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11-year-old with rare cancer blogs to show good and bad sides of disease

When Nevaeh Williams was just 8, she was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer. Doctors were unsure if she’d ever be cancer-free, but the treatment worked and she enjoyed two years playing softball, enjoying math class with friends and just being a kid. This August, a scan revealed the cancer had returned and her mom, Alana Simmons-Williams, was distraught.

“I’ve always had a little bit of anxiety when it would be time for scans but the anxiety was starting to ease,” Simmons-Williams, 34, who lives outside of Savannah, Georgia, told TODAY. “At her two-year scan (the doctor) told me the cancer came back. I was devastated, like heartbroken. I want to say it was worse than hearing it the first time.”

For two years, Nevaeh enjoyed life like any other child her age. But at recent scans, she and her family learned her rare cancer had returned. (Courtesy Nevaeh's Victory Against Cancer)
For two years, Nevaeh enjoyed life like any other child her age. But at recent scans, she and her family learned her rare cancer had returned. (Courtesy Nevaeh’s Victory Against Cancer)

But Nevaeh, now 11, had a different reaction.

“For her going through it a second time, she’s like, ‘OK, the first time they told me I wasn’t going to be able to be cancer-free at all and I did it. I beat it,’” Simmons-Williams said. “She wanted to blog her journey … She was like, “I want to record it this time. I want to show everyone what it’s like.’”

A shocking diagnosis

One day when Nevaeh was 8, she was doing a cartwheel when Simmons-Williams noticed her daughter’s stomach was bloated. Simmons-Williams asked her daughter if she felt sick or was constipated, but Nevaeh felt fine. They visited their pediatrician who recommended they go to the emergency room.

At first doctors believed Nevaeh had Ewing sarcoma, a cancer that affects the bones. But Simmons-Williams didn’t think that’s what Nevaeh had and pushed for another opinion.

“She didn’t have any problems with her bones. She just had a tumor in her stomach and tumors throughout her chest wall,” she said. “That’s when it was revealed that it was desmoplastic small round cell tumors.”

Desmoplastic small round cell tumors are so rare that there are only 200 known cases of it since 1989, according to the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research.

“There is no standard treatment plan for DSRCT,” Simmons-Williams explained. “They commonly use the treatment plan that they use for Ewing sarcoma.”

Nevaeh, 11, gives her social media followers an unfiltered look about what having cancer is like. She finds strength in the support she receives. And, they learn more about cancer. (Courtesy Nevaeh's Victory Against Cancer)
Nevaeh, 11, gives her social media followers an unfiltered look about what having cancer is like. She finds strength in the support she receives. And, they learn more about cancer. (Courtesy Nevaeh’s Victory Against Cancer)

They removed the mass in Nevaeh’s stomach, which was three pounds, and she also underwent hyperthermic intraperitoneal (HIPEC) treatment where doctors fill the abdomen with warm chemotherapy drugs to “wash” it. While she remained cancer-free for two years, doctors spotted a recurrence during her most recent scans and she began treatment in August.

“She doesn’t give up that easy,” Simmons-Williams said. “She has positive vibes.”

Vlogging through cancer

Before the cancer returned, Nevaeh’s hair had started growing

Is The Keto Diet Good For PCOS? Benefits Of Low-Carb Diet For PCOS

Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can affect a lot of different areas of your life. Among other things, PCOS can impact your weight, and a lot of questions come up about the best way to manage PCOS weight gain via your diet. One frequently searched query? Whether the keto diet is a good eating method to help manage PCOS weight gain and other symptoms.

Before we get into that, it’s important to go over some PCOS basics. PCOS is a health condition caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH). This hormone imbalance causes problems in the ovaries, which make an egg that’s released each month as part of your menstrual cycle. When you have PCOS, the egg might not develop the way it should, or it might not be released during ovulation, according to the OWH.

PCOS can cause a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, infertility, excess hair growth, severe acne, and weight gain, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). As many as four in five women with PCOS deal with weight issues in conjunction with the condition, ACOG says.

PCOS may be managed with medical interventions like hormonal birth control pills. But lifestyle management, like losing even a little weight, may also help alleviate symptoms, according to ACOG.

And that’s where the keto diet question comes up a lot. Here’s what you need to know about how the keto diet can impact PCOS symptoms.

Is following the keto diet beneficial if you have PCOS?

There’s a lot to dig into here. People with PCOS often deal with insulin resistance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that the body can make insulin, which helps blood sugar enter the body’s cells to provide energy, but can’t use it effectively. Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance can also lead to patches of thickened, velvety, darkened skin, a condition known as acanthosis nigricans, and this commonly occurs with PCOS, per ACOG.

So, how does the keto diet factor in here? The keto diet is an eating plan that focuses on minimizing your carbs and increasing your fat intake to get your body to use fat as a form of energy. People on the keto diet usually have no more than 50 grams of carbs a day, but some keto fans aim to have no more than 20 grams a day.

