She was denied custody of her 4-year-old son with leukemia. So she posted a letter to the judge on Instagram

(CNN)A day after a Florida judge ruled that the parents of a 4-year-old boy with leukemia won’t regain custody of him, the boy’s mother posted an emotional message on Instagram. “Are you going to be there rubbing his back at 2 a.m. when he’s up crying his belly hurts and puking?” she wrote. “Are you going to explain to him why his beautiful long hair is coming out in chunks? Are you going to hold him and make him smoothies and juices when his mouth hurts so bad from methotrexate sores, he can barely eat?” She also asked the judge if he would lie with Noah when the boy is too tired to get out of bed, would he rub …

Treatment for overactive thyroid linked to increased risk of dying from cancer

(CNN)Going back to the 1940s, radioactive iodine has been among the treatments for an overactive thyroid. “We estimated that for every 1,000 patients treated currently using a standard range of doses, about 20 to 30 additional solid cancer deaths would occur as a result of the radiation exposure,” said a statement by lead author Cari Kitahara, an investigator with the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. Kitahara and her colleagues also found that increasing doses were linked to a higher relative risk of breast cancer mortality among women at a level comparable with other groups of adults exposed to ionizing radiation — such as atomic bomb survivors in Japan. A previous analysis of the same study, published …

These dogs are getting a cancer vaccine. If it works, humans could be next

(CNN)If you ask most experts in the cancer community, creating a wide-ranging vaccine that prevents tumors like we prevent infectious diseases is damn near impossible. Why dogs? Johnston initially wanted to test the vaccine in humans, but the cost and approval process were proving to be major roadblocks. Then Johnston met veterinarian Doug Thamm. Thamm is a cancer survivor and director of clinical research at Colorado State University’s Flint Animal Cancer Center. “Cancer is actually the leading cause of death in adult dogs,” Thamm says. “They develop these tumors spontaneously as a result of old age in a way that’s very, very similar to the way humans do.” Many canine cancers are also similar to human cancers on a molecular …

Chinese medicine: The next step in cancer recovery?

(CNN)Karen Kwai-Ching Li, known as KC, has lived in fear of her osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bone, for almost 28 years. To get through her treatment and the range of side effects of chemotherapy, KC turned to a seemingly contrasting practice: traditional Chinese medicine. Each time she had chemotherapy, her body seemed weak, she said. Friends and family recommended the plant root ginseng, whose benefits are believed to include boosting energy, with recent studies supporting that claim. When her family prepared ginseng for her to drink, she felt “more energized and regained a little more strength,” she explained, which led her to use it after each chemotherapy session. But she took it with Chan’s blessing — because Chan is …

Photo of sled dogs walking through water shows reality of Greenland’s melting ice sheet

(CNN)Steffen Olsen, a scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute, was on a routine mission in northwest Greenland to retrieve oceanographic and weather monitoring tools placed by his colleagues on sea ice when he ran into a problem. Thomas Mote, a research scientist at the University of Georgia who studies Greenland’s climate, told CNN last week that while previous melt periods occurred in 2007, 2010 and 2012, “we didn’t see anything like this prior to the late 1990s.” This could have a major effect on sea level rise, one of the most dangerous effects of climate change that could drive millions of people living in coastal communities from their homes. “Greenland has been an increasing contributor to global sea level rise …

Unusual symptoms pointing to brain cancer turned into something completely different

(CNN)Brain tumor, the doctors said. “I was no longer able to process the fact that a key opens the door. The computer screen looked completely different — it was almost foreign,” said the now-42 year old. “What I was perceiving was different and so how I was responding was different — if someone was asking for a pen, I would give them, for example, a key.” Sometimes she had blissful, symptom-free days. With no warning, the dropping things, the hallucinations, the disorientation would return. Brain lesion discovered on a scan After January, her symptoms “progressed pretty quickly,” she said, guesstimating she visited the emergency room at least 10 times. “But as soon as they ruled out a brain bleed, I …

