Personal Health: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Statins
Are you among the 73 million Americans with cholesterol levels that current guidelines suggest should be lowered by taking a statin for the sake of your cardiovascular well-being? Have you and your doctor discussed the pros and cons of statin therapy and whether it is appropriate for your circumstances?
If not, now is the time to do so. Too often, patients are given a prescription with little or no discussion of what the drug can mean for their health, and that affects their willingness to take it or stay on it.
Maybe you’ve already been prescribed a statin and are among the 45 percent of such patients who never took the medication or who abandoned it within six months, perhaps because you’ve heard scary stories about possible side effects.
Was the statin, I wondered, and not my age, the reason I was finding it harder to cycle, walk and swim? Could this otherwise valuable medication contribute to my back pain?
“A person’s expectation of the effects of statins can result in the experience of symptoms and relating those symptoms to the drug,” Dr. Martin explained. Thus, I may feel better without the statin even if the drug is not responsible for my symptoms. Regardless of the outcome, I expect to return to the statin lest I succumb to a “premature” heart attack, as my father and grandfather did.
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Furthermore, people correctly regard “risk” as a possibility, not a probability, and vary in the degree of risk they are willing to tolerate. One chance in 100 may be acceptable to one person, while another may regard one chance in 1,000 as too risky.
Let’s say your risk is 19 percent. That means among 100 people with similar risk factors, 19 are likely to have a heart attack or stroke within the next decade. Is that a risk you’re willing to take? Or would you rather reduce your risk by a third by taking a statin? Only you can make that determination, and it should be based on a full understanding of the known benefits and risks of statins, not something you may have heard from a friend or read online.
But the label doesn’t state how rarely such problems occur, and reading the list of possibilities could scare off some people, especially those already timid about taking a lifelong drug.
The longer someone is on statin therapy, the greater the reduction in the risk of a cardiovascular event. The drug works primarily by lowering blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol that can otherwise collect inside arteries that feed the heart and brain. It also helps to stabilize existing plaque, lowering the chances that a chunk will break loose and trigger a heart attack or stroke. There are also several different statins available that vary in potency and side effects, and all leading brands are now available as inexpensive generics.
April 16, 2018
Sources: New York Times
have revealed 12 ways they can boost their fertilities. </p><p>Although it may seem obvious, Dr Phil Boyle, a consultant in reproductive medicine at the Neo Fertility, Dublin, urges couples to stay sexually active, adding being intimate at least twice a week is the best way hopeful parents can improve their pregnancy prospects.</p><p>They also advise women take supplements, such as iron and zinc, which help to ensure adequate blood flow to egg cells.</p><p>For women over 30, experts have revealed 12 ways they can boost their fertilities (stock)</p><p>Here’s a biological fact: age is the biggest factor influencing your fertility, but your diet and lifestyle also play a key role, especially if you’re over 30. </p><p>We’ve talked to leading experts to find out what can help you increase your fertility.</p><p>If you talk to medics about female fertility most will cite facts about a woman’s declining fertility after she hits 30.</p><p>‘The best way to future-proof your fertility is to have your children in your 20s and early 30s, and accept you may not conceive if you leave it until later,’ says Dr Boyle.</p><p>‘Just know that and decide where life’s priorities lie for you and make an informed decision. The single biggest factor to predict ability to conceive is female age.’</p><p>But while most recent figures in 2016 from the Office of National Statistics reports that the average age women have their first baby in Britain is 28.8 and a heartening 54 percent of babies born in Britain were to women who were 30 or older. </p><p>Stated in another report is that almost a quarter of children in 2016 were born to mothers aged 35 and up.</p><p>So, while we can’t escape or reverse our biological clocks, experts also agree that there are certain lifestyle and diet measures you can take to help your fertility ‘fitness’ to increase your chances of conception when you are ready.</p><p>‘Remaining fit and healthy, not smoking or taking illicit drugs, having only modest alcohol and caffeine, regular sexual health check ups to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and minimal stress will all help, but age is still key,’ says Dr Boyle.</p><p>‘There are many misconceptions around male fertility, namely, that men tend to think they will be able to conceive forever,’ says Dr Boyle. </p><p>‘But after the age of 40, the quality of men’s sperm declines and older men trying for a baby may experience low sperm count, poor mobility and damage to DNA. </p><p>'It’s important for men to understand the importance of having good quality sperm for a healthy pregnancy and lifestyle affects this.’</p><p>With that in mind, Healthista quizzed the experts on the specific things you can do to help maintain your fertility.</p><p>When thinking about having a baby, many of us think it should happen the minute we start trying. </p><p>While one in four couples aged 28 and up experience difficulties when trying to conceive, evidence suggests if they keep trying it will get better. </p><p>‘On average, half of couples who have not conceived in 12 months will conceive in the next 12 months,’ says Dr Boyle. </p><p>‘That’s higher than what most fertility clinics achieve. So, it might be advisable to wait two years before considering fertility treatment.’</p><p>You can get ovulation predictor kits from pharmacies that analyse levels of luteinising hormone (LH) and tell you when you’re most likely to ovulate, says pharmacist Laura Dowling. </p><p>‘These can be really useful for women with irregular cycles to know when is the right time to have sex.’ </p><p>Still, it’s not really advisable (or very sexy) to only stick to times when you’re ovulating to have sex. </p><p>‘Have sex every two to three days throughout your cycle for the best chances of getting pregnant,’ says Dowling.</p><p>Experts urge women to take supplements to boost their hopes of conceiving (stock)</p><p>Your body’s fertility potential is influenced by biological factors only your doctor can test for. </p><p>Abnormal bleeding, poor quality cervical mucus, irregular cycles, blocked fallopian tubes and painful periods might all influence your fertility both short and long-term, Dr Boyle says. </p><p>Talk to your GP to ensure that you don’t need treatment.</p><p>If you’re still eating processed foods full of junk fats, stop. If not for your waistline, then for the sake of your long-term fertility. </p><p>‘Male and female hormones are made up of fat. Cell membranes are made up of fats consumed through diet,’ says Godkin.</p><p>‘If we consume too many trans-fats, found in margarine, donuts, cakes, biscuits as well as some pizza and chips, they may interfere with the delicate signalling that occurs on these membranes.’</p><p>'Possibly the biggest anti-nutrient consumed is alcohol,’ says Godkin. </p><p>‘It’s detrimental to both sperm health and female eggs, and in excess can create havoc on the very delicate female hormone system.’ </p><p>Male sperm is particularly affected by the amount of alcohol consumed, she explains. </p><p>‘This is because alcohol disrupts blood glucose levels and excess circulating glucose both damages sperm cells and destroys a vital B vitamin called folate (see below).’</p><p>Doesn’t sound like much fun does it? But there are very real reasons why too much caffeine has been shown to lower your chances of getting pregnant. </p><p>‘Whilst you might find a cup of coffee comforting, drinking excess caffeine can increase the production of the stress hormone adrenaline,’ says Godkin. </p><p>‘High levels of circulating adrenaline can interfere with the intrauterine environment, egg quality and male-sperm production, and also depletes the body of many essential nutrients such as vitamin C, B and magnesium. </p><p>'Women in particular tend to be more sensitive to caffeine and caffeinated products. </p><p>'Drinking caffeine and sugar-laden caffeinated drinks may further increase their production of adrenaline. </p><p>'If trying to conceive it is best to avoid or reduce your coffee consumption to one weak coffee a day and to eliminate caffeinated sugary drinks from your diet.’</p><p>When you’re trying to conceive or if you’re trying to prolong your fertility until you’re ready, getting the right vitamins and nutrients is essential. </p><p>‘Nutrition is essential for conception,’ says Dr Boyle. ‘Zinc, selenium, folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin D, omega-3 fish oils and antioxidants are all important.’</p><p>Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in the body during conception and preconception, says Godkin. </p><p>‘For example, B6 contributes to the regulation of hormonal activity while folic acid contributes to normal maternal tissue growth during pregnancy.</p><p>‘For men, diet and nutrients are a key way to influence sperm quality,’ Godkin continues. </p><p>‘Choose foods high in antioxidants especially brightly coloured fruit and vegetables which are packed full of antioxidants – beetroot, berries, orange and red vegetables are particularly good.’ </p><p>For men, selenium contributes to the normal creation of sperm, Godkin asserts, and the best sources are Brazil nuts, fish and potatoes fortified with selenium.</p><p>Alcohol, which one expert described as 'the biggest anti-nutrient' should be avoided (stock)</p><p>‘Zinc contributes to normal fertility and reproduction,’ Says Godkin. </p><p>‘Men need to produce between 40 and 300 milllion sperm cells to be fertile. </p><p>'Increasing zinc levels in men has been shown to improve the structure and function of male sperm, enhancing the mobility, motility and strength needed to make the long journey through the female for fertilisation to take place.’</p><p>For women, zinc is also an essential fertility nutrient. </p><p>But while it’s abundant in fish and in particular lamb, beef, shellfish and oysters, as well as pumpkin seeds, nuts and meat, it can be in short supply in the modern diet if you consume a lot of processed foods. </p><p>‘Exposure to stress, pollution and cigarette smoke can also deplete our bodies of essential zinc supplies,’ says Godkin. </p><p>‘Overheating food can also deplete its nutritional content.’</p><p>Red blood cells deliver oxygen to the cells of the body, which includes the ovaries. </p><p>If they receive insufficient oxygen and iron the eggs can become less viable, says Godkin. </p><p>In fact, studies have shown that lack of iron can cause anovulation, which is when a woman doesn’t ovulate as her egg may be in poor health. </p><p>‘Rich food sources of iron include, lambs liver, red meat, fish,’ says Godkin. </p><p>‘Vegetarians and vegans may need to keep a constant check on their iron levels to support conception.’</p><p>Okay, so you’re avoiding the bad fats, but you absolutely have to get good fats into you, namely, those rich in omega-3 fatty acids. </p><p>‘Omega-3 is an essential fat,’ says Godkin. ‘The body can’t make its own omega-3 fats, so it needs to get them from your diet. </p><p>'Omega-3s are found in oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, anchovies, salmon and trout. </p><p>'However, it’s advisable to avoid tuna in the preconception period and during the pregnancy as it contains high levels of mercury.’</p><p>Godkin said: ‘For women it is particularly important to have the right amount of folate in your body before trying for a baby. </p><p>'The recommendation is three months before conception — the length of time needed to achieve the necessary level in the body.</p><p>‘Green leafy vegetables contain high levels of folate but nutrients can be lost through cooking which is why supplementation is necessary.’</p><p>Here’s the biology: Women are born with a set number of eggs in the ovaries. </p><p>Over the years the quantity and quality of the eggs will deplete. </p><p>While we cannot do anything about the amount of eggs remaining in our ovaries, we can support the development of those egg follicles as they mature. </p><p>‘An immature egg takes three to four months to mature before finally being released during ovulation,’ says Godkin. </p><p>‘The environment that this egg is immersed in influences the health and quality of the egg.</p><p>'Changes to diet and lifestyle during this time frame may make a difference to the health and quality of the egg follicles giving you a higher chance of conception. </p><p>'Improving diet and nutrient intake is also paramount to enhancing the circulation of nutrient-rich blood to the ovaries to support egg quality.’ </p><p>Dr Boyle suggests women should be looking for a supplement with B vitamins, magnesium and folic acid, whilst men should ensure they are boosting the quality of their sperm with zinc, selenium and arginine. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. 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ly to have lower IQs, new research suggests. </p><p>As rates of depression soar ever-higher in the US, proactively combating and treating even low-grade depression in mothers may help curtail the burden of the mental illness for future generations, the study suggests. </p><p>IQs among the children of mothers with depression were six percent lower than those of other children, extending from infancy to their teenage years </p><p>Around one in 10 women will suffer depression at some point.</p><p>Once treated as an isolated and internal mental illness, recent developments in depression research continually uncover its public health implications. </p><p>We have long known that when a mother has postpartum depression, her children are at greater risks of cognitive, speech and developmental delays and even behavioral disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). </p><p>The cause behind this is unclear, however. Some suggests that mothers' hormonal changes may influence the brain development of their babies to lead this, while others suggest they may be more behavioral. </p><p>As children get older, however, and their mothers' depression persists, the possible ways that a mother's depression could slow their learning are more clear. </p><p>Play and interaction are key catalysts for learning and neural connections as children's brains are developing, and often their mothers are their first and most frequent playmates. </p><p>But one among depression's hallmark symptoms are a sense of isolation and disinterest in otherwise enjoyable activities. </p><p>So it stands to reason that a mother struggling with depression might be less apt to play with and therefore stimulate her child's mind. </p><p>To test this theory, researchers surveyed around 900 healthy children and their mothers living in Santiago, Chile, at five-year intervals from the child's infancy through to the age of 16.