September 13, 2010

LKL Web Exclusive: Promise Me

Posted: 12:17 PM ET

By Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker
Founder and CEO, Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Thirty years ago, I held my sister’s hand in the back of the family car and promised her that I would do everything I could to end the disease that killed her not long after.  It was the last time I would see Suzy alive and I marveled that even in her weakened state – painfully thin from the breast cancer treatments that were no longer working, wig askew – she was thinking of other women who went through what she did, and asking that it be stopped.

I promised Suzy that I would spend the rest of my life fulfilling that promise, although at the time, I really didn’t think it would take the rest of my life.  Naively, I assumed that the answers were right there, they were simple, they were easy to implement – all that science and medicine needed was a little push.  As I set out to start the organization that would bear my sister’s name – Susan G. Komen for the Cure – I thought that with a little work, a little publicity, we would have this breast cancer taken care of pretty quick.

I was wrong about that.  It’s been, for 30 years, an incredible uphill battle, but like most things that are hard, well worth it.  My new book, Promise Me, tells the story of doors slammed in our faces as we set out to do our work. It tells of editors unwilling to publish the words “breast cancer” in the paper, because “breast” was just so personal.  It tells of the extraordinary stories of how the women who came before us endured the pain of this disease in ways I can’t even contemplate.  And it tells the story of how far we’ve come with this disease in just a tiny sliver of world history – a mere 30 years – with incredible developments still to come.

My sister Suzy was the total package – smart, funny and pretty.  Homecoming queen and girl about town, she was always involved in charities and helping people in our hometown of Peoria, Illinois.  She was just 33 when she was diagnosed.  She would endure a terrible three years before she died, at 36, leaving a husband, two young children, devastated parents, and me.

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Filed under: Health • LKL Web Exclusive

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September 9, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 07:00 PM ET

Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams

and Sanjay Gupta ‘stand up to cancer’.

Find out how you can join the fight!


Dr. Oz on his cancer scare!

What he learned that could save your life.

Plus, he takes your calls and questions.


Send your questions below!

Filed under: Dr. Mehmet Oz • Health

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Sneak Peek: Help the Fight Against Cancer

Posted: 05:31 PM ET

Watch Larry King Live tonight as Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer & Brian Williams ‘stand up to cancer’!

Filed under: Health

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July 23, 2010

Pastor Rick Warren blinded by poisonous plant, expected to recover

Posted: 08:53 AM ET

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren is home recovering after his eyes were burned as he pruned a firestick plant in his yard, his spokesman told CNN Thursday.

Warren was hospitalized Monday after the incident and released Tuesday, said his spokesman, A. Larry Ross. Warren is expected to make a full recovery, Ross said.

"My eyes were severely burned by a toxic poison," Warren wrote in a Twitter message Thursday morning. "Hospitalized Mon. Excruciating pain. Now home. Pray my sight loss is restored."

Though the pain was initially so intense that Warren could not open his eyes on Monday, he was seeing well enough Thursday to send the Tweet himself, Ross said. "The pain was excruciating – 12 on a scale of 1 through 10," Ross said. "It's now down to an 8."

Read more from CNN's Religion Blog

Filed under: Health • Religion • Rick Warren

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May 17, 2010

Tonight on Larry King Live!

Posted: 07:00 PM ET

Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

A just-released study shows no evidence of increased risk. But critics say the research could be flawed. So, are cell phones safe – or not?

Larry and his guests have the latest on what YOU should know!

We want to hear from you!

Are you worried that your cell phone is harming you?

Filed under: Health

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Cell Phone Cancer Link Inconclusive: STUDY

Posted: 01:56 PM ET



GENEVA — Cell phone users worried about getting brain cancer aren't off the hook yet.

A major international study into the link between cell phone use and two types of brain cancer has proved inconclusive, according to a report due to be published in a medical journal Tuesday.

