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Women who use IUDs may have reduced risk of cervical cancer, study says

Are you on birth control? If you use an intrauterine device, also known as an IUD, you may have a lower risk of developing cervical cancer, according to a new report

»RELATED: 7 surprising things that can increase your risk of cancer

Researchers from the University of Southern California recently conducted an experiment, published in the Obstetrics & Gynecology journal, to determine the link between IUDs and the disease.

>> Read more trending news 

To do so, they took a look at 16 previous studies that examined more than 12,000 women from around the world. Each study included information about the participants’ IUD use, history of cervical cancer and other health risk factors, including prevalence of HPV and the age of a woman’s fist vaginal intercourse. 

»RELATED: Newborn baby photographed with mother's IUD in hand

After analyzing the results, they found that the rate of cervical cancer was one-third lower in women who used IUDs compared to those who did not. 

“The pattern we found was stunning. It was not subtle at all," lead author Victoria Cortessis said in a statement. "The possibility that a woman could experience some help with cancer control at the same time she is making contraception decisions could potentially be very, very impactful."

»RELATED: Sugar can fuel cancerous cells , study says

Scientists, however, did note that their analysis did not include any clinical work. Therefore, IUDs have not been proven to prevent cervical cancer. 

But they do have a few theories about IUDs’ protective benefits. 

Some believe the placement of the IUD causes an immune response in the cervix that helps the body ward off an HPV infection that could one day lead to cervical cancer. Also, when an IUD is removed, they think it may contain harmful cells that contain the HPV infection. 

Scientists plan to continue their research to understand how IUDs can be used as protection against the illness. 

“The results of our study are very exciting,” coauthor Laila Muderspach added. “There is tremendous potential.”

»RELATED: Just 1 percent of women are aware of this common ovarian cancer symptom, study says

Florida woman ends up in hospital, has surgery after getting pedicure

A woman in Tampa, Florida, blames a pedicure for her weeklong stay at a local hospital. 

>> Read more trending news 

Tara Batista told WFTS that a few hours after she left a nail salon where she got a pedicure, she began to feel weak, and the next day felt severe pain in her leg. 

Family members drove Batista to the emergency room a day and a half later, when her foot turned black and she could not stand on her leg, WFTS reports. 

Doctors told Batista that she suffered a severe leg infection and needed to undergo surgery. Medical records obtained by WFTS revealed Batista had a deep injury on her left big toe that turned into a severe bacterial infection. 

The nail salon refused to comment since there is “no conclusive proof” Batista got the infection there, but she said the woman who gave her the pedicure dug too far into her skin, and she told her “to ease up a bit,” according to WFTS. 

Batista said she now has a catheter in her leg and needs care from a home health nurse for six weeks, WFTS reports. 

Read more here.

READ: Potentially deadly parasite found in 5 Florida counties

Americans more stressed about future of country than work or money, study says

Money and career woes can be triggers for anxiety, but there’s one topic Americans are stressed about the most. It’s the country, according to a new report from the American Psychological Association. 

>> Read more trending news 

The APA determined its results for its 2017 Stress in America study by surveying about 3,400 American adults who were 18 years old and older and resided in the U.S. between Aug. 2 and Aug. 31.

Researchers discovered that 63 percent of U.S. citizens believe the future of the nation is a “very” or “somewhat” significant form of stress. That figure is higher than other stressors, including money, which was a source of stress for 62 percent of the people surveyed, as well as work, a source of stress for 61 percent. 

When researchers dug a little deeper, they found that 59 percent of adults reported the current “social divisiveness” was also stressful. Of that number, 73 percent were Democrats and 56 percent were Republicans. 

“We’re seeing significant stress transcending party lines,” APA’s CEO Arthur C. Evans said in a statement. “The uncertainty and unpredictability tied to the future of our nation is affecting the health and well-being of many Americans in a way that feels unique to this period in recent history.”

These are the political topics Americans are most concerned about:

Health care: 43 percent

Economy: 35 percent

Trust in government: 32 percent

Hate crimes: 31 percent

Wars/conflicts with other countries: 30 percent

Terrorist attacks in the United States: 30 percent

Unemployment and low wages: 22 percent

Climate change and environmental issues: 21 percent

» RELATED: Georgia among the most stressed states in the U.S., study says 

Furthermore, keeping up with the news is also stressful for adults. About 95 percent of people are following the news regularly, but 56 percent say it causes them stress and 72 percent think the “media blows things out of proportion.”