The Evidence Is Strong: Air Pollution Seems to Cause Dementia

This story originally appeared on Mother Jones and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. A few years ago I stood in a cramped trailer beside the busy 110 freeway in Los Angeles as researchers at the University of Southern California gathered soot thrown off by vehicles pounding by just a few yards from their instruments, which rattled whenever a heavy truck passed. I was there to learn about how scientists were beginning to link air pollution—from power plants, motor vehicles, forest fires, you name it—to one of the least understood and most frightening of illnesses: dementia. At that time, as I reported in Mother Jones, the research implicating air pollution as one factor that can contribute to dementia was …

Reasons a woman may not know she’s pregnant at six weeks

(CNN)Set politics aside for a minute. Ignore whatever laws are on the books. Hit snooze on any moral or religious alarm bells ringing in your head. The reality is that nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended or, more specifically, 45-49% of the time they are unplanned, said Dr. Jen Villavicencio, an ob-gyn who lectures at University of Michigan Medicine and is also a fellow with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Those actively trying to get pregnant may be monitoring every aspect of their cycles and have pregnancy tests at the ready, but for many women getting pregnant comes as a surprise. Even if a person is perfect at staying on top of birth control — and most …

Why female shooters are rare

(CNN)Two suspects believed to be students used handguns and opened fire in two classrooms at the STEM School Highlands Ranch near Denver on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. One was an 18-year-old male, the other a female juvenile, according to Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. The FBI defines an active shooter incident as “an individual engaging in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.” Sign up here to get The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta every Tuesday from the CNN Health team. On January 30, 2006, Jennifer San Marco visited her former place of employment, a postal distribution center in Goleta, California, and fatally shot six employees after killing a one-time neighbor. She then …

Busting the myth that depression doesn’t affect people in poor countries

The long read: For decades, many psychiatrists believed depression was a uniquely western phenomenon. But in the last few years, a new movement has turned this thinking on its head When Vikram Patel first began to study mental health, he believed depression only existed in rich nations. But today, he is the single most influential figure in the growing global movement to treat mental illness in poor countries, especially the most common disorder, depression. In 1993, Patel, who was born in Mumbai, finished his training as a psychiatrist in London and moved with his wife to Harare, the capital of Therapy on a bench: the grandmas beating mental illness in Harare The consequences of this were catastrophic. Patients in south …

Measles cases hit 25-year high in US amid anti-vaxx movement

Number of cases approaches 700 as experts warn other vaccine-preventable illnesses could see a comeback Measles in the US has climbed to its highest level in 25 years, closing in on 700 cases this year in a resurgence largely attributed to misinformation that is turning parents against vaccines. This is alarming, said Dr William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert. Not only is measles dangerous in itself, but its return could mean other vaccine-preventable diseases seemingly consigned to the past might return as well, he said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 695 cases had been reported in 22 states this year, as of Wednesday afternoon. That was up from 626 reported Monday and makes this the countrys …

MMR vaccine does not cause autism, another study confirms

(CNN)The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine does not increase the risk of autism and does not trigger autism in children who are at risk, according to a new study of over 650,000 children. With anti-vaccine groups becoming more vocal and even celebrities and politicians spreading fear of vaccines, Hviid and his team wanted to provide solid scientific answers. The biggest contribution of the study was the inclusion of children at risk of autism, said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who was not involved in the new research. He hopes the latest piece of evidence will reassure families with young children at risk of developing autism spectrum disorder that the vaccine will …

Crackdown on illegal bootleggers after 80 die from toxic hooch in India

New Delhi, India (CNN)Indian police have launched a crackdown on illegal bootleggers after 80 people were killed drinking toxic moonshine in the country’s north, police said. In a press conference Tuesday, Khanduri said police have arrested two suspects accused of selling the illicit liquor. Indian moonshine deaths raise concerns over food safety “From our investigations, we have found that the chemical was transported from Haridwar to Saharanpur,” he told CNN, adding that authorities were waiting for test results to confirm the chemical used. The investigation into the poisonous liquor is ongoing and eight people, including the two sellers, have been arrested, police spokesperson Shalin Sharma said. About 400 liters of illicit booze was seized during joint operations by police in …