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Scientist: All women over 30 should consider breakthrough test

A pioneering Seattle genome scientist from the University of Washington believes all women older than 30 should consider an at-home cancer risk test, despite some national experts who say the tests aren’t for everyone.

Dr. Mary-Claire King is an American Cancer Society professor and genome scientist at the University of Washington School of Medicine. In 1990, she first discovered and named the BRCA 1 gene, showing that inherited mutations in the genes lead to increased breast cancer risk. It revolutionized how doctors detect cancer by changing their screening procedures for thousands of women who are genetically predisposed for higher cancer risk.

>> Read more trending news 

While everyone’s DNA includes BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, having a mutation can increase a woman’s breast cancer risk from about 10 percent to as much as 80 percent.

“It was a game changer,” King said. “It gave us a tool so that women could learn, woman by woman, their actual risk.”

Color Genomics has released two separate at-home tests that simply require a person to send back a tube of their saliva to test their risk for certain hereditary cancers. 

The kits can be ordered online on the Color website and even on Depending on the test, Color can test the DNA not only for BRCA mutations that can lead to higher breast cancer and ovarian cancer risk, but also for mutations to other genes that lead to higher risks in breast cancer and other cancers.

Jenn Nudelman, a breast cancer survivor from Issaquah, said she wants to take it herself. She does not have the BRCA gene, but she is the eighth woman in her family to be diagnosed with breast cancer. 

“[In 2011, my surgeon] said, ‘It’s likely that your family has a mutation we just haven’t discovered yet,” Nudelman said.

KIRO 7 wanted to know if the Color test actually works and went straight to the expert, King. Her discovery not only paved the way to allowing hereditary cancer risk tests to exist, but she is also an unpaid advisor to Color Genomics who tested the test herself at the request of Color’s founders. 

Her lab sent them 400 of their trickiest DNA samples, challenging them to find the mutations.

“They got every single one correct,” she said. “They even got one mutation that we had missed because it was a gene that back when we first evaluated that patient, that gene hadn’t been known to be a breast cancer gene. So they got 101 percent of the samples correct! They did a perfect job, and I said, ‘OK, you’re serious.’”

She said what’s key is if a test finds any mutations where a person needs to take action, one of Color’s trained genetic counselors will call the patient to deliver the results and walk them through exactly what they mean.

Genetic counselor Nancy Hanson, with Swedish Medical Center's Hereditary Cancer Clinic, told KIRO 7 while many people may expect the results to be clear and easily understandable, they may not be, especially when looking at a larger gene panel. 

That's why she says it's important to go over the results with a genetic counselor. 

Hanson said finding out you have a mutation does not mean you have or will definitely get cancer. And the job of a genetic counselor, by phone or in person, is to help patients understand their options.

“People who have an inherited susceptibility to cancer might never get cancer,” Hanson said. “They just have a dramatically higher risk, and we can make screening recommendations or preventative strategies to help them prevent cancer or catch it early.”

Hanson also looks at other factors, including family medical history, when a woman has had children, and, for example, whether she’s had any hormone replacement therapy. These factors can also modify a person’s risk of cancer over their lifetime.

Preventing and catching cancer early is why King is taking a strong stance when it comes to who should take the Color test.

“I believe that every woman over 30 should consider it,” she said, “and I think we have a choice. We can choose not to do it this year and we can change our minds and do it next year. I don’t think that anyone should be required to have a test, but I think it’s a very good idea. And I think every woman should have the information that enables her to understand what she can learn from such a test."

The Color test analyzes DNA for hereditary cancer risk due to genetic mutations passed down through families, which scientists estimate account for 10 percent to 15 percent of certain cancers.

Most cancers are called “sporadic,” and are not due to any one cause; environmental impacts, exposure to chemicals and pollutants and lifestyle all play a part. So if a person takes the Color test and does not have a mutation in any of the genes tested, it’s not a guarantee they will be free of cancer in their lifetime. 

King recommends the test even though current guidelines from a national panel of experts called the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force say that “testing for BRCA mutations should be done only when an individual has a personal or family history that suggests an inherited cancer susceptibility.” 

These recommendations are echoed on the websites of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the National Cancer Institute.