“With 24-hour news networks and conversations with friends, family and other connections on social media, it’s hard to avoid the constant stream of stress around issues of national concern,” Evans said. “These can range from mild, thought-provoking discussions to outright, intense bickering, and over the long term, conflict like this may have an impact on health.”

But despite the stress levels among Americans, 51 percent say they are more inspired to volunteer or support a cause. About 59 percent said they had taken some form of action, such as signing petitions or boycotting companies, within the last year.

Want to learn more about the results? Read the details about the findings here

» RELATED: Talking to yourself can reduce your stress levels

Company will give non-smoking employees 6 extra days off

A Japanese company will give its non-smoking employees an additional six days off to promote fairness and simultaneously acknowledge the amount of time smokers use to take smoke breaks. 

>> Read more trending news 

Piala, a marketing firm based out of Tokyo, begun offering its non-smoking employees extra paid days after an employee complained that colleagues who take breaks throughout the day to smoke often end up working less.

Piala employees told leadership their smoking coworkers generally spend about 15 minutes on each smoke break. 

Coupled with the time employees took to commute from the office’s 29th floor to the smoking area in the building’s basement, employees spend about 40 minutes each day away from their desks for smoke breaks, Piala spokesman Hirotaka Matsushima said, according to CNN

“One of our non-smoking staff put a message in the company suggestion box earlier in the year saying that smoking breaks were causing problems,” Matsushima said, according to The Telegraph. “Our CEO saw the comment and agreed, so we are giving non-smokers some extra time off to compensate.”

Piala began offering the days-off incentive in September, at which point the company employed about 120 people, of which more than three dozen were smokers. Since then, four have quit smoking, Matsushima said.

“I hope to encourage employees to quit smoking through incentives, rather than penalties or coercion,” Takao Asuka, Piala CEO, said.

“We don’t give punishment for smoking,” Matsushima said. “Instead, we offer a benefit for not smoking. Without doing anything, (nonsmokers’) vacation increases by six days.”

At least 30 people have taken advantage of the extra time, including Matsushima, who said he used the extra time to visit a hot spring resort for a couple of days with his family. Shun Shinbaba, 25, told CNN he plans to use the extra time to play tennis.

Alabama student dies weeks after being hit in head with soccer ball

A University of Alabama freshman died Saturday, three weeks after she was hit in the head with a ball while playing soccer with friends.

Allie Brodie, 18, of Danville, California, succumbed to complications of pneumonia, according to the Tuscaloosa News. She was in a medically-induced coma at the time of her death.

“Heaven has gained a beautiful guardian angel, and we continue to seek peace in God’s plan for our sweet girl,” her mother, Cindy Brodie, wrote in announcing her death, according to a GoFundMe page in her name

The fundraising page, established to help with her medical costs, stated that Brodie was struck in the head with a soccer ball as she played Oct. 7 with new friends she had made on campus. Over the next few days, she suffered worsening symptoms that led her to the emergency room.

Surgery soon followed, after doctors discovered bleeding in Brodie’s brain.

“The emergency surgery for intracranial hemorrhage required her to be put into a medically-induced coma and led to a diagnosis of a very serious condition: brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a condition she was born with,” the GoFundMe page read. “The trauma of being hit by the soccer ball and AVM triggered internal bleeding in her brain stem.”

>> Read more trending news

According to the Mayo Clinic, AVM is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels that connect the arteries and veins in the brain. The condition, which affects fewer than 1 percent of the population, most often occurs in the brain or spine.

An AVM in the brain disrupts the veins’ ability to carry oxygen-depleted blood back to a person’s lungs and heart. Though some cases of AVM cause symptoms, like headaches or seizures, it is common for them to be diagnosed when a person is being treated for another medical issue, or for them to be discovered only after the vessels rupture and cause a brain bleed. 

Brodie is survived by her mother and two sisters, including a twin sister who is studying at Kings College in London, the GoFundMe page said

The University of Alabama’s Alpha Delta Chi chapter, of which Brodie was a member, is holding a candlelight vigil Wednesday night in her honor. 