</p><p>They observed how affectionate and responsive mothers were to their children at each age period, as well as how much mothers provided age-appropriate learning materials.</p><p>Children were assessed on verbal cognitive abilities using standardized IQ tests during each assessment. Mothers were tested for symptoms of depression.</p><p>Dr Patricia East, a research scientist at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, said: 'We found that mothers who were highly depressed didn't invest emotionally or in providing learning materials to support their child, such as toys and books, as much as mothers who were not depressed.</p><p>'This, in turn, impacted the child's IQ at ages one, five, 10 and 16,' she said. </p><p>'The consistency and longevity of these results speak to the enduring effect that depression has on a mother's parenting and her child's development,' Dr East added.</p><p>On a scale from one to 19, the average verbal IQ score for all children in the study at age 5 was 7.64.</p><p>Children who had severely depressed mothers were found to have an average verbal IQ score of 7.30 compared to a score of 7.78 in children without depressed mothers.</p><p>Dr East said: 'Although seemingly small, differences in IQ from 7.78 to 7.30 are highly meaningful in terms of children's verbal skills and vocabulary.</p><p>'Our study results show the long term consequences that a child can experience due to chronic maternal depression.'</p><p>Throughout the study, at least half of the mothers were determined to be depressed based on a questionnaire with questions such as 'Are you sad?' and 'Do you find yourself crying?'</p><p>Dr East said: 'For mothers in the study, there were many stressors in their lives.</p><p>'Most of the mothers, while literate, had only nine years of education, were not employed outside the home and often lived with extended family in small, crowded homes - factors that likely contributed to their depression.</p><p>'Many mothers suffer from depression in the first six months after childbirth, but for some, depression lingers.'</p><p>Dr East said data from the study suggested about one in five mothers who are severely depressed when their child turns one remain depressed for a long time.</p><p>She added: 'For health care providers, the results show that early identification, intervention and treatment of maternal depression are key.</p><p>'Providing resources to depressed mums will help them manage their symptoms in a productive way and ensure their children reach their full potential.'</p><p>The findings, published in the journal Child Development, may not be fully scalable to mothers in the US, but they underscore the disproportionate ways that depression may burden not only lower-income, less-educated mothers, but their children as well.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. 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lished on April 8, The New York Times invited readers to describe their experiences coming off the drugs. More than 8,800 people responded — teenagers, college students, new mothers, empty-nesters retirees.</p><p>Readers described their withdrawal experiences; people who wanted to stop the drugs and had succeeded or failed.</p><p>Dozens did write in to say the drugs had been lifesaving, literally so. “You fail to acknowledge that mood disorders can be lifelong, debilitating diseases requiring lifelong medical treatment,” wrote Rachel S., of New York.</p><p>A different kind of reader query would likely have attracted thousands of responses of gratitude for drugs that offered relief to tens of millions of people with chronic mood problems. Some doctors chimed in, too, more than one calling our focus on withdrawal irresponsible and unduly alarming to those who might benefit from antidepressants.</p><p>The volume and diversity of the other responses painted a different picture, showing how modern antidepressants, beginning with Prozac in 1987, have percolated through our culture and have shaped public understanding of mental health. These stories traced sharp demographic fault lines: Readers of different generations came to antidepressants, and tried to quit them, for different reasons.</p><p>Readers in my age group and older (I’m 58) often came of age in an era in which depression was considered somehow a lapse in character. These readers typically reported having started on Prozac or one of its early competitors — Paxil, Zoloft — very often after a major setback like divorce, or the loss of a job, spouse or child.</p><p>“My G.P. put me on Zoloft 28 years ago to deal with my husband’s cancer diagnosis,” wrote Carole Wilson, 74, of Alburnett, Iowa. Her husband has since died. “I have cut down from 200 milligrams to 100, but when I go lower I get horrible side effects, like nausea, jumpiness, crying a lot which I never do. I’m nearly 75; at this point I will continue because I cannot go through the withdrawal.”</p><p>James Midkiff, 75, of Vienna, W.V., wrote: “I was sole caretaker for my dying wife and was a law enforcement officer and under a great deal of stress.” Mr. Midkiff said he tapered off Lexapro gradually, about a month ago, “but I am having withdrawal symptoms of shaking, panic attacks, flulike symptoms, nausea, fatigue, night sweats, tingling and numbness in the arms and legs. I am determined to get off antidepressant drugs; however it is disheartening to note that other folks are still having withdrawal symptoms after a year.”</p><p>Hundreds of others, in their 60s and 70s, told us similar stories about starting a prescription in the wake of terrible loss. The drugs helped ease the emotional turmoil initially, many said.</p><p>Their reasons for wanting to stop taking them were rooted in part in the understanding that antidepressants were supposed to be a short-term solution, a bridge over troubled waters. But by the mid-1990s, drug makers had convinced government regulators that when taken long-term, the medications sharply reduced the risk of relapse in people with chronic, recurrent depression.</p><p>Thus began the era of indefinite or open-ended prescribing, and not just for the most severe cases of depression. The change in practice roughly coincided with the promotion of the “chemical imbalance” theory of depression: Marketers and some researchers implied that antidepressants corrected deficits in brain levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter.</p><p>In truth, the theory has scant basis. No one knows the underlying biology of depression or any mood disorder. But that shift — along with a change in federal regulations, in 1997, allowing drug makers to advertise directly to consumers — helped undermine the stigma associated with depression and mood disorders generally.</p><p>Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder came out of the closet, if gingerly, and the generation that came of age during this time — people now in their 40s, give or take — did so in a culture that no longer automatically presumed that depression was a character flaw.</p><p>The condition had some biological basis, it was felt, and antidepressants became a vastly popular option. Everyone knew someone taking them. Long-term prescription rates surged.</p><p>In their responses to us, many readers in this age group were much more likely than older readers to cite specific psychiatric diagnoses: social anxiety, panic disorder, PTSD, as well as depression. And their decisions to taper off were less tied to the presumption that the drugs are short-term bridges; most cited practical concerns like lingering side effects (sexual dysfunction is common, as is weight gain), pregnancy or the passing of postpartum despair.