women who drink fluoridated water may produce children with slightly lowered IQ. The study author and two other experts discuss what’s known and what the ramifications of the study could be for communities, for oral health, and for children.

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Trypophobia: The Fear of Clustered Holes

Trypophobia: The Fear of Clustered Holes

As much as 16 percent of the population suffers from Trypophobia, which makes them uneasy at the sight of holes clustered together, as in a honeycomb. Two experts and a sufferer discuss this phobia, which can be remarkably debilitating.

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Genetic Testing and Family Secrets

The availability of consumer DNA tests and databases has allowed long-hidden family secrets to be revealed, including mistaken paternity and unknown siblings. It has also taken the anonymity away from some cases of sperm donation. Two experts discuss the ethics of overturning this promised secrecy and the impact that the revelation of secrets can have on entire families.

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19-39 Segment 2: Mirror Touch Synesthesia

Mirror Touch Synesthesia

Dr. Joel Salinas has mirror touch synesthesia, a condition involving cross-wiring in the brain. The result is that visual stimuli prompt a response in his touch system. He literally feels it when people experience pain. Salinas discusses how this strange condition works and how he is able to use it in diagnosis.

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19-38 Segment 1: Heat and Violence

Heat and Violence

Violence increases as temperatures rise in the summer, but are higher temperatures a cause of aggression? New research shows that the answer is yes, especially in family conflict, and that poor neighborhoods bear the brunt of the relationship. Researchers discuss the synergy between poverty, heat, and aggression, and speculate that a warmer world in the future could be a more violent one.

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Nail Biting

Nail biting is an extremely common habit, but some people bite their nails so badly and so often that they suffer damage to their hands. Experts discuss why so many of us are driven to bite our nails, what can be done to stop it, and the damage that can occur when we can’t stop.

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19-37 Segment 1: Importing Canadian Drugs

Importing Canadian Drugs

The Trump Administration has proposed wholesale import of drugs from Canada to ease high US prescription drug prices. But since Canada is 1/10 th the size of the US, could it supply enough drugs to make a difference? What’s more, it appears Canadians are opposed to the plan and are devising rules to stop it. Experts discuss pro’s and con’s.

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19-37 Segment 2: Primary Care And Medical Cost

Primary Care And Medical Cost

The US spends more on medical care than other nations while quality still lags behind. A health industry expert explains how increased use of primary care and increased engagement with providers could reverse both trends.

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19-36 Segment 1: Surviving An Active Shooter

Surviving An Active Shooter

With the recent active shooter incidents in El Paso and Dayton, these incidents no longer seem rare, and experts say there’s been a shift in public perception. Now they seemingly could happen anywhere, and it’s become a public health issue. Two experts discuss the changing theory of how to survive an active shooter incident through what’s called “run, hide, and fight.”

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19-36 Segment 2: Fighting Off Stress at College

Fighting Off Stress at College

College students are facing more stress than ever, but may be less prepared to handle it. As students head back to campus, two experts discuss how students can reduce stress.

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19-35 Segment 1: Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child

Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child

Each year, some 400 US children over age 1, most of them toddlers, die overnight for no known reason. Families, longing for answers, often find that their families, friends, and even pediatricians are unfamiliar with this classification of death, or that they even occur. Family members who have lost a child, a medical examiner, and a research expert who has lost a child discuss SUDC.

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19-35 Segment 2: Tonsil Stones

Tonsil Stones

Some people find that small “stones” are growing on their tonsils. They’re an accumulation of skin cells, food, and other debris. While they are not medically dangerous or painful, they often produce bad breath or sometimes pain. Two expert physicians discuss tonsil stones’ formation and treatment.

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19-34 Segment 1: A Closer Look at Food Waste

A Closer Look at Food Waste

Experts believe about 40 percent of the food available in America is thrown away. Solving this environmental problem also creates an opportunity to help with food insecurity. It starts with consumers. Experts explain where waste comes from and how people can cut down on its production.

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19-34 Segment 2: Giggling Epilepsy

Giggling Epilepsy

Epilepsy can show itself in many ways, including as episodes of giggling and laughing. An expert discusses the case of a then-nine-year old boy with such seizures, the danger they posed, and the novel way he was treated.

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Copper Toxicity

High levels of copper in the body can produce mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and aggression. However, most doctors don’t test for copper levels and may prescribe medications like antidepressants instead. An author who suffered years with undiagnosed copper toxicity and two expert psychiatrists discuss diagnosis and treatment.

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RHJ 19-32 Segment 2: History's Worst Plagues

History’s Worst Plagues

Plagues can wipe out entire populations and create fear and great mystery in how they spread. An author who has explored plagues and dangerous diseases explains.

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19-32 Segment 1: The Economics of Later School Start Times

The Economics of Later School Start Times

Thirty years of research have shown that teenagers’ biology prevents them from getting to sleep much before 11pm, and with most high schools starting classes around 8 am, they are chronically sleep deprived. Experts discuss how students and even the economy would benefit from later start times and the reasons many people and school districts still oppose the change.

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Dog Breeds and Dog Bites

Nearly 40 percent of American homes have a dog, and while dogs may be “man’s best friend,” sometimes they bite, and sometimes with serious consequences. An expert who has studied dog bites discusses the reality of breed temperament, especially when children are around, how to prevent bites, and whether breeds with dangerous reputations deserve them.