A 10-year survey of almost 13,000 participants found most cell phone use didn't increase the risk of developing meningioma – a common and frequently benign tumor – or glioma – a rarer but deadlier form of cancer.

There were "suggestions" that using cell phones for more than 30 minutes each day could increase the risk of glioma, according to the study by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer. But the authors added that "biases and error prevent a causal interpretation" that would directly blame radiation for the tumor.

Longer call times appeared to pose a greater risk than the number of calls made, the study found.

Among the factors that weren't examined were the effects of using handsfree devices during calls or the risk of having cell phones close by while not making calls – such as in a pocket, or next to the bed at night.


Filed under: Health

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May 11, 2010

Michelle Obama's 'Road Map' to fight childhood obesity

Posted: 01:38 PM ET


First lady Michelle Obama unveiled a plan today to "reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity," and called on help from governments, schools, and businesses as well as the families themselves.

"We're setting really clear goals and benchmarks and measurable outcomes that will help tackle this challenge one step, one family and one child at a time," Mrs. Obama said during a White House ceremony.

 Mrs. Obama and her aides released a task force report entitled Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation. The goal, she said, is to "ensure that our children can have the healthy lives and the bright futures that they deserve."

Currently, one in three children are considered overweight or obese, Mrs. Obama said. "If we meet the goals we set, we will reverse a 30-year trend," she added.


Filed under: Health • Michelle Obama • White House

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May 5, 2010

NFL Great Joe Theismann on Triple A - and not the Baseball League

Posted: 11:52 AM ET

Joe Theismann is the former quarterback for the Washington Redskins and current analyst on the NFL Network.  His commentary is an LKL Web Exclusive.

Football is a passion of mine, no doubt. As a former player, and current NFL Network analyst, I love everything about the game.  I’m truly thankful for a professional career that has spanned more than three decades, and provided me with the opportunity to lend my voice to important public health issues. And these days, I’m passionate about bringing awareness to a silent, but preventable, killer called abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), or “Triple A.”

Right now in the United States, there are one million people walking around with an AAA, and they don’t know it. My dad was one of those people.  A few years ago, he was diagnosed with an AAA during a routine exam.  He’s that breed of guy that says… “don’t worry, I’m fine”…no matter what’s going on.  I went along with it, but should have known better.  Had his AAA not been detected early, he probably wouldn’t be with me today.

Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of AAA – until my Dad was diagnosed, I had no idea what AAA was or that it could be fatal.  But here are the facts:

1. AAA is a ballooning of the abdominal aorta, the artery that carries blood to the lower part of the body

2. If an AAA goes undetected it can rupture, and only 10 percent of people will survive

3. Risk factors are common – smokers, heart problems, age 60+, family history

4. AAA can be detected and treated.  A simple, ultrasound screening can help save lives

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Filed under: Health • Joe Theismann • LKL Web Exclusive • Sports

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May 4, 2010

LKL Web Exclusive: Rosalynn Carter on the Mental Health Crisis

Posted: 05:00 PM ET

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter is the author of Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis, published on May 1 by RODALE Books.

My interest in mental health began in 1966, when Jimmy first ran for governor. Many Georgians were desperate and asked what my husband would do to help their mentally ill family member. Some years earlier, an exposé revealed horrors in our big Central State Hospital–thousands of patients packed into the mental institution, often for life, with few services and only 48 doctors. In 1963, Congress had passed legislation calling for closing the large state hospitals and building community mental health centers all across the country. This sounded positive. People would find help close to home.

But while campaigning, I discovered that patients were being moved from institutions before services were available in their communities. At 4:30 one morning, I stood at the entrance to a cotton mill, waiting for people to get off work. A stooped, older woman emerged alone. She looked weary, and her clothes and hair were matted with lint. “Good morning,” I said, “I hope you’ll get some sleep.”

“I hope I can,” she said, explaining her daughter had a mental illness. She and her husband struggled to care for her. “I work all night while he stays with her, and he works during the day when I’m home.”