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our sister, Allie Brodie,” the Christian sorority’s Facebook page read on Sunday. “Though we only knew her a short time, Allie made a significant impact on our sisters.”

A high school friend, Stephen Zipkin, wrote on social media that Brodie’s death had “absolutely torn (him) apart.”

“There are so few people on the earth as intelligent, kind or passionate as she is,” Zipkin wrote. “I have been lucky to learn and graduate alongside her, to talk to her and to know her. I am happy that she was here and saddened that she was not here longer.” 

Daith piercing could help alleviate headaches

Intense and often sudden headaches can be debilitating.

Migraine sufferers may find relief in a unique technique: an ear piercing.

>> Read more trending news 

Paula Nicholls has suffered from migraine headaches since second grade. The pain is so intense, she's hoping a trip to a tattoo studio will bring relief.

Migraine medicines haven't worked, so Nicholls is trying out a new trend that involves piercing a portion of the ear known as the daith.

Daith piercing was the topic of an essay by University of Florida health neurologist Edward Neely presented at the American Headache Society this June.

“I've seen some patients with good response and other with virtually no response,” Neely said.

Neely said one patient has been headache free for at least 18 months. He said the daith piercings go through the vagus nerve.

“So potentially piercing that nerve can act like a permanent acupuncture needle,” Neely said.

Professional piercer Kelly Buscher said while these kinds of piercings are nothing new, thanks to social media, the trend for the method of headache relief has grown in the past year. 

“There have been days where I've done 10 piercings where it's just the daith only,” Buscher said

For Nicholls, a chance to be pain-free was worth exploring.

Within a minute, Nicholls’ piercing was done and she said the pressure in the left side of her head was gone. 

“I usually have a lot of sinus pressure and a lot of pressure near my face, but I automatically felt the difference between my left side and my right side -- it feels more free on this side and it feels amazing,” Nicholls said.

“People are tired of the medications, Botox, so they're using this as one of the last resorts and taking a jump to see if it works,” Buscher said.

Neely said the procedure may not work for everyone, but it’s something more people may decide to try, hoping for even a chance to live a life pain free.

What is Narcan? 12 things to know about the drug

Walgreens pharmacy now sells over-the-counter Narcan nasal spray, a life-saving medicine that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, at its more than 8,000 locations nationwide, company officials announced Tuesday.

» RELATED: Trump declares ‘public health emergency’ to fight opioid use in US

President Donald Trump also declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency Thursday, as estimates from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 91 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day.

>> Read more trending news

Here’s what you need to know about Narcan:

What is it?

Naloxone (brand name Narcan) is a drug that can temporarily reverse the potentially deadly effects of opioid overdose during an emergency.

According to Time, naloxone itself comes in three FDA-approved forms, including a shot (usually for more professionally trained individuals), an easier shot called Evzio for untrained users that works like an EpiPen and a nasal spray that can be administered by both trained and untrained users.

» RELATED: Is America’s opioid epidemic killing the economy?

What are the signs and symptoms of an opioid emergency?

Signs and symptoms may include breathing problems, severe fatigue and unusual sleepiness and “pinpoint pupils,” where the eye’s pupil becomes very small.

How much naloxone is in the nasal spray?

There is a concentrated 4-miligram dose of naloxone in the spray.

» RELATED: What is fentanyl? 10 things to know about the potentially deadly drug

How does Narcan work?

Because opioids affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing, opioids in high doses can lead to severe breathing problems, unresponsiveness and potentially, death.

When Narcan or naloxone is administered to someone with signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose, naloxone molecules travel through the body to the brain and attach to receptor sites in the brain with a greater affinity than most opioid molecules and can easily displace them.

By displacing the opioid molecules, naloxone can quickly reverse the potentially fatal effects of an opioid overdose, specifically targeting any breathing issues, referred to as respiratory depression.

What are Narcan’s side effects?

According to the official Narcan website, Narcan may result in symptoms of acute opioid withdrawal. Those symptoms can vary depending on age and occurrence of opioid use.

For those using opioids regularly, symptoms may include body aches, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sweating, shivering or trembling, weakness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, goose bumps, stomach cramping and more.

Sudden withdrawal for infants under four weeks old who have been receiving opioids regularly may be life-threatening if not treated properly. Symptoms in these infants may include seizures, increased reflexes and crying more than usual.

