In the Friday News Feed, The Doctors discuss headlines hot off the press and how they pertain to your health, and the health of your loved ones.
Valerie Harper's Terminal Diagnosis
Board-certified oncologist Dr. Lawrence Piro weighs in on how a patient may handle such tragic news, and whether doctors should predict how long a patient will live.
* On Monday, March 11, 2013, The Doctors will sit down with Valerie in a daytime television exclusive. It's an episode of emotion and inspiration you don't want to miss.
Hugo Chavez Cancer Conspiracy?
On March 5, 2013, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez died from complications with cancer after publicly announcing his diagnosis in June of 2011. He was 58 years old. Just days after his death, it's been reported that people closest to him believe that someone, or perhaps even another nation, conspired to infect him with cancer. Dr. Piro discusses how cancer develops in the body and whether it's possible to deliberately induce the disease.
Bullied to Death?On January 10, 2013, 11-year-old Bailey O'Neill was allegedly attacked in a schoolyard altercation. He reportedly suffered several injuries, including a fractured nose and a concussion. An estimated 1 to 2 weeks later, Bailey started experiencing frequent seizures and was placed in a medically-induced coma. Bailey also contracted pneumonia, though it remains unknown whether this occured before or after being placed in a coma. He underwent a blood transfusion, but doctors were unable to stop the spread of infection. On March 2, Bailey turned 12 years old. The following day, he was taken off life support and passed away.
LA’s Tuberculosis Outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched a coordinated effort with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to contain an outbreak of tuberculosis that might have infected thousands of LA citizens. The outbreak is being reported as the largest in a decade.
TB is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium that typically attacks the lungs, but can affect any part of the body, particularly the kidneys, spine and brain. Because the tuberculosis bacterium is spread through airborne droplets, it can easily be transmitted from person to person, especially in crowded or confined areas. People infected with advanced or diffuse TB tend to appear malnourished, pallid or sickly.
Common symptoms of TB include persistent dry coughing, unexplained weight loss, fever, fatigue, chills and night sweats; however, in some cases, TB may be asymptomatic. Since the classic symptoms of TB can be indicative of other illnesses, it’s important to consult a physician for an official diagnosis.
Despite the recent outbreak in LA, TB in the U.S. is relatively under control when compared to other parts of the world. It’s estimated that a third of the world’s population is infected with TB, particularly in developing countries, and approximately 4,000 people die from the disease every day.
• For information on how you can help stop TB, click here.
Preventing Colon Cancer
Every year, close to 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, a disease that’s treatable if caught in its early stages.
In recognition of National Colon Cancer Screening Day, The Doctors are joined by gastroenterologist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez to discuss the screening guidelines to prevent colon cancer.
“[Colorectal cancer] is the third most common cancer in both men and women in the United States, and it kills a little over 50,000 people a year,” Dr. Rodriguez says. “The only way of really curing colon cancer is to find it early and to remove it from the colon before it spreads.”
Dr. Rodriguez explains that 90 percent of the people who are diagnosed with colon cancer are over 50, which is why it’s critical to start scheduling annual colonoscopies once you reach that age. If you have a family history of colon cancer, doctors recommend beginning your screenings 10 years prior to the age that the youngest person in your family was diagnosed.
Colon Cancer Risk Factors:
- Being 50 or older.
- Having a family history of colon cancer.
- Having a personal history where pre-cancerous polyps were found.
- Being overweight/leading a sedentary lifestyle.
- Having a low-fiber diet.
- Being African-American.
* Today, March 8, 2013 is National Colon Cancer Screening Day.
“The worst thing, when it comes to colon cancer, is not knowing,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork adds.
Is 72 the New 30?With human longevity increasing over the past century, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany claim that 72 could be the new 30!
The study looked at men in Sweden and Japan, two countries whose male citizens have the longest life expectancies, and used hunter-gatherer mortality data as a baseline to measure the rate of mortality reduction. The results revealed that these modern day humans had the same odds of dying at the age of 72 than their early human counterparts had at age 30.
Get secrets for living a long and healthy life from active seniors! Plus, hear The Doctors' tips to increase your lifespan.
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