</p><p>“When I became pregnant I chose to stop taking Effexor because I was uncomfortable using it during pregnancy,” wrote Katie Slattery, 39, of Orlando, Fla. “When I stopped cold turkey, I felt extremely unwell and had to go back on and wean off slowly. I would break open my pill capsules and reduce my dose by one milligram at a time every couple of days. It was a lengthier process, but it prevented the dizziness, headache and fogginess I felt when I originally stopped the medication.”</p><p>Amy Cannon, 42, of Philadelphia wrote: “I started taking Zoloft after experiencing moderate postpartum depression, and after about a year I felt my symptoms weren’t as severe.” But she had “brain zaps” — electric-shock sensations in her head — and mood swings after trying to quit cold turkey, so she resumed taking the drug.</p><p>Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.</p><p>“Eventually I was able to wean down slowly without severe consequences, but it took six months and was still really unpleasant.” Nonetheless, she said that she was very grateful that the drugs were available when she needed them.</p><p>Women taking antidepressants who become pregnant, or are planning to, often prefer not to expose the developing fetus to any prescriptions. The evidence that exposure in utero causes problems for a child is fairly weak.</p><p>And untreated depression poses risks indeed, both before birth and after, when the child needs an energetic, vigilant caregiver.</p><p>As the stigma associated with mood disorders faded, so too did the social barriers to taking a daily prescription. By 2000, when doctors began prescribing antidepressants to children, prevailing views were vastly different from those of the first Prozac generation.</p><p>Nearly 1,000 young people in their 20s or younger responded the The Times’s invitation. They did not come of age during the rise of long-term use — their parents did, and often it was their parents who decided the medications could help them.</p><p>Many told us they were too young to know what the drugs were at the time, and didn’t learn until much later. As they enter high school and college, their understanding of the prescription culture is far different from that of generations before.</p><p>For one thing, many of their friends have been on antidepressants or other psychiatric medications for long periods. “I live in a college house of six girls, two of whom are on antidepressants,” wrote Julian O., 21, of Seattle.</p><p>“When brought up in conversation, the medications are discussed with vanity, as if they are veterans trying out the newest medication prescribed to them.”</p><p>Emma Dreyfus, 28, of Boston, said the “one mistake her parents had made” was putting her on Paxil at age 10 to treat anxiety. She weaned herself off slowly at age 23.</p><p>“I don’t blame them, but I wish we’d all understood the long-term effects.” She said she is starting graduate work in the fall, in social work, to help others facing similar challenges.</p><p>Others in this youngest cohort wondered about the effect of the medications on brain development; the drugs cause biological adjustments in the brain, but so do persistent mood problems.</p><p>For now, no one has good answers for them. The drugs are a brand new cultural development, historically speaking, and their diffuse biological effects — especially in the developing brain — are largely unknown.</p><p>Whatever their ages, all of us are part of Generation Rx — a huge, uncontrolled experiment with little precedent and few guideposts.</p><p>Josephine Sedgwick, Nancy Wartik and Marie Tessier contributed reporting from New York.</p>
was the best decision of her life after she lost 4st (56lbs) in weight and became a champion triathlete. </p><p>Hannah Moore, 21, was wheelchair-bound after a routine procedure for an ingrown toenail triggered a poorly understand condition that left her in agonising pain.</p><p>She claims her Complex Regional Pain Syndrome caused an infection, which turned her foot black and led to her fighting for her life in hospital after it triggered sepsis.</p><p>And since the life-changing surgery, Miss Moore, who now weighs 8st 7lbs (119lbs), has gone from strength to strength, becoming a super-fit triathlete. </p><p>She is now aiming to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 and has been fitted with a revolutionary prosthetic cycling leg to help propel her to a gold medal.</p><p>Hannah Moore, 21, who paid £5,000 to have her leg amputated, said it was the best decision of her life after she lost 4st (56lbs) in weight and became a champion triathlete</p><p>Miss Moore said: 'I have achieved so much more than I ever thought I would and this is just the beginning which is very exciting' (pictured before her weight loss)</p><p>Speaking about her decision to have her right leg amputated for the first time, Miss Moore said: 'Since having my amputation I’ve never felt sorry for myself.</p><p>'It’s all been about making the most out of situation showing to myself as much as anyone that a "disability" doesn’t have to define what you can and can’t do.</p><p>'I have achieved so much more than I ever thought I would and this is just the beginning which is very exciting.' </p><p>Miss Moore's new custom-made £10,000 'cycling leg' has been designed by leading prosthetics firm Dorset Orthopaedic.</p><p>The light-weight carbon-fibre limb clips directly to the pedal meaning no power is lost when she pushes down.</p><p>As well as enabling her to transfer more power to the bike, her new leg also provides her with far greater stability when going around corners.</p><p>Before, she used a normal prosthetic leg for the cycling part of the triathlon, which was attached to a trainer strapped to the pedal and was wobbly.</p><p>And since the life-changing surgery, Miss Moore, who now weighs 8st 7lbs (119lbs), has gone from strength to strength, becoming a super-fit triathlete</p><p>She claims her Complex Regional Pain Syndrome caused an infection, which turned her foot black and led to her fighting for her life in hospital after it triggered sepsis</p><p>Miss Moore said the new leg should give her an edge over competitors. She said: 'Having my leg amputated was the best decision I’ve ever made. </p><p>'The things I have achieved I would never have without this operation. I am a British champion and now my dream is to compete in Tokyo.</p><p>'The custom-made cycling leg is designed to be aerodynamic.'</p><p>She added: 'It is a lot lighter than the leg I was previously using and because it attaches to the pedal there is a lot more power transfer.</p><p>'With my normal leg there is a lot of movement in it so some of the power gets lost.</p><p>'It feels amazing, really different, so much more comfortable and I have so much more balance going around corners.' </p><p>Miss Moore will remove the artificial limb and replace it with a blade for the running part of a triathlon.</p><p>Matthew Hughes, a prosthetist at Dorset Orthopaedic, said the streamlined design should help her improve her times on the bike.</p><p>He said: 'Our design will help her generate more power and improve her times.</p><p>She is now aiming to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020 and has been fitted with a revolutionary prosthetic cycling leg to help propel her to a gold medal</p><p>Speaking about her decision to have her right leg amputated for the first time, Miss Moore said: 'Since having my amputation I’ve never felt sorry for myself'</p><p>Complex Regional Pain Syndrome usually develops after an injury, often a minor injury.</p><p>The pain is often unconnected to the seriousness of the injury and can be out of all proportion from what the sufferer would expect.</p><p>The condition is little-understood, but some medical experts think it is caused by damage to the nervous system, which causes nerves to misfire in some way, triggering pain.