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TODAY

Katie Couric has dense breasts which meant a second screening was necessary to detect any abnormalities in her breasts.

The Former TODAY host shared her breast cancer diagnosis in an essay on her website on Sept. 28.

Couric said she was diagnosed with stage 1A breast cancer which means the cancer had not spread.

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The 65-year-old mom-of-2 underwent a lumpectomy (to remove the lump) in July and she began chemotherapy and radiation treatments to kill any remaining cancer cells.

"Because my breasts are dense, I routinely get an additional screening using a breast ultrasound," she wrote.

"The denser your breasts, the higher your risk of cancer. In 2019, the FDA proposed federal legislation that would make the language and guidance more specific, but the agency has been dragging its feet. Let's get a move on, folks," she added.

About half of American women over age 40 have dense breasts which show up as white on X-rays. Tumors and calcifications also show up as white on X-rays.

Fatty tissue shows up as grey on X-rays so tumors are easily detected.

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Women with dense breasts have more fibrous glandular tissue than fatty tissue. The high density can conceal even golf ball-sized tumors on 2D mammograms.

Annual 3D mammograms are recommended for women over 40 with dense breasts. 3D mammograms are more accurate in detecting cancer than 2D mammograms.

38 states have breast density reporting laws requiring doctors to provide women with a letter explaining their breast density. But the law is not a nationwide standard.

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"Having a national standard would help ensure every woman gets the most accurate information she needs after a mammogram," said Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

"The FDA is committed to improving mammography services for patients and working diligently to finalize the rule to amend the existing mammography regulations," Shauna Nelson, a spokesperson for the FDA, told TODAY in a statement on Sept. 28.

Breast cancer rates and other types of cancers have soared in the United States since 2020. Doctors aren't sure why.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month takes place in October. People with breasts should do a breast self-exam at least once a month to detect cancer early.

Watch the video below.
 

"Chicago Med" star Marlyne Barrett revealed she was diagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer.

The 44-year-old mother-of-two revealed her cancer diagnosis in an interview with PEOPLE.

Barrett's cancer journey began after a hernia repair in April She experienced shortness of breath and a buildup of fluid in her abdomen (ascites).

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Barrett, pictured in Monaco in June, said, "I had this accumulation of fluid [in my abdomen] that I couldn't shake. I looked like I was nine months pregnant. And I also had shortness of breath, but no pain, which was interesting."

A CT scan showed a football-sized tumor on her uterus and left ovary. Her doctor informed her of the findings on July 18.

"The initial experience was a shock, a shock to my womanhood," she said. "I didn't believe them, but when they showed me the CT scan, I went, 'Oh my word.' The first questions were, 'Am I going to live?' I just fell into my husband's arms. It still takes my breath away when I think about it."

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Barrett's cancer was diagnosed 3 years after her character Maggie Lockwood battled breast cancer on the fictional TV series.

"When my character went through breast cancer, I had a sea of people reach out to me through social media," she said. "They brought me courage, and so I felt a sense of inevitability to meet their hearts where they met me."

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Barrett began an aggressive course of chemotherapy before undergoing a hysterectomy. She lost most of her hair to the chemo, and she shaved off the rest.

"I didn't want to give the power to chemo," says Barrett. "My hair has always been an essence of beauty. But I took my own razor and I shaved my head. I did it in front of my babies so they'd see it was still Mommy. I wept, I wept, I wept. But it was a beautiful experience to do it in front of them."

Barrett shares 11-month-old twins, Joshuah-Jireh and Ahnne-N'Urya with her husband, pastor Gavin Barrett.

"I'm married to the most incredible man," she says. "I get pins and needles in my limbs from the chemo and he'll drop everything to give me food and hand massages. He's dropped everything just to give me love."

Watch the video below.
 

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Katie Couric announced her breast cancer diagnosis in an Instagram post on Wednesday. The veteran journalist revealed she was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump in her breast in June.

The 65-year-old mom-of-two underwent a lumpectomy in July and began chemotherapy and radiation treatments that ended last week.

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In a lengthy essay on her website titled "Why NOT Me?" Couric recalled the day she got her biopsy results.

"When I called back, Dr. Drossman picked up right away," Couric writes in the essay.

"'Your biopsy came back. It's cancer. You're going to be fine but we need to make a plan.' I felt sick and the room started to spin. I was in the middle of an open office, so I walked to a corner and spoke quietly, my mouth unable to keep up with the questions swirling in my head... What does this mean? Will I need a mastectomy? Will I need chemo? What will the next weeks, months, even years look like?"

She said her diagnosis brought back memories of her late husband Jay Monahan, who died from colon cancer in 1998.