For more information about Narcan’s side effects, contact your health care provider.

What if the patient doesn’t wake up or the opioid symptoms return after using Narcan nasal spray?

Administer a second dose of Narcan in the alternate nostril and watch the person closely as you wait for emergency medical care.

Additional doses can be given every 2-3 minutes until the person responds or receives emergency care.

» RELATED: Walgreens to begin selling OTC Narcan to combat opioid epidemic

Do you still need to get emergency medical care after administering Narcan nasal spray?

Yes. Narcan nasal spray is not a substitute for emergency medical care. It’s advised that you seek medical attention right away after taking the first dose or giving the first dose.

» RELATED: Study says opioids cost economy at least 1.4 million workers (and that’s just the men)

Is the nasal spray safe to administer on children?

Yes, Narcan nasal spray is safe and effective in children for known or suspected opioid overdose.

Is there anyone who can’t use Narcan nasal spray?

Narcan should not be used on anyone allergic to naloxone hydrochloride or any of the other ingredients in the spray.

If you take opioids yourself, be sure to consult with your health care provider before using the spray.

Why is it in nasal spray form?

Its design was meant for emergency overdose situations both inside and outside of health care settings. The nasal spray is ready-to-use and easy-to-use for nearly anyone, including family members and caregivers.

Firefighters, other first responders and emergency medical personnel also carry naloxone.

Where can you get Narcan?

Narcan is available at pharmacies both by prescription and, in some states, over the counter as well.

CVS offers naloxone over the counter in 43 states, and Walgreens now sells Narcan in its 8,000 stores nationwide. Walgreens stores in 45 states will sell Narcan over the counter.

How much does Narcan cost?

Without insurance, Narcan typically costs about $130 for a kit with one or two doses, but the over-the-counter prices could be 25 percent lower depending on current price points and discounts for other pharmacies already carrying the drug, company officials said in a news release.

Based on your personal insurance plan, you may have a copay between $0 to $20 to buy the drug. The majority of prescriptions, according to IMS Heath data, have a co-pay of $10 or less (75 percent) and $20 or less (80 percent).

» RELATED: Questions and Answers: Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) open enrollment

Though Medicare and Medicaid cover brands like Narcan, the coverage varies by state.

According to Time, some community-based organizations focused on treating drug addition may provide the drug for free.

Sources: CDC, Narcan.comFDA.gov

Read more about Narcan nasal spray at narcan.com.

Read the FDA approval for additional information about dosage, warnings and more.

Walgreens to begin selling OTC Narcan to combat opioid epidemic

As President Donald Trump prepares to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, customers will now be able to purchase a life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug in over 8,000 pharmacies across the nation.

>> Read more trending news 

On Tuesday, Walgreens announced that it will begin carrying Naloxone (Narcan), a medicine that can rapidly reverse the effects of an overdose upon administration via nasal spray, for sale over-the-counter in all 45 states that allow it. 

While the drug typically costs about $130 without insurance, the over-the-counter prices could be be around 25 percent lower, based on current price points and discounts for other pharmacies already carrying the drug. 

Pharmaceutical wholesaler AmerisourceBergen has given Walgreens Narcan demonstration devices for free, providing them with the opportunity to show patients how to administer the medication.

RELATED: CVS has a plan to fight the opioid crisis

“By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed,” said Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy, in a statement. “As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”

ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton praised the decision on Thursday’s “Good Morning America,” saying, “This drug saves lives. Think of this maybe as defibrillator, EpiPen, another piece of lifesaving medical equipment that probably is going to be pretty widespread now.”

Speaking from personal experience, overdose survivor Nicholas Popinski said, “I’ve overdosed three times, and it’s saved my life three times. I had got the nasal spray Narcan, and I was at home one day and I had it on top of my fridge, and I did a lot of heroin. I did a few bags, and, you know, I was nodding off pretty bad, so my dad grabbed it and hit me with the Narcan.”

Georgia, Carolinas among top 10 most sexually diseased states

New data reveals the top 10 most sexually diseased states for 2017.

Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compiled by BackgroundChecks.Org shows the rate of chlamydia and gonorrhea per 100,000 residents for each state.