</p><p>If left untreated the pain can spread to other parts of the body too.</p><p>Some sufferers have repeated episodes of pain followed by stretches of pain-free remission.</p><p>It can be treated by physiotherapy, to prevent muscle wasting, certain types of painkillers and counselling to help people cope with the chronic pain. </p><p>'The science behind the shape of the leg is to make it more aerodynamic and we have used a pre-pregnated carbon fibre which hasn’t been used for cycling legs before.</p><p>'There should be better power transfer and stability when she is pushing down on the pedals.</p><p>'Hannah should be proud of the progress she has made in such a short space of time.' </p><p>Miss Moore was a 15-year-old national karate champion when she underwent a routine procedure for an ingrowing toenail.</p><p>However, it triggered the rare Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), which blighted her life for the next four years.</p><p>She suffered with severe pain and swelling and the blood vessels in her right foot became infected, which then triggered sepsis - a violent immune response.</p><p>Ulcers formed on her foot and despite over 50 operations and numerous skin grafts they would not heal. The situation got so bad that she was left wheelchair-bound.</p><p>At that point, Miss Moore made the tough decision to have her right leg amputated to stop the pain even though she was told there was no guarantee it would work.</p><p>The NHS refused to carry out the amputation since it was not their recommended treatment for CRPS and it argued she would still be in pain afterwards.</p><p>Miss Moore's new custom-made £10,000 'cycling leg' has been designed by leading prosthetics firm Dorset Orthopaedic</p><p>The light-weight carbon-fibre limb clips directly to the pedal meaning no power is lost when she pushes down</p><p>But other surgeons claimed there was a chance the operation could take away her pain so her family paid privately for the procedure in July 2016.</p><p>The gamble paid off as the Yeovil College student is no longer in pain and is the fittest she has been in her life.</p><p>Last August, she became the British PTS4 Paratriathlon Champion and she will begin a sports and exercise degree at Loughborough University later this year.</p><p>She said: 'I started training three months after the amputation and obviously started off really slowly and have just built on that over time.</p><p>'I did wheelchair racing before I had my leg amputated and I knew a few people who did triathlon through that, I’d always wanted to try it but I never could when I had my leg.</p><p>'The variety of training for three sports I found very appealing.</p><p>'For me the hardest times were before having my amputation as I was having operations almost every week in London and the pain was so wearing.' </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
going grueling jaw-reconstruction surgery last December.</p><p>Holly Everson-Bullock's underbite jutted out more than one centimetre for 10 years, causing her to endure cruel bullying at school.</p><p>As well as having a huge impact on her confidence, the condition also made it difficult for Ms Everson-Bullock, 21, from Gloucester, to speak or eat due to her mouth not closing properly.</p><p>After having braces fitted to align her teeth, Ms Everson-Bullock 'cried with happiness' when her dentist said she was finally ready for surgery.</p><p>Although it took months for the swelling to go down, with Ms Everson-Bullock being unable to eat solid food or talk for six weeks, she says she 'finally has her smile back'.</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock said: 'After the surgery I have a lot of my confidence back. I smile a lot more than I used to because I'm not as self-conscious about it.' </p><p>Student nurse Holly Everson-Bullock finally feels able to smile after undergoing grueling jaw-reconstruction surgery last December (pictured after the procedure)</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock's underbite jutted out over 1cm, causing her to endure bullying at school</p><p>Surgery to realign her jaw left Ms Everson-Bullock with severe swelling for months </p><p>An underbite occurs when a person's lower teeth and jaw protrude over their upper teeth.</p><p>This is usually inherited from a parent who also has the condition.</p><p>Other causes include thumb sucking, babies using dummies and prolonged bottle feeding. </p><p>Aside from a sufferer's appearance, other symptoms can include headaches, poor self-esteem and teeth grinding or breaking. </p><p>Braces are the most common treatment but can make wearers, particularly children, feel self conscious.</p><p>Specially-made headgears can be effective but are highly noticeable and often uncomfortable.</p><p>In extreme cases, surgery to shave off the jaw bone is required as a last resort.</p><p>It is unclear how many people suffer from an underbite in the UK or US.</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock first started to notice her underbite when she was 11, which caused her to feel attractive throughout her teens. </p><p>She said: 'Having the underbite just didn't make me feel very attractive. I used to wonder why my jaw was like this and why couldn't it be normal.</p><p>'I think I noticed it more than other people but I did get some nasty comments from people at school about my jaw who said it was weird.</p><p>'I used to do acting a lot and have done it since I was young but I had to give it up as the underbite made it really difficult to talk.</p><p>'I tried not to let my underbite stop me from doing things but if I went on a night out I was just really self-conscious of it, I thought people would notice it</p><p>'If people took videos of me singing you could really see it and I didn't like that at all.' </p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock struggled to pronounce words clearly, or eat properly, due to her mouth not closing properly. </p><p>She said: 'It was struggle to eat. I couldn't eat anything crunchy and I definitely couldn't eat an apple normally and I had to cut a lot of food up.</p><p>'I had to kind of hook it with my bottom teeth, if I did it any other way I wouldn't get any of the actual apple, just the skin.' </p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock's underbite made her feel unattractive, which shattered her confidence</p><p>Due to her mouth being unable to close properly, Ms Everson-Bullock struggled to eat and talk</p><p>Her jaw alignment left Ms Everson-Bullock unable to eat crunchy food, like apples and pears</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock (pictured before) was self conscious of her jaw on night outs </p><p>She was forced to give up her love of acting due to her impaired speech (pictured before)</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock (pictured before) was aware she noticed her underbite more than others</p><p>In the lead up to surgery, Ms Everson-Bullock had braces fitted to help align her teeth.</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock said: 'I was given braces in February 2016 to align my jaw ready for surgery. A month into having them I realised I was really struggling to adjust to them.</p><p>'The underbite got worse which meant eating became even more difficult.</p><p>'I went to a normal appointment for a checkup and alignment with my braces and my orthodontist told me that I was ready for surgery.</p><p>'I was completely blown away when I was finally ready. I had been waiting for it for so long I couldn't stop crying with happiness.</p><p>'On the day of my surgery I was just ready to get it over and done with. In the weeks leading up to it I just wanted it to be done.