Tag Archives: It’s

Ex-GOP Lawmaker: It’s Time To Vote Republicans Out So We Can Get Gun Control

Ex-GOP Lawmaker: It’s Time To Vote Republicans Out So We Can Get Gun Control"Republicans will never do anything on gun control," says former GOP Rep. David Jolly.

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It’s Time to Bomb North Korea

It’s Time to Bomb North KoreaDestroying Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal is still in America’s national interest.

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Trump on taxes: ‘It’s always a lot of fun when you win’

Trump on taxes: ‘It’s always a lot of fun when you win’The president applauded Republicans for passing a sweeping tax bill Wednesday, convening lawmakers to take a victory lap on the White House lawn.

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‘Glad It’s Out’: Moore Accuser Says ‘Community knew’

‘Glad It’s Out’: Moore Accuser Says ‘Community knew’Becky Gray says Roy Moore would hang out at the local mall, ogling young woman, and claims he was eventually banned from establishments because of his “creepy” behavior.

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Republicans Really Don’t Think It’s Their Job To Keep Trump In Check

Republicans Really Don’t Think It’s Their Job To Keep Trump In Checkstunned his colleagues when he announced on Tuesday he’s not running for re-election and torched his party for not having the spine to call out President Donald Trump for his destructive comments and actions.

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Trump gave himself a '10' for Puerto Rico recovery. This congresswoman says it’s a '4.'

Trump gave himself a '10' for Puerto Rico recovery. This congresswoman says it’s a '4.'Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., the first Puerto Rican-born woman elected to Congress, sharply criticized President Trump’s handling of the hurricane damage on the island in an interview with Yahoo News on Friday evening. The congresswoman also suggested the president is treating Puerto Ricans differently than other U.S. citizens because they are Latinos.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus Said She’s ‘Lucky’ to Have Insurance — Here’s What It’s Like to Have Breast Cancer Without It

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

When Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced that she has breast cancer, she made sure to point out that she was “lucky” to have great insurance — and renewed the call for universal health care. Because every day there are 11 million women in the United States who live without any coverage, while at risk of developing breast cancer and other health problems.

For women who are diagnosed with breast cancer without health insurance, the statistics are particularly grim. Uninsured women are almost 2.6 times more likely to die of breast cancer than those with coverage, according to a study from the National Cancer Society. They’re also 3.72 times more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer, which lowers their survival rate.

This is largely because women without insurance aren’t going to regular doctors appointments, or getting mammograms that could catch the disease before it spreads. In a survey of women in California with varying degrees of insurance coverage, researchers found that 21.2 percent of uninsured women aged 40 and up had never had a mammogram.

For those who do get diagnosed with breast cancer, they face daunting medical fees. The American Cancer Society estimates that uninsured women would pay at least $ 140,000 for their treatment, but likely far more. That cost goes down to out-of-pocket costs of about $ 5-10,000 with good insurance.

When caught between survival and the thought of mounting payments, uninsured women with breast cancer “typically go deeply into debt,” Dr. Ninez Ponce, from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, tells PEOPLE. Others delay life-saving treatment until they can get insurance, or opt for the cheapest treatment possible.

Having insurance can literally save lives. The American Cancer Society’s study looked at 52,000 cases of breast cancer across the country, and for uninsured women with breast cancer, the survival rate sits around 80.4 percent. For women with insurance of any kind, that number jumps up to 92.7 percent.

To get ahead of breast cancer, many groups offer free or low-cost mammograms. Search for doctors in your area though the American Cancer Research Foundation, Susan G. Koman and the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. Additionally, Planned Parenthood provides free mammograms at their locations. During the month of October, many clinics offer free or discounted screenings — look for an FDA approved center here to see if there’s a location near you.

And if you can’t make it to a clinic, learn how to do a self-exam with this guide.

www.health.com/syndication/julia-louis-dreyfus-breast-cancer-without-insurance “>
Breast Cancer – Health.com

‘It’s a Very Poor Prognosis.’ John McCain Opens Up About Cancer Diagnosis

‘It’s a Very Poor Prognosis.’ John McCain Opens Up About Cancer Diagnosis"Some say 3 percent, some say 14 percent"

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I Just Had My First Mammogram—Here’s What It’s Really Like

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As a health reporter, I pay attention to the latest news about mammograms. In the last few years, as guidelines and recommendations on how often women should have them and when they should begin to do so have changed, keeping up on those details has felt like a larger and larger part of my job.

As a 38-year-old woman, on the other hand, I've had little personal experience with this imaging tool, which takes X-ray photos of each breast to screen for possible signs of breast cancer.