>> Read more trending news 

Alaska maintained its ranking from the previous year, earning the No. 1 state with the highest rate of sexually transmitted disease. Vermont rounded out the bottom of the list.

The data comes just weeks after the CDC announced that cases of sexually transmitted disease were at their highest in the U.S.

BackgroundChecks.Org notes apps like Grindr and Tinder have increased the amount of casual sex and the risk of STDs.

Another important note: “Chlamydia rates also rose in most states, and remains the most common STD in the nation, which is often attributed to the fact that most people infected do not experience symptoms.”

Here are the top 10 most sexually diseased states:

1. Alaska2. Mississippi3. Louisiana4. Georgia 5. New Mexico6. North Carolina7. South Carolina8. Arkansas9. Delaware10. Oklahoma

Georgia rose to No. 4, three spots higher than last year, as the rate of residents with gonorrhea increased by more than 40 per 100,000 people.

North Carolina fell to the No. 6 spot from its No. 3 ranking in 2016 after seeing a decrease in chlamydia infections.

Oklahoma fell two spots from eighth place in 2016.

See the full list at BackgroundChecks.Org and read more at CDC.gov

Police officers buy 3-year-old battling cancer his own patrol car, stuffed K-9

A group of police officers in New Jersey made a young cancer patient’s day on Monday when they gifted him with his own patrol car, and a stuffed K-9 to ride along with him. 

Ben Graham, 3, of Elmer, is an avid fan of law enforcement officers, particularly police dogs, according to the Courier-Post. Ben is also a fighter, having survived neuroblastoma at the age of 18 months. 

The cancer, which the American Cancer Society says is found most often in infants and very young children, returned in June, requiring multiple cycles of immunotherapy treatment, as well as a stem cell transplant and radiation, the Courier-Post reported

He is also undergoing experimental treatments at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

>> Read more trending news

Ben’s mother, Amanda Graham, took the boy and his siblings to a Touch a Truck event a few weeks ago, where Ben met several Camden County police officers and got to see their vehicles and equipment up close. He was fascinated with the gear and the dogs, Camden County police Officer Allen Williams told the Courier-Post.

The officers, in turn, were touched by Ben’s story.

“We all have kids and families,” Williams said. “This type of illness touches us all, and we wanted to do something genuine and sincere to make him feel a little better.”

Williams and his fellow K-9 officers pooled their money and bought Ben a kid-sized truck that they customized to look like a Camden County K-9 patrol unit, complete with a sticker that warns passersby, “Caution: Police dog.”

The police dog is a stuffed German Shepherd.

The police department took to Facebook to share photos of the officers’ visit, which delighted not only Ben, but his siblings as well. The children got to watch a demonstration showing how a K-9 captures a suspect, and Ben chased the officers around the yard with his stuffed dog, barking at them, the Courier-Post said. 

“He was totally surprised and had so much fun with our officers, giving all of them hugs when it was time to go,” the department’s Facebook post read

Graham posted a heartfelt thank you on her own page.

“We can’t thank you enough,” she wrote. “Ben had such a good time, we didn’t expect this at all. Thank you for making our boy smile. (You’re) part of our family now!”

A fundraising page designed to help Ben and his family tells his story in detail, from his initial diagnosis in October 2015 to his most recent treatments. The Grahams first learned of the cancer after a visit to a urologist.

Ben underwent surgery to remove a Stage I, low-risk tumor the size of a golf ball from his adrenal gland, at which time doctors were optimistic about the outcome. Post-op scans conducted in January 2016 showed, however, that the tumor had returned.

This time, it was wrapped around both kidneys and a major artery, the fundraising page said. Doctors diagnosed Ben with Stage IV high-risk cancer. 

Chemotherapy shrunk the tumor enough to allow surgeons to remove about 97 percent of the cancer. Doctors also performed a bone marrow transplant and put Ben through several rounds of immunotherapy to keep the cancer from returning once again. 

The Grahams were preparing an “end-of-treatment party” for Ben in June when more scans showed the toddler had relapsed, the page said. 

“Unfortunately, there is no cure for relapsed neuroblastoma. But Ben and his family aren’t quitters,” the family’s post read. “They are currently awaiting a new clinical trial. Ben will be one of three children to receive an experimental treatment in pill form, which has shown success in adult lung cancer patients. He will start this trial around Labor Day.”

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