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TBI’s, Personality Change, and Marriage

Traumatic brain injury can profoundly change the injured in personality and temperament, as well as physically and cognitively. Spouses bear the brunt of these changes to the point many feel like they’re living with a stranger. Two experts and the spouse of a TBI victim discuss the many ways life changes after an injury and what can help to get them through the ordeal.

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School Crossing Safety

With the school year approaching, drivers need to be aware of children in crosswalks—and away from them. However, increasing distractions for both pedestrians and drivers sometimes make that difficult. A safety expert and a veteran school crossing guard—the nation’s “favorite crossing guard”– discuss.

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Not Enough Sleep: Even Worse For You Than We Thought

Getting less than six hours of sleep per night has long been known to be hazardous to health, but the discovery of the mechanisms behind those hazards is leading scientists to strengthen their warnings. Too little sleep or poor sleep carries heart and brain risks that are powerful, as experts explain.

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A Radical Diet to Prevent Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer in the US, but a well known cardiologist says if everyone would follow a plant-based, oil-free diet, heart disease could be eradicated. Yet many cardiologists won’t prescribe such a diet, fearing it’s so difficult to follow that it’s a prescription for defeat. Experts discuss.

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The Pros and Cons of Mobile Health Apps

Mobile health apps are becoming very popular, though some are being shown to have little benefit. Few barriers exist to almost anyone entering the field whether they have health expertise or not. Privacy is also a concern. Experts discuss how people can protect themselves and find apps that do what they want.

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Obesity and Cancer Risk

Studies are finding that obesity significantly increases a person’s risk for a variety of cancers. However, not all forms of fat carry equal risk. An expert discusses who is more at risk and why.

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Fatty Liver Disease: Silently Growing

Most people associate cirrhosis of the liver with heavy alcohol use. But nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which also leads to cirrhosis, is growing rapidly, and may affect a quarter of the population. Experts discuss this silent disease and what people can do to prevent and treat it.

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Cancer Treatment and Sex

Cancer treatment has always focused on survival. Now doctors are increasingly focusing on side effects, including the effect of treatment on sexual function and satisfaction. However, many patients are shy about bringing up their difficulties, unaware there are ways to help. One of the nation’s top experts discusses.

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The Psychology of Procrastination

Most people procrastinate at least now and then. But when we put something off, we’re usually facing not a time management problem, but an emotion management problem. Experts discuss what’s going on in our heads when we procrastinate.

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CBD––The Truth About the Latest Health Craze

Suddenly, cannabis-related, hemp-derived CBD is almost everywhere. CBD’s FDA status is murky, and we know very little about its benefits, thanks in part to its former place on DEA Schedule 1. How much has been proven about its supposed health qualities? What are the risks? Experts discuss in depth.

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Genetic and Genomic Testing

When most of us think of genetic testing for health, we imagine tests to detect whether we’ve inherited genes that predispose us for cancer or other serious disease. But another kind of gene testing—genomic testing of tumor cells for their susceptibility to targeted treatments—is giving thousands of people hope of survival they’ve never had before. Experts discuss both genetic and genomic testing.

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Generic Drug Safety

Since the 1980’s, almost all production of generic drugs has moved overseas, where FDA inspectors have a much tougher time making sure they’re following rules for safety. An investigative journalist describes the ways she’s found that many drugmakers cut corners, putting safety at risk, and details what consumers can do to protect themselves.

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The State of the World’s Children

: Each year, the humanitarian organization Save the Children develops a nation-by-nation scorecard on how likely children are to grow up healthy, educated, and safe. The organization’s CEO discusses how most nations have improved the ways children are treated over the past generation, and why the US ranks 36th.

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Lung Cancer and Its Stigma

Most forms of cancer have a built-in constituency of patients, loved ones, and concerned others. Lung cancer patients, instead, are often blamed for their own disease because of its frequent connection with smoking. Patients are often isolated, and research dollars lag behind other, less common cancer killers.

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Tasty Food vs. Health Food: Finding a Balance

Many Americans believe that healthy food doesn’t taste good, and tasty food isn’t healthy. A chef who is also a cardiologist discusses how to find a balance by seeking out healthy ingredients rather than whole categories of foods.

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Loneliness in the Elderly

Loneliness is increasing across all ages, but it’s especially noteworthy among seniors, and it can dramatically affect health. An expert geriatrician who has studied the effects of loneliness and the leader of an organization that provides friendly visitors to the isolated elderly discuss causes of increasing loneliness, its impact, and the effectiveness of visitor programs.

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Why Good Health Care Doesn’t Equal Good Health

Many Americans believe if they have good health care, they’ll have good health. But many factors beyond medicine contribute to our level of health. A noted public health expert explains these factors, and why our own health is much more than an individual concern.

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Why Parents Don’t Vaccinate

Measles had been declared eliminated in 2000, but has come roaring back because of the increasing number of people who have not been vaccinated. Parents may have legitimate fears of side effects, but claims vaccines are unsafe are not true. Experts discuss the complicated psychological reasons vaccine refusal exists despite this, and what may help change minds to promote public health.

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