"The heart-stopping, suspended animation feeling I remember all too well came flooding back: Jay's colon cancer diagnosis at 41 and the terrifying, gutting nine months that followed," she writes.

"My sister Emily's pancreatic cancer, which would later kill her at 54, just as her political career was really taking off. My mother-in-law Carol's ovarian cancer, which she was fighting as she buried her son, a year and nine months before she herself was laid to rest."

Couric urged women over 40 to get their yearly mammogram - preferably a 3D mammogram to decrease the chance of a call back.

"Please get your annual mammogram," Couric writes. "I was six months late this time. I shudder to think what might have happened if I had put it off longer. But just as importantly, please find out if you need additional screening."

BACKGRID

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a first-of-its-kind treatment for the skin condition vitiligo.

Model Winnie Harlow (pictured above) is among an estimated 1 million Americans living with vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder that destroys pigment cells in the body.

The FDA approved a drug called Opzelura, a topical skin cream that prevents the immune system from attacking pigment cells which give skin, hair and eyes their color.

GAMR / BACKGRID

"The medication helped stop the immune system from being too active and destroying the pigment cells in the body," said Dr. David Rosmarin, who led the clinical trials at Tufts Medical Center.

"One year of using the cream, about half the patients who use it will get 75% or more of their pigment back on the face and about half of the patients will get 50% or more of the pigment back on the whole body," Rosmarin said.

The prescription-only cream is approved for adults and children 12 years or older. The medication is safe and effective. Side effects are minimal.

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The Food & Drug Administration issued a warning about cooking chicken marinated in NyQuil.

The FDA says boiling or frying chicken marinated in Nyquil can be dangerous because heat increases the concentration of NyQuil's active ingredients.

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NyQuil chicken became a thing in February after a man shared his unusual NyQuil chicken recipe in a YouTube video.

The FDA issued a warning this week after children tested the recipe on TikTok and issued a challenge to other kids.

"The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing — and it is. But it could also be very unsafe," the FDA said. "Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don't eat the chicken, inhaling the medication's vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body."

NyQuil is a cold and flu medication that contains an antihistamine. DayQuil is the non-drowsy formula.

Parents are advised to keep prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication out of the reach of children. Parents should monitor their child's TikTok account for dangerous content.

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Public health officials and Democratic lawmakers criticized President Biden for saying the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

"The pandemic is over," Biden told "60 Minutes" in an interview that ran Sunday, Sept. 18.

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"We still have a problem with COVID. We're still doing a lotta work on it... but the pandemic is over," said Biden who twice tested positive for COVID in recent months.

"If you notice, no one's wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it's changing. And I think this [the Detroit Auto Show resuming] is a perfect example of it."

Public health officials scrambled to get the message out that the pandemic is not over and Americans should be getting vaccinated and receiving booster shots.

"The pandemic isn't over. And we will remain vigilant, and of course, we continue to look for and prepare for unforeseen twists and turns," said Ashish Jha, the White House's COVID-19 response coordinator.

Republicans applauded Biden's statement and said Americans are eager to move on from COVID.

"Now that the President has finally acknowledged the pandemic is over, he should immediately begin to unwind the public health emergency (PHE) so our country can get back to normal," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) said in a statement on Monday.

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Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts held back tears as she told fans she was taking time off from the show until September.

Robin's life partner, Amber Laign, was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2021.

Robin became teary-eyed during a GMA segment on ESPN sportscaster Dick Vitale, who is now cancer-free.

Robin said: "God Bless. All I can say is 'You're awesome, baby!' I got chills."

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She fought back tears as she discussed her partner Amber's fight with breast cancer: "I got a little teary-eyed because we're always texting back and forth and he asks about Amber."

In April 2021, Robin teamed up with iHEART Radio to launch the "COVID-19 Immunity in Our Community" podcast to help spread the word about getting the COVID mRNA vaccines.

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In January 2022, Robin tested positive for Covid-19. She said her flu-like symptoms were "mild" and she was grateful for the COVID vaccines.

In July, viewers said prayers for Amber when Robin announced her partner had completed her radiation treatment.

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Viewers were concerned when Robin didn't show up for work last Friday, amid rumors that Amber had taken a turn for the worse.

After Robin recited a prayer in an Instagram video on Wednesday, the 61-year-old anchor revealed that she is taking a break from the show until September. She didn't say when she will return in September.

"So, we are not going to be with you for a few mornings. In other words, see you in September," she sang.

Cancer rates are on the rise in America, according to health experts. The exact cause for the sharp increase in cancer rates among men, women and children is unknown.

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Kathy Griffin took to social media to beg her fans to interpret results of a CT scan of her chest when her doctor "ghosted" her after having one of her left lung lobes removed.

Griffin, 61, was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2021 and she has documented her cancer journey on social media.

