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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

There's a lot of confusion when it comes to mammograms.

When should you get one? When should you not get one? It's a complex issue and the recommendations appear to always be changing. So what do you need to know?

As a board-certified OB/GYN, I follow the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' recommendations, which say to start screening the average risk woman starting at age 40 and have a mammogram every year.

What I worry about is the term "average risk" because we know that the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer were average until the time of their diagnosis.

Bottom line: Talk to your doctor.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Just like Jim Carrey's character did in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, researchers are closing in on a way to safely erase traumatic memories.

As explained in PBS' Nova special Memory Hackers on Wednesday night, Columbia University's Nobel Prize-winning ­neuroscientist Eric Kandel first discovered that creating a memory actually causes physical connections in the human brain.

However, those synaptic connections change every time the memory is recalled, so they can be modified, Memory Hackers' writer, director, and producer Michael Bicks, tells the New York Post.

In a treatment that could someday be duplicated with soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, Bicks explains, arachnophobic people were treated with a drug called propanolol after being exposed to spiders.

After the treatment, when the test subjects were exposed to the arachnids again, they weren't afraid -- and that replaced what would normally be a fearful memory of spiders. Essentially, the new positive memory copied over the negative ones -- so much so that the test subject was able to pet a hairy, palm-sized tarantula "completely relaxed."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The parents of a Tennessee newborn say that their infant was mistakenly operated on while they were still in the hospital.

Nate Harper was born on Dec. 16 at University Medical Center in Lebanon, Tennessee, Nate's mother Jennifer Melton said. A day after his birth, he was taken away by a nurse for a routine physical, Melton said, but when a nurse brought him back she started discussing a procedure called a "frenulectomy." The outpatient procedure involves clipping the bottom of the tongue to allow babies to feed more easily.

Melton said she asked the nurse what procedure she was talking about since Nate was just supposed to get a physical. In medical records released to ABC News by Melton and her husband Domonique Harper, the attending doctor wrote that he performed the procedure after he discussed it with "the parents of a different child." The doctor wrote in the notes that he had called to apologize for his "mistake."

"It's so frustrating that a moment that should have been so happy and joyous for us was ruined with this event," Melton told ABC News, noting that the doctor called to say he was "sorry" he operated on the wrong baby. In the medical records, the doctor wrote that he also visited the parents in the hospital to apologize and admitted it was his fault.

The hospital declined to address the operation directly, citing federal privacy laws, but that the hospital always take action to address patient concerns.

"University Medical Center is committed to providing quality care to all of our patients and expect independent members of the medical staff to honor the appropriate directives of their patients and families," said Adam Groshans, a spokesman for University Medical Center.

"Due to federal privacy regulations, we are unable to comment on any specific patient," Groshans added. "However, we can confirm that we take seriously any concerns brought to our attention, and those matters are reviewed pursuant to the hospital's medical staff by-laws. If made aware of a concern, we promptly seek to address it and take action as appropriate to prevent any future concerns."

The family’s attorney Clint Kelly has told ABC News that the couple now intends to file a lawsuit and that the hospital charged them for the procedure.

"We don't want another family to have to go through this," Melton told ABC News.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- An 8-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who uses a wheelchair is now the hottest skateboarder on his block thanks to a bit of ingenuity from his mom and dad.

Atticus Edmunds, 8, got his first feeling of flying down a skate ramp last month after his mom, Tresa Edmunds, saw a video on Facebook of a boy in a wheelchair being pushed around a skate park.

Edmunds recruited her husband, Jared Edmunds, and the family of three went to the skate park down the street from their home near Sacramento, California, to let Atticus experience the sensation of skate boarding himself. Jared pushed Atticus up and down the skate park's ramps as if the two were on a board together.

“I couldn’t see the kid’s reaction in the Facebook video and I wanted to see what Atticus would think of it,” Tresa Edmunds told ABC News. “It was an experiment.”

“Atticus’ reaction was so much more than anything we could have anticipated,” she said.

Atticus, who is limited in his speaking and walking capabilities, is now a regular at the skate park, where the other kids have adopted him as one of their own.

“He’s a local celebrity,” Edmunds said. “What I’m loving about this skating world we’re entering accidentally is that it’s all about getting up and making the attempt.”

“They’ve just embraced him as a skater,” she said. “All the other kids are giving him high-fives.”

Atticus was born at 28 weeks and weighed 2 pounds, 3 ounces. He is now a second-grader.

His parents are using his new love of skating as an incentive for schoolwork, and as a life lesson in determination.

“We’ll say, ‘Do your homework and we’ll go to the skate park,” Edmunds said. “He had his first wipeout and it spooked him a little bit because he’s not used to falling over.”

“We had a talk about, ‘If you’re going to be a skater you have to get back up,’ and he did," she said. “He got right back out there."

Edmunds, a blogger, posted a YouTube video of Atticus and his dad’s “skating” that has more than 50,000 views.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The acclaimed HBO show Girls is back for a new season this month, but its biggest star will not being making press appearances due to a "chronic condition."

Lena Dunham took to Instagram Monday to write, "I just wanted to let you know that, while I am so excited for Girls to return on Feb 21, I won't be out and about doing press for the new season. As many of you know I have endometriosis, a chronic condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 women's reproductive health."

The writer and creator of the show, 29, added that she's going through a "rough patch" with the illness and that doctors told her to rest.

"That's a hard thing to do, but I'm trying, because all I want is to make season 6 of Girls the best one yet," she said.

According to the Mayo Clinic, endometriosis can result in "severe" pain and fertility problems due to tissue that grows outside the uterus instead of inside, which is normal in most women.

Usually, a star of a show would be on tour prior to the start of a new season, giving interviews and meeting with the media.

"So many women with this disease literally don't have the option of time off and I won't take it for granted," she added with the closing, "Back soon."

Dunham has starred on Girls since she helped create the show in 2012.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 





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