RELATED: 25 Breast Cancer Myths Busted

That changed following a recent checkup with my gynecologist, when I mentioned that my father had just undergone BRCA gene mutation testing after two of his sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer. He doesn’t have the mutation, but my doctor felt that it was time for my first mammogram, given this development in my family history.

She jotted down a referral, gave me the name and number of a local radiology center, and told me to schedule an appointment for the week after my period (when, she explained, my breasts would be least likely to be tender and the screening should be a little easier).

I knew, as the National Cancer Institute cancer.gov/types/breast/mammograms-fact-sheet”>has reported, that research has yet to show a benefit from baseline screening mammograms for women my age. That said, my insurance company would pay for the cost of my imaging, which is always covered for women age 40 and above, though that isn't necessarily the case for women in their 30s.

I was also comfortable with the idea of being exposed to radiation. As the American Cancer Society notes, the dose used to screen both breasts is about what a woman would be exposed to in her usual environment in seven weeks. So I decided to take my doctor’s advice.

RELATED: 10 Celebrities Who Battled Breast Cancer

I’d always thought that a mammogram, like an ob/gyn checkup, was something I’d have to book long in advance. Not so, at least in New York City, where I live. I could come in as soon as I was ready, the receptionist said. “Now, don’t wear deodorant, talcum powder, or fragrance to your appointment,” she instructed me.

I knew the reason why. Metallic particles in personal products can show up in mammograms and appear as abnormalities in breast tissue. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of going without deodorant or perfume for hours while you wait for your appointment, you can always schedule your mammogram in the morning, and bring deodorant to apply once you’re through.

Though I had the luxury of knowing my doctor didn’t expect any abnormalities to show up in my mammogram, I prepared for my appointment with something like sadness. Everyone’s body betrays them one day, of course—that’s how mortality works. But I felt that I was being especially accusatory with part of mine. From here on out, I guess my main concern with my breasts is whether or not they’ll hurt me, I thought. I pulled on an embroidered blouse I’d just bought on vacation, as if I were dressing for a blind date with myself.

That blouse was a lucky choice. Because I was wearing a two-piece outfit when I arrived at the radiology center, I was able to leave my shorts on for the mammogram itself. (Skip the sundress if you don’t want to face your scan in nothing but underpants; as long as your top is off, you can keep everything else on.)

As my tech helped me prepare, to my surprise, I gained some temporary hardware: She applied disposable stickers with tiny metal BBs to my nipples to mark their location, which would help her determine if my breasts were positioned properly during the image captures.

My tech asked if I had any scars or moles that she should mark with additional stickers, so that the radiologist who reviewed my film wouldn’t confuse them with lesions. I explained that I’d had mastitis scarring as a baby, and she erupted in laughter. “Babies can have mastitis? I’m six months pregnant”—she gestured to the curve of her own belly—“and hadn’t even known to worry about that yet!” You’re welcome, radiology tech. (Mastitis in babies is rare, for what it’s worth.)

Now that I’d been prepped, it was time for the shoot. The mammogram machine itself felt like a particularly intimate blood pressure cuff; to be honest, the blood pressure reading my gynecologist had taken a few weeks earlier had been more uncomfortable.

My tech positioned and compressed each of my breasts on the machine’s plates as I gripped its handle and held my breath; the dreaded squashing took about 10 seconds for each of the two images she took per side (the usual for screening mammograms). I was in and out in a few minutes, and then I was back in my shirt and on my way home.

RELATED: How to Choose the Best Sports Bra for You

That said, depending on the size of your breasts, the experience of the actual mammogram might be a little rougher. Some women, particularly those with small or dense breasts, find their mammograms more painful. If you’re worried about discomfort, consider taking an over-the-counter pain reliever about an hour beforehand, and know that no matter what, the procedure will be over quickly.

Two weeks later, I received a letter from the radiology center letting me know that I had dense breast tissue. That's not unusual for women my age, but it means I have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer and that my mammograms may be less accurate. Otherwise, my results were normal. The center didn’t include any images, so I went online to see what other normal mammograms look like.