But King’s own recent work shows people could have mutations without anyone else in their families ever having cancer. And that’s why, she said, more people should get tested.

“The most common misconception about testing for inherited risk of breast cancer is that only women with a severe family history of breast cancer need worry about it,” she said, “because men have genes, too. And a mutation that increases one's chances of breast or ovarian cancer can be passed from a father who will remain unaffected as frequently as from a mother.”

King believes the guidelines will evolve. She also thinks clinical experts may be concerned about other at-home tests such as '23andMe' and 'Ancestry DNA' that are often confused with the Color test, but which are actually based on very different genetic science.

“[That] recreational testing has nothing to do with risk of breast and ovarian cancer,” King said. “I think that organizations that cast such a very broad inclusive net, like Komen, are very concerned that no one be misled. I think there’s a concern about confusing results of those tests [like 23andMe] with results of test that actually measure whether one has a mutation in BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 or one of the sister genes.”

As of late February, Nudelman told KIRO 7 she had ordered the Color test, taken the test, and sent it away to get her results. She wants to know if other genes pose a cancer risk for her or other family members, and she is ready for whatever the test might reveal.

“The test doesn’t give you all the answers,” she said. “The test gives you the information to get more answers … and then you need to be proactive about what you do with that information.”

Billy Graham's funeral to be livestreamed Friday: How to watch

The invitation-only funeral for influential evangelist Billy Graham will be livestreamed Friday to allow people he touched with his worldwide ministry to watch.

>> Click here to watch the livestream

Graham died last week at age 99.

Graham will be buried beside his wife, Ruth, at the foot of the cross-shaped brick walkway in the Prayer Garden on the northeast side of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

>> Billy Graham funeral arrangements announced, public viewing scheduled

Streaming will begin at 10 a.m. EST Friday on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website. The service at the Billy Graham Library is scheduled to begin at noon EST.

About 2,300 invited guests are expected to attend.

>> On Georgia man worked with Billy Graham for nearly five decades

>> On Billy Graham is dead at 99

The funeral is expected to last 90 minutes and will be under a large tent in the main parking lot in front of the library, according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

>> Watch more coverage on

The tent serves as a reminder of how Graham’s ministry launched under “The Canvas Cathedral” — a white canvas tent during a 1949 Crusade in downtown Los Angeles, where 350,000 people heard him share the Gospel over a period of eight weeks, according to a release about the funeral.

>> On How Billy Graham fought for civil rights

“It was Mr. Graham’s explicit intent that his funeral service reflect and reinforce the Gospel message he preached for more than 60 years,” said Mark DeMoss, spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

>> Read more trending news  

Franklin Graham will deliver the funeral message. Pastor Donald Wilton and David Bruce will speak at the interment service. Wilton was Graham’s pastor and a close friend in recent years. Bruce served for 23 years as Graham’s executive assistant.

KRMG Story as Radio sr.producer





Baby delivered in rush hour along HOV lane

That’s one way to qualify for an HOV lane.

A couple in Long Island ended up with one more passenger than when they started when they rushed to a hospital.

That’s because the baby they were expecting wasn’t waiting for anything.

Janine Livote and her husband Edward were on the way to an area hospital when they pulled over on the Long Island Expressway HOV Lane, WCBS reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Janine said she told Edward to pull over, despite not being at the hospital. Edward said when he took a look, the baby was coming. Janine also said she had the urge to push, WABC reported.

With a little help on the phone from a dispatcher with Suffolk County Emergency Services, Edward delivered his daughter Charlotte.

Eventually, first responders were able to get to the growing family and took them to the hospital, WCBS reported.

Charlotte weighed in at 6 pounds, 15 ounces, News 12 Long Island reported.

She’s Janine and Edward’s second child. Their first was delivered after 24 hours of labor, they told WABC.

McDonald’s puts Disney back into Happy Meals

Remember when you were a kid and you’d get the latest Disney movie memorabilia in your Happy Meal?

The memory will now be back for the latest generation of Disney fans. 

This week, McDonald’s and the Walt Disney Company announced that they’re partnering once again to bring the magic back to the Happy Meal.

>> Read more trending news 

The deal will put toys and promotions from Walt Disney animated and live action movies, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilms back in the meals, according to a McDonald’s press release.