On Monday, the comedian posted results of her recent CT scan both on her Twitter and Instagram accounts and begged her followers to translate the complex scan results.

Griffin complained that her doctor provided "sh*tty care" and "ghosted" her when she asked him to interpret the CT scan report.

She wrote:

"You guys, I don't really have an oncologist & the surgeon who removed half my lung ghosted me, but I think my #lungcancer scan is clean. So, since I can't get anyone on the phone out of my thousands of doctors to interpret this, I'm asking #CancerTwitter! Hey #oncology."

Her followers who have medical knowledge assured her that the scan is clean based on the first paragraph:

"Study result
Impression
Interval left upper lobectomy without recurrence or metastasis."

Translation: Post removal of upper left lung lobe without recurrence of cancer and without signs of cancer spread to lymph nodes or nearby organs.

The report also noted that her arteries and aorta are all normal size with no disease of the lymph nodes detected.

Dr. Jeffrey Swisher, MD, who did not treat Griffin, responded to her post, writing:

"Hey Kathy, the report looks great. But to be fully reassured, you really need to schedule an appointment with a pulmonary oncologist and have them look at the actual scan."

He also offered to help her find a new physician in the San Francisco area.

Griffin replied: "Thx Doc! I don't know one. I don't even have a pulmonologist. The dude I had is like 85 years old."

She later shared her requirements for her next pulmonologist:

"No more men. Not kidding. I'd prefer a female under 50. I'd love recommendations for Cedars, St Johns or UCLA! I've had s**tty care & it makes me extremely fearful and anxious."

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Keisha Lance Bottoms has tested positive for Covid-19 a second time in as many years.

The former Atlanta mayor, who is vaccinated and boosted, first tested positive for COVID in 2020.

After suffering with flu-like symptoms for 10 agonizing days, Bottoms announced she is recovering from COVID in a tweet on Monday.

"After 10 LONG days, I have finally tested negative for COVID. I was asymptotic [sic] in 2020 and have no underlying health conditions. This bout has had me down and out, with fever and sleeping for days on end."

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Bottoms, who now works for the Biden administration, begged her followers to get the same vaccine she got - which didn't prevent her from being infected twice.

"Please get vaccinated and boosted. The threat of this virus is still real," she wrote.

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Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced his intentions to step down as White House chief medical advisor in December. In retirement, he'll collect $350,000 a year.

Fauci previously stated he would retire in 2024. Then his boss, President Joe Biden, contracted COVID twice - after being vaccinated and boosted 4 times.

The sudden announcement led to speculation that Fauci is being shown the door after a series of spectacular missteps that shed doubt on the mRNA vaccination program in the US.

As of 2022, more than 174 million Americans are not vaccinated or boosted.

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CDC director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky announced a "shake-up" of the CDC after polling showed a majority of Americans lost trust in the public health agency.

Walensky admitted the CDC made some dramatic mistakes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walensky said the CDC's reorganizational changes will focus on sharing data more quickly and making public health guidance easier for people to understand.
 

Instagram model Gena Tew has regained some of her vision after going blind in one eye amid her battle with AIDS.

Gena tells TMZ, her vision is partially restored after she underwent a successful procedure on her eyes Thursday in Memphis.
 
RELATED: Instagram Model Gena Tew, 27, Reveals Battle with AIDS, Wasting Syndrome
 
Gena, 27, says before the surgery she was totally blind in her left eye, but she's already able to see some shapes. She has hopes her vision will be completely restored.

Cytomegalovirus retinitis causes vision loss and blindness in patients with AIDS. It is one of the AIDS-defining illnesses.

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Instagram, GoFundMe

Gena tells TMZ she weighed just 65 pounds at the peak of her illness, but she is slowly gaining weight thanks to her medication regimen and excellent medical care.

The model, who attended Hollywood parties with Nick Cannon, Chris Brown, and Chief Keef, said she informed her sex partners about her AIDS diagnosis and they all tested negative.

She refused to name her partners to protect their privacy, but she denied being intimate with Brown or Cannon.

Gena says she gave up hope when she was first diagnosed with AIDS. At the time, she didn't realize she had been living with AIDS for 10 years. She is sharing her story to inspire other young people who are diagnosed with the HIV virus.

Gena tells TMZ she is still receiving tons of support online, including a donation from R&B singer Ari Lennox via her GoFundMe page.

Watch the videos below.
 

 

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxed Covid-19 guidelines for unvaccinated people in a press release on Friday.

Unvaccinated people who are exposed to the coronavirus no longer need to quarantine, according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends people who are unvaccinated and exposed to Covid should wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on the fifth day.

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"This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives," Greta Massetti, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, said in a news release.

Additionally, people no longer need to stay six feet away from others, the agency said.