</p><p>She said: 'There was a bit of doubt and worry in my head but I tried not to let fear get in the way of things.</p><p>'I tried to keep looking at it in a positive way and I didn't want to panic too much.'</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock barely recognised her severely swollen face after enduring surgery</p><p>Jaw realignment caused Ms Everson-Bullock's eyes and nose to change shape</p><p>The swelling forced Ms Everson-Bullock to live off liquid-based foods for months </p><p>Severe swelling left Ms Everson-Bullock (pictured after) unable to talk for six weeks </p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock (pictured after) said she tried not to let her underbite hold her back </p><p>After surgery, Ms Everson-Bullock was shocked at how swollen her face was, saying: 'My dad took a picture and showed me and I couldn't believe it.</p><p>'After the swelling had gone down a little I remember looking in the mirror and just being in disbelief.</p><p>'It didn't feel like me. My face had changed so much.'</p><p>Although Ms Everson-Bullock was surprised to find her nose and eyes altered slightly once her jaw was better aligned, she was eventually delighted with the results.</p><p>She said: 'The first two-to-three months of recovery were quite difficult as I had to wait for the swelling to go down.</p><p>'I couldn't talk for six weeks which I found so difficult and I could only drink liquids, I couldn't eat solid food.</p><p>'Just over four months later the swelling has really reduced now and I finally have my smile back.</p><p>'I bit into a pear for the first time the other day and I was so happy. It's the little things that really make a difference. </p><p>'My family, friend and boyfriend have been incredible throughout the whole journey and I can't thank the surgical and orthodontic team at Gloucester Royal Infirmary enough.'</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock (pictured after surgery) says she finally has her smile back </p><p>She has had braces fitted again to help better realign her teeth (pictured after)</p><p>Said the 'little things', such as being able to eat a pear, make a big difference (pictured after)</p><p>Ms Everson-Bullock (pictured after) says she is 'so happy' now she has her confidence back</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
the virus for at least 18 weeks, suggesting the jab could offer people months of immunity, a study by Rockefeller University, New York, found.</p><p>People at high risk of becoming infected, such as those with HIV-positive partners, can take the preventative drug PrEP before sex, however, there is no long-term, effective jab.</p><p>Developing such a vaccine is difficult due to HIV 'hiding' from people's immune systems, however, including certain proteins in the injection cause immune cells to recognise parts of the 'envelope' that surround the virus, the research adds.</p><p>According to the researchers, their findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, 'lay the groundwork' for a preventative vaccine that could be given as little as once a year.</p><p>More than 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, with one in seven being unaware of it. </p><p>Currently, there is no cure for HIV. Lifelong antiviral treatment controls the infection but often causes side effects including nausea, vomiting and insomnia. </p><p>Scientists are edging closer to a long-term preventative HIV vaccine (stock)</p><p>This drug in particular is fixed-dose combination of two anti-retroviral drugs, tenofovir and FTC, in one pill. </p><p>They work together to interfere with an enzyme which HIV uses to infect new cells, slowing down the virus's attack or preventing it altogether. </p><p>The drug is designed for people that have not yet been exposed to the virus to protect themselves against it. </p><p>Alternatively, people who have been exposed can take PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis), a month-long course of drugs started within 72 hours of exposure.</p><p>This comes after health officials revealed last November that Europe's HIV epidemic is growing at an 'alarming pace' as infections reached their highest level in 2016 since records began.</p><p>In 2016, around 160,000 people contracted HIV, which causes AIDS, in 53 European countries, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.</p><p>Over the past decade, the rate of newly-diagnosed HIV infections in Europe has risen by 52 percent from 12 in every 100,000 people in 2007 to 18.2 per 100,000 in 2016, the research adds.</p><p>According to the report, this increase was 'mainly driven by the continuing upward trend in the East', which accounts for around 80 percent of Europe's cases.</p><p>Zsuzsanna Jakab, European regional director of the WHO, previously said: 'This is the highest number of cases recorded in one year. If this trend persists, we will not be able to achieve the target of ending the HIV epidemic by 2030.'</p><p>Past findings suggest HIV rates are rising in eastern Europe, particularly in those over 50 who inject illegal drugs. This is thought to be due to a lack of awareness campaigns on the infection's risks or how to prevent transmission. </p><p>Over 1.1 million people in the US are living with HIV, with one in seven being unaware (stock)</p><p>Despite HIV rates rising in Europe, figures released last July showed deaths linked to AIDS have halved in 10 years. AIDS is a syndrome that can occur in the late stages of HIV infection.</p><p>Global fatality numbers fell to one million in 2016 from 1.9 million in 2005, according to a report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids).</p><p>The report claims the 'scales have been tipped' due to more than half of patients now having access to treatment.</p><p>Targets aim to have 30 million patients receiving therapy by 2020.</p><p>Eastern and southern Africa are 'leading the way' and have reduced new HIV infections by nearly a third since 2010, according to the report. </p><p>UNAids has set a 2020 target known as '90-90-90', which aims for 90 percent of HIV patients to receive a diagnosis, of which 90 percent will be treated, of which 90 percent will have their infection suppressed.</p><p>In 2016 these figures were 70 percent, 77 percent and 82 percent, respectively. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
from a horrific work explosion that melted her face and left her 'looking like Freddy Krueger'.</p><p>Wendy Hines, from Arkansas, was left with second and third-degree burns to her face, arms and hands. Doctors told her she was lucky to be alive. </p><p>She thought her scars, which she was told would be permanent, made her look like Freddy Krueger, the burned serial killer in The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.</p><p>But Ms Hines, 44, has made a remarkable recovery from her terrifying experience and regained her beauty after her sisters gave her round-the-clock care.</p><p>She has been left scar-free and no longer feels self-conscious about her face, after she hid herself indoors for eight months while she healed.</p><p>Wendy Hines was told she was lucky to be alive - but would be left with permanent scars from her ordeal (pictured left in May, in hospital, after suffering the burn, and right after recovering)</p><p>Speaking about her ordeal two years ago for the first time, she said: 'Although I was grateful to be alive, hearing how badly how I was hurt terrified me.</p><p>'My injuries were agonising and I worried about how I looked. My sisters Christy (40) and Brandy (42) kept telling me I looked gorgeous.</p><p>'It took me a week to look in the mirror after the explosion and when I did, I thought I looked like Freddy Krueger.</p><p>Ms Hines continued: 'My face was blistered and cracked. My eyebrows, eyelashes and hair had been singed off.