Perhaps your mother told you. Or your doctor. Maybe you learned it in gym class.
For me it was all three: "Once a month, do a breast self-exam," they all said. "Use your fingertips in a circular motion to feel for lumps." (My mom, a nurse, even brought home a fake breast that I could practice on.)
So I was stunned when a physician in Glasgow, Scotland, criticized a campaign aimed at getting women to do their own breast checkups.
recently spoke with U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois about a bill he sponsored called The Equitable Access to Care and Health Act (EACH). The bill would allow individuals to opt out of mandatory health insurance by writing "sincerely held religious beliefs" on their tax return, along with a sworn statement explaining their objection.
There's an old saying in the South: "A child's gotta eat their share of dirt."
Mamie Lee Hillman's family took this literally, but they weren't after just any old dirt.
"I remember my mom and my aunties eating that white dirt like it was nothing," says Hillman, who grew up in Greene County, Ga., and used to go with her family to dig for their own dirt to snack on. "It was an acceptable thing that people did."
NASA is hoping to soon venture out farther into space than ever before. But these long journeys mean astronauts could face greater risks to their physical and mental health than the space agency currently allows.
Now, an independent group of experts convened by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has weighed in on how NASA should make decisions about the kinds of risks that are acceptable for missions that venture outside low Earth orbit or extend beyond 30 days.
Many of us know the names of some of the big U.S. health insurance companies β like Blue Cross, Aetna and Wellpoint. But what about CoOportunity Health, or Health Republic Insurance of New York? These are among 23 new companies started under the Affordable Care Act. They're all nonprofit, member-owned insurance cooperatives that were begun, in part, to create more competition and drive prices down.
Doctors Without Borders has called the current outbreak of the Ebola virus in Guinea "unprecedented" β not because of the number of victims (so far at least 78 have died) but because the disease has traveled to various parts of the country.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block in Dallas.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel in Washington, where President Obama cheered the Affordable Care Act today.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Despite several lost weeks out of the gate because of problems with the website, 7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces.
This post was updated at 4:40 p.m. ET. with Obama's comments.
President Obama emerged from the White House on Tuesday to rousing applause. He announced that 7.1 million Americans had signed up for health care through the federal exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act.
"This law is doing what it's supposed to do," Obama said at the Rose Garden. "It's working. It's helping people from coast to coast."
What is it with stem cell research? Despite solid science from many corners, the scandals never seem to stop. In this case, after a lofty international announcement in January, it only took about two months for the other shoe to drop.
A scientific committee in Japan said Tuesday that the lead author of a recent "breakthrough study" fabricated data and is guilty of scientific misconduct.
If you're uninsured, you may haverun out of time. Monday was the official deadline to sign up for health insurance on the marketplaces or face a penalty, unless you were already in line for enrollment.
Still, people who missed the cutoff have options to get the health care services they need, though they may not be simple or assured.
Movies like Mean Girls have told us that the popular crowd rules, and the nerds and nonconformists get picked on.
But even the top rungs of high school social ladder aren't immune to bullying, researchers say. Becoming more popular can actually increase a teen's risk of getting bullied rather than making them immune to attack.
Last-minute health insurance shoppers turned up in record numbers Monday, both online and in person at clinics, county health departments and libraries. They were there to sign up for Obamacare on the last official day of open enrollment.
Public radio reporters checked out the scene in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Houston β three of the 36 states that are using HealthCare.gov β as well as in Minnesota, which has one of the most troubled state-run marketplaces.
One of the world's largest drugmakers says it will invest more than $200 million in Africa over the next five years in a push for better treatment of noncommunicable diseases there.
GlaxoSmithKline said the funding would be focused on sub-Saharan Africa, where the company already employs about 1,500 people and operates three factories. The money would go toward building five more factories and funding of research and development focused on the region.
We smile when we're happy. But how does a face strike the proper look to show, say, happy surprise? Or happy disgust, like when you're laughing at a really gross joke?
A new report, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that we instinctively mix and match actions from the six basic emotions to stitch together more subtle expressions.
We've heard a lot in the last few years about caring for returning veterans. We don't hear so much about the people who take care of them. A major study released today says more than a million Americans - mostly spouses and parents - are military caregivers. They get by without much government support, and they're suffering some serious consequences. NPR's Quil Lawrence reports.
A deceptively simple leg brace is changing the lives of hundreds of wounded service members. Soldiers with badly injured legs who thought they'd have to live with terrible pain can walk and run again, pain-free.
Earlier this month, Army Spc. Joey McElroy took his first steps in the Intrepid Dynamic Exoskeletal Orthosis, or IDEO (pronounced: eye-DAY-oh). The device squeaked a bit as he stepped briskly on an indoor track.
McElroy was hit by a car and thrown from his motorcycle on Dec. 5, 2012.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:45 pm
Bariatric surgery can help obese people lose weight, and excess weight is a big risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. So it makes sense to try to figure out whether the surgery could help control diabetes, too.
So far the answer is yes, at least for some people and for three years. But surgery doesn't work for everyone, and the long-term implications remain unclear.
All right, that story on that came to us from NPR's Allison Aubrey who joins us in the studio now. And, Allison, Elizabeth, right there at the end sounded very relieved to be eating fat again, a burger.
ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: That's right. She did.
GREENE: And, yeah, and I'm wondering does this mean that we can bring back the burgers? Bring back the bacon? Would make me very happy.
AUBREY: Ah-ha. That's what you're looking for here. Yeah.
When we first met Brad Stevens, he was living in Lakeport, Calif., a struggling massage therapist in a struggling town on the southern tip of Clear Lake. Stevens had been uninsured his entire adult life, and used to believe firmly that clean living and exercise could stave off any need for medical care.
Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 10:09 am
Charlie is like a lot of my patients. He's in his late 50s, weighs a little too much and his cholesterol and blood pressure are both too high. To lower his risk of a heart attack or stroke, he takes daily pills to control his blood pressure and lower his cholesterol.
A couple of times a year, Charlie visits me to make sure the drugs are working and aren't causing problems.
Caring for patients like Charlie has become easier in the last few years because of something that you might take for granted in 2014: electronic prescribing.
Thirty years ago, the small town of Denmark, S.C., had one of the state's highest teen pregnancy rates.
"We had very young grandparents, grandparents were maybe [in their] 30s," says Michelle Nimmons, who has worked for the past 30 years on the issue of teen pregnancy. "Great-grandmamas were in their 40s, and parents were in their teens, so a lot of education had to happen."
The world just took one step closer to eradicating its second disease.
On Thursday, health officials declared India β and the entire Southeast Asia region β free of polio. And India's success against paralyzing disease is already opening doors for the massive country to stop even bigger problems.
Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 11:05 am
Calling a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy unconstitutional, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill that would have made it a crime to carry out such a procedure in West Virginia. Tomblin said the bill was a "detriment" to women's health and safety.