An X-ray image of a breast is strangely serene. It’s not really identifiable as a part of a human body, in the absence of context, and more like a snapshot of the night sky—a northern hemisphere, as it were. Researchers have spent decades and billions of dollars trying to make sense of those constellations, and I’m rooting for them to read more and more in them every day. I also know how lucky I am to be able to simply think of mine—for now, at least—as sky.

www.health.com/breast-cancer/first-mammogram-what-its-like “>
Breast Cancer – Health.com

What It’s Like to Lose Weight Without Wanting To—From a Woman Dealing With the Side Effects of Breast Cancer

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I first want to acknowledge that losing 15 pounds is not particularly devastating. Yet the weight loss I experienced was an undesired side effect of stage IV metastatic breast cancer. It was brought on by the cancer pushing inside my abdomen, making it physically impossible for me to keep down solid food.

It felt like there was a lid at my diaphragm, which covered my stomach and blocked anything from going down. I would feel a pang of hunger and rush to eat one or two bites, and then have the sensation that there was no room left for more. I was, essentially, starving. I went from 110 pounds down to 95—about 15% of my weight—in a couple of weeks.

RELATED: 10 Celebrities Who Battled Breast Cancer

I had no energy. I struggled to climb the three floors to my apartment. I’d start to get ready for work and immediately need to lie back down because the strength it took to shower was all I had. On the days I made it to the office, I prayed no one would notice that I never left my desk or that I was drinking Ensure for lunch.

I tried desperately to consume more calories, one night sending my husband out to a friend’s apartment for weed in the hopes that the munchies could supersede the cancer. (It didn’t work.) I spoke to a nutritionist, who told me to eat anything I could—ice cream, heavy cream, whatever—to put on weight in order to function. As we waited to see whether the chemo I was undergoing would shrink the cancer and allow my appetite to return, I continued to shed pounds.

Ordinarily, my body is muscular and somewhat pear-shaped; I’ve always had a butt. I’m small but not remarkably small. And aside from the freshman 15, I’ve been roughly the same size for a long time.

But now, very suddenly, my body was different. My ribs protruded and my butt flattened out. Getting dressed was upsetting. I’d open my closet, which was full of things I loved to wear, and find only one or two items that still fit. I went to H&M to buy inexpensive options, but how much money did I really want to spend on a second wardrobe? These weren’t my skinny jeans, these were my emaciated jeans.

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If one thinks of weight as a spectrum, being somewhere in the middle isn’t noteworthy. From the middle, inching toward the extreme in either direction, there is a point at which a person's size does become become a defining trait, like having pink hair. A friend who is 6’7” tells me that strangers come up to him to say, “Wow, you’re so tall.” Since being tall isn’t generally considered a bad thing, people presume that this comment isn’t rude or inappropriate.

In New York City, where I live, it’s the same with being thin. Suddenly, people I barely knew felt that my size was an acceptable conversation starter: “You’re so thin.” But think if I was on the other end of the spectrum, inching toward obesity—would anyone ever say to me, “You’re so fat”?

The comments I received varied, but plain statements of fact became preferable. The receptionist at the dance company where I work (and where I am not out in my illness) once said, “You’re so thin, are you doing okay?” I made up a lie about losing weight when I’m stressed. (If that were true, it would mean I’d hardly ever been stressed before.) Disturbingly, a donor to the company told me I looked “wonderful.” Thank you?

At the bodega on my corner, I was buying an avocado after my appetite had returned, and the clerk remarked, “Is this dinner? That’s how you stay so thin.” I’ve lived in my neighborhood for four years and I saw this man often, but never before had he said something like this. I felt the urge to defend myself by explaining that the avocado was going to be sliced on top of a burrito and that I was planning to have ice cream afterwards.

I also felt the urge to snap back, “I have cancer; that’s how I stay so thin.”

My weight loss, however, finally stalled. Once we found a chemo that worked, I was able to eat again. It was a thrilling time. I needed vitamins, but I also needed fat, so I let myself indulge in anything I wanted. My husband and I visited his mother and it was like something out of Hansel and Gretel—being fed bread and butter and pie after every meal, while they watched with satisfaction. I discovered a local bakery that stayed open until midnight and I tried a new pastry every night. My macaroni and cheese consumption would have made Liz Lemon blush.

RELATED: 22 Ways to Help a Friend With Breast Cancer

It took me 2-3 weeks to lose the weight and about 2-3 months to put it back on. Now my clothes fit, I have energy and color, and my butt came back. I know my body better, what fuel it needs and how much it can withstand.

Now that I’m closer to the middle of the spectrum, I don’t receive any out-of-the-blue comments on my size. While the cancer is under control, it's not in remission. So if this whole thing happens again, as the current drug someday loses its effectiveness, I’ll be more prepared for the comments and questions, with a good retort to the next person who says, “You’re so thin.”

www.health.com/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-caused-me-to-lose-weight “>
Breast Cancer – Health.com