As you may (or may not) know, carbs convert into glucose (sugar) in the body, and insulin is needed to take that sugar to your cells for energy. Limiting your carb intake—like you would on the keto diet—can help relieve the insulin resistance that can occur as a result of having PCOS, but likely only for the short term, says Scott Keatley, RD, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. However, building lean body mass (read: muscle) and losing weight will help your body

AHA News: Your Pandemic Hobby Might Be Doing More Good Than You Know | Health News


WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2020 (American Heart Association News) — Maybe it was the meme that pointed out how Shakespeare used his time in quarantine to write “King Lear.” Maybe it was all those photos of sourdough bread in your social media feed. Maybe you’re just bored.

Whatever the spark – you’re ready to take on a hobby.

“The process of being creative does a whole bunch of really good things for us,” physically and mentally, said James C. Kaufman, professor of educational psychology at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

Kaufman, who has written extensively about creativity, said there are many reasons why a stimulating hobby can help us. The first is pretty simple: It’s fun.

That’s mentally healthy, Kaufman said, because when we’re focused on such an activity, “we’re not thinking about any negative thoughts or fears or worries.”

At its best, a creative activity such as drawing or playing music can put you in a state of “flow,” where you’re intensely caught up in what you’re doing. “This is not shockingly different from what they call runner’s high, or what mountain climbers say they feel.”

Some activities, such as writing with an emphasis on a narrative, as in a journal or blog, can lower harmful stress by helping us organize our thinking, he said. “It helps put all these different thoughts, as if they were loose clothing, onto coat hangers. And it frees up space in our brain.”

That’s not the only way hobbies can help us, researchers say. A 2015 study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that engaging in leisure activities improved mood and stress levels and lowered heart rates. In 2017, a small study in Psychosomatic Medicine found that pleasant leisure activities lowered the blood pressure of Alzheimer’s disease caregivers.

And that’s important in the middle of a pandemic, said Jeanine Parisi, an associate scientist in the department of mental health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. “Everything seems a little out of control. Activities are the one thing that could provide structure and give you back a sense of personal control.”

Parisi’s colleague Michelle Carlson, a professor who leads a Johns Hopkins lab devoted to brain health, said the precise mechanism of what’s going on in our brains when we’re happily engaged in an activity isn’t clear. But some of the effects are.

She led a small study published in 2015 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia of older adults who volunteered to mentor young students in Baltimore. Compared to the adults not enrolled in the program, the participants saw growth in both the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain related to executive function, behavior and thinking – and to the hippocampus, which is important to memory.

Others’ research has found benefits from all kinds of pandemic-safe activities: gardening, spending time outdoors, playing a musical instrument, even knitting. And of course, anything that increases physical activity is crucial for heart health and

For Trump, the Only Medical News Is Good Medical News

The White House said at the time that Mr. Trump was simply undergoing a series of “quick exam and labs” as part of his annual physical exam because he was anticipating a “very busy 2020.” Mr. Trump never completed that physical.

Much like the release of a president’s tax returns, releasing the results of an annual physical is a custom, not a legal requirement. (The White House physician’s responsibilities, meanwhile, are to the patient, not the public.) Presidents are not required to tell the public anything about their annual physical exam, or the status or history of their health, although all modern presidents since Richard M. Nixon have chosen to give out some information.

Dr. Conley’s predecessor in the job, Dr. Jackson, had served under the past three presidents. But Dr. Jackson, a retired Navy rear admiral who is now a Republican candidate for Congress in Texas and endorsed by the president, seemed particularly eager to please Mr. Trump.

At a news conference in January 2018, Dr. Jackson said that Mr. Trump was in great health, citing his “incredible genes,” and his assessment that he had done “exceedingly well” on a cognitive test and was “mentally very, very sharp.” He also said that if Mr. Trump had adhered to a better diet over the past 20 years, he “could have lived to 200.”

It was also not clear whether Dr. Jackson fudged the president’s height — he said Mr. Trump was 6 feet 3 inches, when his driver’s license lists him as 6 feet 2 inches. Either way, his body mass index would have defined him as obese.

White House doctors have also refused to provide a full accounting of why the first lady, Melania Trump, visited Walter Reed in 2018 for what they described as a routine embolization procedure “to treat a benign kidney condition.” Her five-day hospital stay for a procedure that is typically completed in one was never accounted for.

The inaccurate and misleading briefing from the White House physician on Saturday was a disappointment to some administration officials, who had pushed for Dr. Conley to take over as the public face of the current news cycle, hoping he would be seen as a more credible source than Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary.

Source Article

Trump Has Treatment Options for Coronavirus. None of Them Are Good.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re making some of our coronavirus pandemic coverage free for nonsubscribers. You can read those articles here and subscribe to our newsletters here.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the dangerous disease COVID-19. Some of the president’s staff and individuals he has met recently have also tested positive for the virus, and results on a long list of White House and campaign staff are pending. Trump was taken to Walter Reed Military Medical Center Friday afternoon, where he will remain, White House officials say, for a few days. But what awaits him—and the country he still leads—as he deals with this virus?