The news left vaccinated people outraged, as many vaccinated Americans have tested positive or fallen ill with the virus.

"I mean no one was following these regulations anyway," one Instagram user wrote.

Another person wrote: "people are still dying! Does that no longer matter?"

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President Joe Biden returned to Kaiwah Island in South Carolina for what the White House said was a "family vacation" at a $20 million estate.

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Biden, who was vaccinated and boosted four times, tested positive for Covid-19 twice recently.

Biden had a wet productive cough during two recent public appearances.

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Twitter

An HIV organization is showing support for Gena Tew, the Instagram model who learned she had AIDS after 10 years without testing.

The 27-year-old revealed her decade-long battle with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in a TikTok post.

In the video, Gena said she didn't know she had AIDS until a doctor told her after she complained of unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and extreme fatigue.

In an interview with TMZ, Gena said she's blind in one eye and she is unable to walk without assistance due to wasting syndrome, an AIDS-defined illness.

The model, who attended parties with Nick Cannon, Chris Brown, and Chief Keef, said she informed her sex partners about her diagnosis and they all tested negative.

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Instagram, GoFundMe

She refused to name them to protect their privacy, but she denied having sex with Brown or Cannon.

After reading about her situation, an HIV organization reached out to Gena on Twitter to offer support.

Let's Beehive is an Orlando-based organization that provides innovative HIV/AIDS health education workshops and prevention programs for children and adults to increase HIV awareness, according to their Twitter page.

Let's Beehive is an acronym that means "Let's Be HIV Educated." It is not associated with singer Beyonce's fanbase that calls themselves the "BeyHive."

The company tweeted:

"We are sending our love, thoughts, and prayers to @GenaTew. Thank you for your amazing courage and strength. You are not alone sis! Your story is increasing HIV awareness and helping more women and girls get tested and knowing their status. We are here for you [bee emoji] #letsbeehive [heart emoji]."

In a follow-up tweet, they wrote: "We love you @GenaTew. Don't let them #breakyoursoul. We are here for you! #letsbeehive."

The tweet referenced Beyonce's new single "Break My Soul" off her new album, Renaissance.

A GoFundMe account has raised over $10,000 for Gena's medical bills and to help her move closer to her late sister's family.

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President Joe Biden tested positive for Covid-19 again, he announced in a tweet on Saturday.

Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, days after he tested negative twice for the virus.

Biden, 79, says he has no symptoms, and he said he has a "rebound" case which he claims occurs "with a small minority of folks."

"I've got no symptoms but I am going to isolate for the safety of everyone around me," the tweet said. "I'm still at work, and will be back on the road soon."

Biden was vaccinated and boosted 4 times prior to testing positive for COVID twice in one month.

According to health experts, people with suppressed immune systems are re-infected in so-called "breakthrough" cases.

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Instagram, BACKGRID

An Instagram model's battle with AIDS leaves Chris Brown's fans worried about his health. Gena Tew, 27, shared a TikTok post detailing her battle with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Gena said she didn't know she had AIDS until a doctor informed her after she experienced unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting and extreme fatigue.

She tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and her weight loss was due to wasting syndrome - one of the so-called AIDS-defining illnesses. Her condition is so debilitating that she is unable to walk without assistance.

Gena believes she was infected with the HIV virus when she was 17. She doesn't know who infected her.

Gena was once a popular Instagram model who traveled in the same circles as hip-hop stars Chris Brown, Nick Cannon and KanYE West, among others.

According to public health officials, 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV or AIDS.

Doctors and coroners stopped listing AIDS as a cause of death in the mid-1990s due to the stigma. Which means the true number of AIDS-related deaths in America will probably never be known.

An Instagram model's battle with AIDS has shaken the hip-hop community. Gena Tew revealed her decade-long battle with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in a TikTok post.

In the video, Gena said she didn't know she had AIDS until she went to a doctor after experiencing unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and extreme fatigue.

She said the doctor tested her for HIV and the test came back positive. She was diagnosed with AIDS - the advanced stage of HIV infection. Her white blood cell count was low and she had wasting syndrome, also referred to as an "AIDS-defining illness."

Gena, 27, said she weighs just 70 pounds and is unable to walk without assistance.

The NY-based IG model and reality TV personality was once a regular at private parties thrown by Chris Brown, Nick Cannon, among others.

She said she doesn't know who infected her with the HIV virus.

Health officials urge celebrities who may have been intimate with Gena in the past to get HIV tested.

More than 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV. The cases are rising, particularly in San Francisco, NY and Atlanta, according to health officials.

Even though AIDS is the end stage of HIV infection, AIDS illnesses can be treated with HIV drugs, antivirals, antibiotics and antifungals.

Watch the videos below.