</p><p>'I was horrified and didn't even recognise my own reflection. I burst out crying, while my sisters hugged me. I thought I was never going to look the same way I did before.</p><p>'My vision in my left eye was blurry as a piece of metal had hit it in the explosion. I panicked I'd be left blind.'</p><p>But, Ms Hines, who is a mother to 24-year-old Brittany, added: 'Almost two years on and the scars have disappeared from my face. </p><p>'I'm thankful to have healed so well, I no longer feel self-conscious about my looks. Doctors were astounded at my progress.' </p><p>The accident happened when Ms Hines was working as an operator for a defence technology plant, which produces flares for the UK and US armed forces.</p><p>She was drying explosive powders when the machine overheated and exploded, hurling her 125ft (38m) in the air. </p><p>The blast scorched her face, chest and hands. Ms Hines, who was left with pieces of metal in her elbow, said: 'Pain seared through me.</p><p>'Glancing down, I saw that my hands were bright red with burns and blood poured from an orange-sized wound on my left leg.' </p><p>Quick-thinking colleagues called paramedics while Ms Hines' father, Walter, 69, rushed to her side.</p><p>A helicopter arrived just an hour later and flew her to the burns unit at Arkansas Children's Hospital, where she was sedated for three days.</p><p>Ms Hines, from Arkansas, was left with second and third-degree burns to her face, arms and hands (pictured in 2015, before the explosion)</p><p>The 44-year-old thought her scars made her look like Freddy Krueger, the burned serial killer behind The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise</p><p>The blast scorched her face, chest and hands. Ms Hines, who was left with pieces of metal in her elbow, said: 'Pain seared through me' (pictured in hospital)</p><p>Ms Hines, who is a mother to 24-year-old Brittany, added: 'Almost two years on and the scars have disappeared from my face' (pictured before the explosion in 2015)</p><p>Ms Hines said: 'When I woke up, my body was covered in bandages head to toe, I looked like a mummy.</p><p>'I even lost all my hair from the flames, I was distraught and sobbing in the hospital.'</p><p>Doctors revealed that 20 per cent of Ms Hines' face had been burnt in the blast and she was lucky to be alive.</p><p>While in hospital, she underwent three surgeries on her right elbow to remove the shrapnel and 12 laser surgeries on her hands.</p><p>Doctors also told her that she had lost 30 per cent of her hearing in her left ear, and 40 per cent in the other.</p><p>Ms Hines was discharged from hospital after three weeks. But her extensive injuries meant she was unable to care for herself.</p><p>Doctors revealed that 20 per cent of Ms Hines' face had been burnt in the blast and she was lucky to be alive</p><p>While in hospital, she underwent three surgeries on her right elbow to remove the shrapnel and 12 laser surgeries on her hands (pictured, her burnt legs)</p><p>Ms Hines said: 'Luckily my six sisters cared for me, they came to my house every day' (pictured with her sisters, from left-to-right: Amy, 44, Brandy, 42, and Christy, 40)</p><p>She said: 'I could barely dress myself, feed myself or pick anything up. I was like a child again, learning how to pick up a pencil and how to write.</p><p>'Luckily my six sisters cared for me, they came to my house every day and practically lived with me.</p><p>'They applied creams and hot towels to my face every hour even through the night.' </p><p>Over the next eight months, Ms Hines was terrified of revealing her face in public and she became a recluse.</p><p>She said: 'I hid myself indoors as I worried strangers would think I was ugly. When I finally ventured outside nine months later, I hid my face with a scarf and a hat.' </p><p>Now, Ms Hines has made a miraculous recovery thanks to her sisters' loving care.</p><p>The accident happened when Ms Hines was working as an operator for a defence technology plant, which produces flares for the UK and US armed forces</p><p>Over a period of eight months, Ms Hines was terrified of revealing her face in public and she became a recluse (pictured in hospital)</p><p>She added: 'My face is finally back to how I looked before the accident. Doctors told me that I'm blessed and I've healed incredibly.</p><p>'I am so thankful to my sisters, if it wasn't for their help, my face wouldn't look as good as it does now.</p><p>'Although my hands are still terribly burnt, I am undergoing laser surgery on them this year to reduce the scarring.</p><p>'Since the accident, my eyesight has been affected - I struggle to read properly and or see from a distance.'</p><p>Ms Hines continued: 'I still suffer from nightmares and seeing a flame gives me terrible flashbacks of that day.</p><p>'But when I look at my face in the mirror, I finally feel beautiful again.' </p><p>Ms Hines said: 'I am so thankful to my sisters, if it wasn't for their help, my face wouldn't look as good as it does now' (pictured in the middle of sisters, from left-to-right, Brandy and Christy)</p><p>Ms Hines continued: 'I still suffer from nightmares and seeing a flame gives me terrible flashbacks of that day' (pictured in hospital with sister Christy)</p><p>Ms Hines was discharged from hospital after three weeks. But her extensive injuries meant she was unable to care for herself (pictured in hospital)</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
m patient urine samples.</p><p>The engineering company Hitachi, which developed the technology two years ago, will analyse 250 urine samples for breast, colon and childhood forms of the disease alongside Nagoya University in central Japan.</p><p>Company spokesman Chiharu Odaira said: ‘If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organisation for a blood test.’</p><p>He added small children will particularly benefit from the diagnosis method, which may be available in 2020, due to them often being afraid of needles.</p><p>The technology works by detecting waste materials in urine samples that act as ‘biomarkers’ for forms of the disease, according to a Hitachi statement.</p><p>It aims to improve early cancer detection, save lives, and reduce the medical and social costs of treatment, according to Mr Odaira.</p><p>Experiments assessing the accuracy of the method are due to start later this month and end in September.</p><p>Scientists are developing a test that detects cancers from patient urine samples (stock)</p><p>Benign tumours usually grow quite slowly, do not spread and have a covering made up of normal cells.</p><p>Tumours get bigger as cells continue to divide, which stimulates the development of blood vessels to 'feed' it oxygen and nutrients.</p><p>Such growths may move into new areas by putting pressure on surrounding regions, using enzymes to break down cells or entering via tissues.</p><p>Speaking of when the diagnosis method may be available, Odaira said: ‘We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities.’</p><p>This comes after research published earlier this year suggested a new blood test detects eight different kinds of tumours before they spread elsewhere in the body.</p><p>Breast-cancer diagnoses typically involve a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected, while colon-cancer screenings generally involve a stool test and then a colonoscopy, if necessary.</p><p>This comes after news released yesterday suggested controversial plans to grow human organs inside animals have moved one step closer to going ahead in Japan.</p><p>Government officials in the Asian country are expected to overturn the ban on the practice by the autumn, according to local reports.</p><p>An expert panel, commissioned by Japanese ministers, concluded that such experiments could lead to major scientific breakthroughs.</p><p>The practice, which has prompted furious backlash from animal-rights campaigners in recent years, is already allowed for research purposes in the UK and US.</p><p>Certain biologists have left Japan to pursue such experiments, which critics consider 'gruesome', across the Pacific Ocean.</p><p>Some believe creating human organs in animals, such as pigs, could stem the growing transplant shortage.</p><p>On average, 20 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.</p><p>Animal-welfare campaigners warn such experiments echo the fictional thriller 'Never Let Me Go'.</p><p>In the novel, adapted for the hit 2010 movie, a group of English children are cloned so that, as young adults, their organs can be used for transplants.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