Despite his 74 years and overweight frame, Trump has always tried to portray himself as vigorous, healthy, and even athletic. While depicting his thinner 77-year-old opponent Joe Biden as doddering, slow, and senile, Trump has tried to give the impression that he is Biden’s junior by far, more than the three chronological years that separate them.

He has similarly, and repeatedly, depicted the COVID-19 risk as somebody else’s problem. Older people with heart conditions might have to be concerned—certainly not Trump.

On Sept. 21, Trump looked out over a mostly mask-free crowd in Swanton, Ohio, and beamed, “Wow, this is a big crowd. This is a big crowd.” The crowd roared. And Trump brushed off concern about masks and COVID-19, saying: “It affects elderly people. Elderly people with heart problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. That’s it. … But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”

The federal government defines “seniors and elderly,” for most medical, retirement, and tax purposes, as individuals over 65 years of age, which clearly puts Trump in the category he dismissed in Swanton as “virtually nobody.” Does he suffer from any underlying conditions, other than his weight, that may put him at additional risk? We don’t really know, because in his constant struggle to appear youthful, covering up his thinning hair and playing record-breaking hours of presidential golf, Trump has made sure that no genuine medical work-up reaches the public.

His Manhattan physician, Harold Bornstein—a wild-haired, colorful figure who looks more like a hippie than a board-certified gastroenterologist—in August 2016 certified, “His health is excellent, especially his mental health.” And in a December 2015 statement he said was dictated to him by a Trump aide and written hastily while a limousine waited outside, he wrote that then-candidate Trump’s physical strength and stamina were “extraordinary.”

The COVID-19 Global Response Index: As governments around the world continue to grapple with the pandemic, FP Analytics is tracking national leaders’ responses in critical policy areas across 36 key countries, including public health directives, financial responses, and fact-based public communications. Learn more.

The COVID-19 Global Response Index: As governments around the world continue to grapple with the pandemic, FP Analytics is tracking national leaders’ responses in critical policy areas across 36 key countries, including public health directives, financial responses, and fact-based public communications. Learn more.

Former White House physician Ronny Jackson, who is now the Republican Party’s candidate

Pandemic AVR: Making Patients Wait May Do More Harm Than Good

Recent cardiac events suffered by patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis (AS) could be tied to whether their hospitals expedited aortic valve replacement (AVR) in select cases or paused these procedures in response to COVID-19, two reports suggested.

In the first, a Swiss hospital showed success selecting patients for expedited AVR despite safety concerns during the pandemic, whereas a New York City center that pushed these procedures back for everyone had a substantial number of patients subsequently die or require urgent transcatheter AVR (TAVR) while waiting, the second found.

Both reports were published online in JAMA Network Open.

“Taken together, these studies provide useful guidance. First, as we have known for many years, symptomatic AS is a life-threatening condition, and its treatment cannot be considered elective in any way. Patients with the most echocardiographically severe stenosis, clinically advanced symptoms, or comorbid coronary artery disease or lung disease belong at the head of the line,” according to Thoralf Sundt, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“Whether one chooses to interpret the current state of the pandemic as an ongoing first wave — perhaps with a nadir in some regions — or as the quiet before a second wave, there is a clear need for tools permitting precise triage of patients by the urgency with which procedures should be performed,” he emphasized in an accompanying editorial.

Selective AVR in Switzerland

Certain people with critical AS were good candidates for expedited AVR during a nationwide ban on elective procedures, according to the prospective AS DEFER study.

A cohort of 71 patients referred for AVR from March 20 to April 26, a period when Switzerland banned elective procedures in all hospitals, were divided into two treatment groups according to a prespecified algorithm:

  • Expedited (n=25): Patients with critical AS (i.e., aortic valve area ≤0.6 cm2, transvalvular mean gradient ≥60 mm Hg, cardiac decompensation during the previous 3 months, or exercise intolerance with clinical symptoms on minimal exertion) who underwent TAVR at a mean 10 days after referral
  • Deferred (n=46): Patients with a larger aortic valve area and stable symptoms

Adverse cardiac outcomes were not statistically more likely for either group at an average 31 days after treatment allocation: the composite endpoint of all-cause mortality, disabling and nondisabling stroke, and unplanned hospitalization for valve-related symptoms or worsening heart failure reached 4.0% of the expedited group versus 19.6% of those deferred (log rank P=0.08), reported Thomas Pilgrim, MD, MSc, of Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, and colleagues.

Hospitalizations were more likely in the deferred AVR arm than the expedited arm (19.6% vs 0.%, P=0.02) and accounted for all the primary outcome events in the former. No patient died.

Among deferred AVR patients, those who wound up requiring hospitalization for valve-related symptoms or worsening heart failure had more commonly presented with multivalvular disease (44.4% vs 8.6%, P=0.02), suggesting that this group in particular may benefit from expedited AVR, Pilgrim’s group said.

“I cannot tell if the authors considered