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August 5th, 2013
10:29 AM ET

Zoraida's Conversation with Her Kids about Breast Cancer

Telling your kids about being diagnosed with cancer is no easy task.

“Early Start” anchor Zoraida Sambolin was faced with that difficult task when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent a double mastectomy in May.

Sambolin says, “The first thought I had when I was diagnosed with cancer was this, ‘How will I tell my kids?’” 

She has two children she had to break the news to: Nico, 14, and Sofia, 10.

“Once he knew, my son became one of 2.85 million U.S. children sharing their parents' fight against cancer,” Sambolin says.

He reached out to his friends Kyle and Miles for support, and was himself supportive of his mother the entire time.

“Nico's was the last familiar face I saw before surgery,” Sambolin says. “And the first when I came out.”

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Filed under: Breast cancer • Health • Medical
June 13th, 2013
07:59 AM ET

10 year old recovering from transplant surgery in ICU – Jason Carroll has the latest

Today Sarah Murnaghan begins a brand new chapter in her young life. The 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl received a new set of lungs yesterday in a transplant operation.

Those lungs that came from an adult donor, made possible when the age restrictions for transplants were lifted this week, but only for one year.

Doctors call Sarah's prognosis good. CNN's Jason Carroll is in Philadelphia with the latest.

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Filed under: Children • Health • Medical
June 3rd, 2013
08:47 AM ET

10-year-old girl denied lung transplant – CNN's Susan Candiotti reports

10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan of Pennsylvannia has end-stage Cystic Fibrosis. She may only have a few weeks to live and desperately needs a lung transplant. Due to her age, federal guidelines prevent her from recieving a transplant.

Read more: Family of girl desperate for transplant says she can't wait for policy to change

Filed under: Cystic Fibrosis • Medical
May 21st, 2013
06:53 AM ET

Injuries may result in 'major trauma' in aftermath of Oklahoma tornado- Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen reports

CNN has the latest developments on the deadly tornado that struck an area outside Oklahoma City yesterday. Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains the minor and major injuries people may be facing in the wake of the devastation. "About half of the injuries are going to be from flying debris," she says, "especially wood." Then "much of the rest would be people who were actually hit by the tornado, where the tornado actually lifted them up, dropped them down."

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Filed under: Emergency rescue • Medical • storm • Tornado
March 15th, 2013
07:32 AM ET

Moms say two ingredients in Kraft Mac and Cheese pose potential health risk – Elizabeth Cohen investigates

A health story that has two moms are taking on food giant Kraft. They started a petition online calling on Kraft to remove two ingredients from its "Mac and Cheese," a  staple in the diets of thousands of children. These mom food bloggers say the ingredients that give it its bright yellow food color are dangerous.

Now more than 220-thousand people have signed on, asking Kraft to take out the artificial colorings yellow #5 and yellow #6. They point to studies linking artificial food colorings to hyperactivity in children, and cancer in mice. Kraft has already removed them for the European versions of the popular food. Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth investigates the story.

The science behind the findings is inconclusive, Cohen reports. “There was a study done in England where they gave some kids food with these dyes in it and then gave some kids food without," Cohen explains. "And they said that they then observed that the kids who had the dyes were more hyperactive." This resulted in the ban in the United Kingdom. But other scientists claim it wasn't well done study, because the hyperactivity could have been due to other ingredients.

Cohen advises concerned parents to make their own decision or their own mac and cheese.

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Filed under: Food safety • Health • Health care • Medical
March 11th, 2013
07:47 AM ET

Actress Valerie Harper diagnosed with rare form of brain cancer – Elizabeth Cohen breaks it down

Actress Valerie Harper, best known for her days on the hit shows "Rhoda" and The Mary Tyler Moore Show has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called that's affecting her brain. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains exactly what her rare condition is and what Harper is facing.

“This is not a tumor,” Cohen says. Loose cells in Harper’s spinal fluid are affecting her meninges, or the covering over the brain. "There are not a lot of great treatments for this," Cohen says.

CNN is told Harper is receiving chemotherapy. Doctors say "chemotherapy in this case, isn't really done to prolong life," but will help control pain and seizures for the time being, Cohen says. It may prolong life by a few weeks, but not by a lot. “She was told by her doctors [she has] about three months,” Cohen says. “It’s really a terrible, terrible form of cancer.”

Meanwhile, Harper is staying strong, appearing on talk shows to raise awareness about her illness with some inspiring words.

March 6th, 2013
07:37 AM ET

CDC warns about drug-resistant 'nightmare' bug CRE – Elizabeth Cohen reports

There's a new bacteria that medical professionals are worried could become a 'nightmare.' It's called CRE, a form of bacteria that is "impervious to a lot of antibiotics," and "is on the rise," Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen reports.

A report from the CDC says that in 2012, 200 hospitals and long-term care facilities had at least one incidence of this bacteria, Cohen reports. “It is spread, basically, by the hands of people who work in hospitals,” she says.

Cohen explains how you can protect yourself as a patient, starting with asking doctors and nurses to clean their hands and cleaning your own hands.

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Filed under: Health • Medical
January 14th, 2013
08:06 AM ET

VIDEO: NYC Health Commissioner Farley says city should expect 'several more weeks' of flu

A national flu epidemic continues to hit hard throughout the country with “widespread activity” in 47 states. New York is one of those states. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state public health emergency over the weekend.

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley comes to "Early Start" with more on how the city is preparing for flu patients.

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Filed under: Flu • Medical
January 14th, 2013
07:51 AM ET

Flu outbreak in 47 states as people scramble for vaccine – Elizabeth Cohen reports

CNN continues to follow the miserable flu outbreak that is weighing down on the country. The CDC says the flu is now widespread in all states except California, Mississippi, and Hawaii. New York Governor Cuomo even declared a public health emergency this weekend. CNN Sr. Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the latest on the flu and what health officials mean when they call it an "epidemic."

“Basically, people are getting sick and dying from the flu in certain numbers,” Cohen explains. “When those numbers get high enough, we call it an epidemic.” But Cohen urges not to focus on that word. “Nearly every year there is an epidemic.”

Cohen also explains the significance of Governor Cuomo’s announcement. He’s also telling pharmacies that they can vaccinate kids, while in other years they have to go to their doctors for that. Still, pharmacies are choosing not to vaccinate children. “We put out...many phone calls to, pharmacies in New York, and the pharmacies we called, none of them are offering shots to kids,” Cohen says. In addition, these same pharmacies said they didn't really have enough even for adults.

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Filed under: Epidemic • Flu • Medical
January 11th, 2013
07:33 AM ET

Flu outbreak worsens; National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci explains

CNN is reporting brand new information on the rising flu influenza in the United States. Six more states are reporting widespread activity—that brings the total to 47 states, up from 41 the week before.

The Minnesota Health Department says 27 people have died from flu-related complications. South Carolina reports 22 flu-related deaths this season compared to one for all of 2011. Pennsylvania is also reporting 22 deaths, and six people are reported dead in Illinois. Eight are reported dead in Oklahoma, 15 are reported in Indiana, 7 in Arkansas and 18 flu related deaths in Massachusetts.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. He joins “Early Start” live from NIH headquarters in Bethesda, MD this morning with more on the nature of this outbreak.

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Filed under: Flu • Medical
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