g the first person to receive two face transplants has said he is getting used to his new identity.</p><p>But the same year - in order to treat nothing more than a common cold - he was given an antibiotic incompatible with his immunosuppressive treatment. </p><p>In 2016, he began to display signs of transplant rejection, and his new face deteriorated. By November last year, the 43-year-old's face, suffering from necrosis, had to be removed. </p><p>Hamon, who suffers from a genetic mutation which causes severely disfiguring tumours, remained in hospital without a face for two months before a compatible donor was found and a successful second transplant carried out.</p><p>Jerome Hamon (pictured) has been dubbed 'the man with three faces' after becoming the first person to receive two face transplants. He now says he is getting used to his new identity</p><p>Hamon, who suffers from a genetic mutation which causes severely disfiguring tumours and related complications is pictured, left, before his first transplant and, right, after the 2010 procedure</p><p>Still recovering in hospital three months after his latest operation, he says he has quickly accepted his new identity.</p><p>His new face remains smooth and motionless, with his skull, skin and features yet to be fully aligned, a gradual process reliant on immunosuppressant drugs which, it is hoped, will prevent his body rejecting the transplanted material.</p><p>'I feel very well in myself,' he told reporters last week as he continues his recovery from the surgery which was carried out on January 15 and 16.</p><p>'I can't wait to get rid of all this,' he adds, speaking with difficulty of all the major treatment he has undergone to become the first man to have received two face transplants.</p><p>This unprecedented feat was painstakingly carried out by the staff at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, and Laurent Lantieri, a professor of plastic surgery, who led the team through the multi-step procedure.</p><p>Hamon was in hospital without a face for two months before a compatible donor was found and a successful second transplant carried out. He is pictured last week as he continues to recover from the procedure</p><p>The unprecedented operation (pictured) was painstakingly carried out by the staff at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, and Laurent Lantieri, a professor of plastic surgery, who led the team through the multi-step procedure</p><p>It was a reunion for patient and doctor as it was Lantieri who carried out the world's first full face transplant on Hamon eight years ago. </p><p>Hamon suffers from neurofibromatosis type 1, a genetic mutation which causes severely disfiguring tumours and related complications. </p><p>Staff at the hospital said they had been 'blown away' by Hamon's 'courage, his will, his strength of character in a tragic situation'.</p><p>Bernard Cholley, an anaesthetist, said that Hamon 'never complained' while waiting for a donor and was 'even in a good mood'.</p><p>Eventually, a face donor was found for his second transplant, a 22-year-old man who had died hundreds of miles from Paris. Lantieri heard the news on a Sunday in January and the massive logistical and medical operation was swiftly launched.</p><p>The donor face was transported as quickly as possible by road on the Monday to the Georges-Pompidou hospital in Paris.</p><p>By late morning the following day, Hamon was being wheeled back to his hospital bed following the ground-breaking surgery, with his medical team noticing encouraging signs of good colour in his new face. </p><p>Staff at the hospital said they had been 'blown away' by Hamon's 'courage, his will, his strength of character in a tragic situation'</p><p>The operation answers a key question for Lantieri and the rest of the medical world; 'Can we redo a facial transplant? Yes, we can re-transplant and this is what you get!'</p><p>To avoid any rejection, the patient underwent three months of special blood treatment prior to the transplant, nephrologist Eric Thervet explained.</p><p>Despite all the anxiety and suffering, Hamon is a happy man again.</p><p>'The first transplant I accepted immediately. I thought 'this is my new face' and this time it's the same,' he explained.</p><p>'If I hadn't accepted this new face it would have been terrible. It's a question of identity... But here we are, it's good, it's me.'</p><p>There have now been around 40 face transplants throughout the world since the first was performed on Frenchwoman Isabelle Dinoire in northern France in 2005.</p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
hether he should get screened for prostate cancer.</p><p>Such questions trouble most doctors. We often lob the choice back to patients, or “on the one hand, on the other hand” so much they start sympathizing with Harry Truman, who jokingly wished for one-handed advisers.</p><p>“Without good evidence, doctors say ‘O.K., you decide,’” Dr. Terri Fried, professor of medicine at Yale and a geriatrician at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, told me. “Patients have no idea what to do with that. If we as doctors can’t reason through the decision, how in the world can we expect patients to?” </p><p>Patients and doctors contend with two major forms of uncertainty: uncertainty of evidence and uncertainty of outcome.</p><p>Uncertainty of evidence is an information problem. It’s like putting a quarter into a gumball machine and having no idea how many will come out. Maybe there aren’t good clinical trials; maybe there are trials but they don’t include patients like you; maybe they do include patients like you but not while you’re fighting pneumonia.</p><p>Uncertainty of outcome is a prediction problem. We know five gumballs are coming out: We just don’t know which ones. Let’s say 5 percent of patients like you will have a stroke this year. Are you the 5 percent or the 95 percent?</p><p>“Most clinicians want much more guidance, especially on how to communicate uncertainty without seeming like they don’t know what they’re doing,” said Dr. Mary Politi, an associate professor at the Washington University School of Medicine. “They feel comfortable talking about benefits, but not risks. Patients feel misled when bad things happen.”</p><p>Doctors typically recommend for or against treatment by dividing a continuum of risk into categories that trip a switch: a statin when you reach a 7.5 percent risk of a heart attack, a blood thinner when you’re at 2 percent risk of a stroke. </p><p>We’re less well trained to explore how a patient’s fears and values intersect with the available evidence. Maybe the inconvenience of daily pills makes a 10 percent risk of a heart attack acceptable to one patient, while a loved one’s recent illness makes a 1 percent risk of a stroke unacceptable to another.</p><p>What’s certain is that uncertainty will always be with us. When wading through medicine’s expansive gray zones, patients could use a guide. Will they get one?</p>