>>McDonald’s Shamrock Shake is back with an app

It will start with “Incredibles 2” which will be released on June 15, and continue with “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2” which will hit theaters in November.

In 2006, Disney had started linking the brand and characters with “more nutritionally balanced foods” and meals that promoted fruits, vegetables and whole grains while at the same time limiting calories, saturated fats, sugar and sodium levels, according to McDonald’s company officials.

Recently, McDonald’s announced adjustments in its products and now meets the guidelines including removal of artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets and making sure it’s serving chicken not treated with antibiotics.

>>No more cheeseburgers? McDonald’s to change classic Happy Meals

By June, all Happy Meals offered on the menus will meet Disney’s nutritional guidelines, McDonald’s company officials said.

Pedestrian fatalities up in states with legal marijuana, study says

A report released Wednesday reveals the number of people being hit and killed by cars is on the rise, specifically in states where it’s now legal to sell marijuana.

In the past several years, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has been aggressively targeting the number of pedestrian strikes in the city.

The initiatives seem to be working; the number of people involved in hits is down slightly, but new numbers just out seem to undo that trend.

>> Read more trending news 

In the seven states that have legalized recreational marijuana, pedestrian fatalities went up more than 16 percent in the first six months of 2017, versus the same time period in 2016.

That’s in direct opposition to all other states, which, collectively, saw about a 6 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities in that same time.

The study was performed by the Governor's Highway Safety Association.

They said what they found is cause for concern.

Of course, there are many factors that come into play when a pedestrian is hit, including time of day and walkers being distracted by cellphones.

But MassDOT has been investigating a lot of money in initiatives to protect pedestrians. Media campaigns, grants and programs have all been focused on safety.

And the GHSA said the connection in fatalities with the legalization of recreational marijuana is worth another look, even as Massachusetts approaches sanctioning the sale of pot in July.

Kate Middleton has emotional reunion with midwife who delivered Princess Charlotte

Duchess Catherine had a happy reunion with one of the midwives who reportedly helped deliver both of her children.

>> Duchess Catherine sparks outrage by not wearing black at BAFTAs

On Tuesday, the duchess visited the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as a royal patron when she ran into Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, who delivered her daughter, Princess Charlotte, and may have even assisted in the delivery of Prince George, according to E! News.

>> Read more trending news 

The duchess received a certificate from Professor Lesley Regan, the president of the college, during her visit and spoke with several nurses about women’s health issues, including the stigma surrounding mental health.

The day wasn’t finished after her visit to the college, as the duchess later received a warm welcome from the Nursing Now campaign. She was taken on a nurse-led tour of St. Thomas’ Hospital, where she met with several nurses and patients at the hospital.

The duchess addressed the crowd to mark the launch of the new campaign during the visit.

She said: “This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses. They would have learned first-hand from working with the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Red Cross about the care and compassion that sometimes only nurses can provide.

“Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring. I have been struck today by the enormous range of responsibilities that nurses have, not only in providing access to healthcare, but also in terms of providing a holistic approach to caring for our physical and mental health. You also promote good health and disease prevention. In some parts of the world, nurses are perhaps the only qualified healthcare professionals in their communities, so your work is all the more vital.”

She continued: “I would like to congratulate and thanks all nurses everywhere on what you achieve on a daily basis. The difference you make should not go unrecognized.”

The duchess braved the weather for her day out in London, as it was a snowy day. The palace shared a few photos from the snow-covered estate Tuesday.

Clarence House, the official Twitter account for updates on Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, also shared a photo of their snowy view.

Nursing mom says she was kicked out of Walmart after taking stand on breastfeeding

A mother is fighting back after she said she was kicked out of a Walmart for taking a stand on breastfeeding her baby in public.

>> Watch the news report here

Sarah Olson, 22, said she was breastfeeding her 5-month-old daughter inside a Subway restaurant in the Monroe, Washington, Walmart store last Friday.

That’s when she said a Subway manager, someone she knows, asked her to cover up or breastfeed at the back of the store.

“He said if it’s my legal right then he could whip out his penis anywhere,” Olson said.

Shocked by what he allegedly said, Olson took her concerns to a Walmart store manager who later asked her to leave the store.

She recorded part of that conversation on her sister’s cellphone and shared it with KIRO.

