Lisa Whelchel’s Fitness Tips

HPV Vaccine Controversy
Doctors say the human papillomavirus vaccine, Gardasil, may prevent cervical cancer, but two sisters say they believe the drug caused them to lose their abilty to have children.

Madelyne, 20, and Olivia, 19, are suing Merck, the makers of Gardasil, saying the vaccine caused their ovaries to stop producing eggs, a condition known as premature ovarian failure.

"We were robbed of our womanhood," Madelyne says. "And now, wherever I go, I always see the pregnant lady, and knowing that might not be an option for me, [leaves me] just devastated."

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, a common virus that can be passed from one person to another during sex, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are many types of HPV. Some HPV types can cause changes on a woman’s cervix that can lead to cervical cancer over time, while other types can cause genital or skin warts.

"If you weigh the costs and the benefits of the [HPV] vaccination, they clearly come down on the side of the benefit.  I don't think there's really any doubt about that," says Dr. Joel Palefsky, Infectious Disease Specialist, UCSF School of Medicine. 

Dr. Palefsky is an Infectious Disease Specialist at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, as well as the Chair of the HPV Working Group of the AMC and is the head of the AMC HPV Virology Core Lab. He has extensive experience in studying the biology of HPV infection, HPV infection in HIV-positive men and women, HPV vaccines and in the design and implementation of clinical research trials of HPV-related disease. He has published over 250 papers. Additionally, Dr. Palefsky has conducted medical research at the University of California San Francisco sponsored by Hologic and Merck.

Click here to learn more about Madelyne and Olivia's story and facts about the HPV vaccine. 

• Click here to read the official statement from Merck — the manufacturer of Gardasil.

Cage-Fighting Kids? 

McKenna, 14, says she likes singing, shopping and chatting with friends on the phone.  "I'm pretty much like any other teenage girl, except for one small difference. I'm a pankration fighter. I'm the No. 1-ranked fighter in pankration in my division."

Pankration is a mixed martial art where the competitors fight in a large cage. With its beginnings in ancient Greece, the sport now combines skills from boxing, wrestling and various marital arts.

McKenna started training in Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing and judo when she was 5 and started competing in the youth division of pankration when she was 6. She says pankration is a form of martial arts that builds her self-esteem. But does it encourage kids to be violent?

Learn what McKenna's dad thinks
of her fights.
And, what typically female-driven activity does he think is more dangerous?

Find out why 8-year-old Regina,
 known as "The Black Widow" in the pankration world, started cage fighting. And how did she earn her fearsome nickname?


Lisa Whelchel's Fitness Tips 

Actress Lisa Whelchel may be best known for her role as Blair Warner on NBC's The Facts of Life, but she also has authored more than a dozen books and recently competed on CBS' Survivor: Phillippines, where she tied for second place and won the "Player of the Season" award.

At 50 and having survived Survivor, you would think being athletic would come naturally. But Lisa says she works out because she has to, and it makes her feel great afterward. "I’ve done it just to stay healthy. I don’t enjoy it!"

Lisa sets the record straight
about contracting West Nile virus. Did she catch the illness during her time on Survivor?

Lisa shares tips from  Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman, a DVD geared toward making exercise enjoyable for the working mom.


Four Shocking Reasons You're Losing Sleep!

Do you toss and turn all night and then feel exhausted every morning? Readers Digest  Editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello joins ER physician Dr. Travis Stork to reveal the four things that may be preventing you from getting a good night's sleep.

New Procedure for Back Pain?
Stacy, 33, has been in constant pain since she was 15 years old. By the time she turned 21, doctors diagnosed her with a torn disc. Stacy tried physical therapy, cortisone shots and even surgery, but the pain just got worse.

"I am on the basis of tears most days," Stacy says. "I find it hard to get out of bed, to take a shower, to sit on the couch just to watch a football game, and now, it's become unbearable."

After almost giving up on finding a treatment, Stacy's husband convinced her to give it one more try with a new, minimally invasive procedure. The AccuraScope procedure allows a doctor to maneuver a high-definition camera inside the spinal canal to diagnose torn discs, ligament damage and scarring. The problems can then be treated with minimally invasive tools.

Stacy shares her fears
regarding her continuing back problems.

Could a 30-minute procedure
end decades of chronic back pain?

Who is the ideal patient
 for the new AccuraScope procedure?

Extreme Smile Makeover!
When Patrick first appeared on The Doctors in 2011, he had been battling a chewing tobacco addiction for more than 20 years. After meeting Rick, an oral cancer survivor who lost a third of his tongue and half of his jaw as a result of his tobacco addiction, Patrick promised to quit.

With Patrick's teeth and gums damaged by tobacco, Dr. Travis promised him a dental makeover. Now, two years tobacco-free, Patrick gets his makeover from Dr. Thanos Kristallis and joins Dr. Travis to show off his brand new smile!

Meet the dentist responsible for Patrick's amazing transformation!