She was exhausted. What would she find when she got home? Would her daughter be awake? Would she get any rest? I watched as she trudged away.  This woman haunted me all that day, and I was compelled to try to help. When I first got involved, little was understood about the causes of mental illnesses, the relationship between brain development and the environment, or the most effective treatments. The world has changed since then. Functional brain scans track disorders in real time, scientists chart genetic markers, insights are emerging into the interactions between biology and the environment, and individualized medications hold promise for those who might have seemed hopeless three decades ago. Yet, despite these breakthroughs, in some ways we have hardly moved forward.

What are the consequences of our inaction? Our mental health system is still in crisis. Prisons and jails have replaced the old mental institutions.   There are huge gaps in care for children and the elderly and a serious shortage of mental health professionals. People with serious and persistent disorders lack adequate community supports. Stigma remains our biggest obstacle and holds back progress in this field.

One in four adults struggles with a mental illness, yet we treat this large proportion of our population like second-class citizens undeserving of our help, resources, and understanding.  This hidden minority among us endures pervasive discrimination. More often than not, their suffering and that of their loved ones goes unnoticed, and that hurts all of us.

May is Mental Health Month. With today’s expertise, we can change lives forever by moving forward into an era of understanding, care, and acceptance. Recovery is a real possibility. Let us all find the political will to finally end the mental health crisis. Our dream of a day when stigma no longer exists, when services are available to all, and when every individual can look forward to a fulfilling future is within our reach.

Filed under: Health • LKL Web Exclusive

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'The Sopranos' Joey Pantoliano says: "No kidding, me too!"

Posted: 04:28 PM ET

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month and The Sopranos’ Joey Pantoliano wants you to talk about your brain!

Pantoliano directed a new documentary, titled “No Kidding, Me Too,” about fighting the stigma and shame associated with mental illnesses (which he calls a "dis-ease").

The idea behind the film is that everyone knows someone who either lives with mental illness or is affected by it.  "No Kidding, Me Too" is available now through CreateSpace,’s DVD-on-demand service. 

Pantoliano talked to the LKL Blog about his own mental "dis-ease."   After a friend committed suicide, Pantoliano told us how he struggled with a feeling of being "underwater," something he'd felt for a long time.  He went to a psychiatrist at the suggestion of his doctor and Pantoliano was diagnosed as clinically depressed.  It was the moment he said he felt "relieved."  That it wasn't his fault.

With his new film and his NKM2 (No kidding, me too) organization, Pantoliano is speaking out so others know there is help and you can get it.

LKL Blog:  Was this a feeling that you’ve had since you were a little kid?  Or did it come and go?  Did you always know something was wrong?

Joey Pantoliano:  It was a feeling I had ever since I was a little kid.  But I’d lose weight and I’d feel better.  Or I’d get a job and I felt better.  And then a job would end and I’d feel like I’d never work again.  I was defined by the jobs that I had or the movies I was in.  I was defined by the women that I slept with or the women that I married or the women that I cheated on.  For me, too much was never enough.   I needed to feel good quick.

I was desperate.  The doctor gave me an anti-depressant.  And said I could get to the bottom of what was troubling me quicker.  I asked him if it was going to affect my work and get in the way of me having feelings.  Because I didn’t want to get any more numb than I was.  And he said I wouldn’t.

For me, taking that first step was believing there was a power that was greater than mine.  My life was falling apart.  My kids weren’t talking to me.  My wife had said that I put up a wall that was so high, she couldn’t handle it anymore.  I just didn’t feel like I wanted to live.  So with the help of my psychiatrist and these drugs, I started getting better.  And my kids started seeing a change in me.  And the change was working – exercising, doing yoga and doing this 12-step work that was introduced through a friend.  And believing in a spiritual center.

As I got better, I got the will to live again.  I started working again.

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Filed under: Health • LKL Web Exclusive

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