“Where I am welcome, breastfeeding is welcome, that is state law,” Olson was heard saying on the recording.

To read the state law about breastfeeding, click here.

>> Read more trending news 

Then we heard the manager saying: “Understood, but if you are going to be a distraction or nuisance to people that work here, that’s going to be an issue.” 

Then Olson went on to say, “That’s not my problem; they can turn their heads like this.” Then the manager was heard saying, “Or we can ask you to leave.”

“I was very frustrated,” Olson said. “I wasn’t trying to make a scene, but he thought I was.”

We went to Walmart to get their side of the story. The manager there said she could not comment on the incident and referred us to their corporate office.

This was the statement sent to KIRO:

“We welcome nursing mothers to breastfeed their child in our stores. We apologize to the customer for her experience and appreciate her bringing this matter to our attention.”

KIRO also talked to the owner of the Subway restaurant inside the Walmart. He said he called Olson to apologize and that he gave the Subway manager a warning and educated him on the state’s breastfeeding policy: Women can’t be discriminated against for breastfeeding in public, and the act is not considered “indecent exposure.”

Olson said she has since gone back to Walmart and Subway.

“Yeah, the next day, actually, because I know my rights. I know what I am allowed to do legally,” Olson said.

5-year-old girl died hours after doctor turned her away for being late

A coroner’s inquest into the 2015 death of a 5-year-old British girl found that the child died just hours after a doctor refused to see her for being a few minutes late to her appointment, according to the BBC.

>> Watch the news report here

Shanice Clark has been searching for answers ever since her daughter, Ellie-May, died from bronchial asthma hours after arriving late to an appointment with Dr. Joanne Rowe and being turned away. On Monday, the coroner ruled that Grange Clinic in Newport, Wales “missed” the opportunity to “provide potentially live-saving treatment” to her child, the New York Post reported.

While the clinic has maintained that it operates under a strict “10-minute rule,” Clark insists she and her daughter were only five minutes late after arranging childcare for her infant and catching a bus. However, she claims she had to wait for a receptionist to finish a phone call and for other patients to be checked in, causing her to miss the 10-minute mark, Sky News reported. A clinic worker later indicated that she was 18 minutes late — something Clark disputes.

>> Read more trending news 

According to the coroner, the occasion was the first time the rule had been imposed in regard to an emergency appointment, and Clark was reportedly told to come back in the morning without the doctor even looking at her daughter’s medical records

“From the evidence before me, it is not possible for me to determine with certainty whether an earlier intervention would have altered the outcome for Ellie, but nonetheless Ellie should have been seen by a [doctor] that day, and she was let down by the failures in the system,” the coroner wrote, according to ITV.

Grange Clinic released a statement in response, saying, “Dr. Rowe knows that nothing can be said to Ellie-May’s family to make a difference, but she would like to say how truly sorry she is.”

The Clark family responded by acknowledging the apology and by expressing disappointment “that a finding of neglect was not reached,” saying in a statement via their lawyer, “The family acknowledge an apology from Dr. Rowe, especially as they have been waiting in excess of three years for an outcome and to receive answers to their questions.”

The coroner will now write a report to the clinic and local health board aimed at addressing the incident and preventing similar tragedies in the future. In the meantime, a spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said it would be “inappropriate to comment whilst we await the coroner’s report.”

Knock, knock! 9-foot gator removed from front doorstep of Florida apartment

Trappers removed a 9-foot-long alligator from the front doorstep of a Cocoa, Florida, apartment complex Monday afternoon. 

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

Cocoa police responded to the apartments around 3:30 p.m. at 1612 University Lane after residents called concerned about the large gator roaming about the complex. 

>> See the Facebook post here

>> On Woman fatally hit by bullet while trying to protect dog from being shot, police say

Police found the gator on the front doorstep of unit 903. 

A gator trapper arrived around 20 minutes after police and removed the gator

>> On Florida woman pays nearly $500 water bill with pennies

According to state wildlife officers, it’s common for gators to roam around during warm weather looking for water. 

If a gator is seen outside its normal habitat, experts advise not to feed it or attempt to go near it. 

>> Read more trending news 

Instead, officials said to call local law enforcement or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service to have the gator removed.

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