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tv   Sanjay Gupta MD  CNN  October 23, 2011 7:30am-8:00am EDT

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will -- you'll take notice. you're seeing people out and about. they're just tryg to reconnect with others. this is -- when this happens, what happens quite often, the power is out, no other means of communication. for many of these people other than seeing each other face to face. that's what they're trying to do. >> we're going to try to collect more information about this quake. a 7.3 magnitude quake, major quake in turkey, the southeastern part of the country. i'll be back at top of the hour with more live news and an update with what is happening in turkey. thank you for joining us. i'm dr. sanjay gupta. this morning, a cnn exclusive. two doctors, brothers, internationally acclaimed and then imprisoned for their work fighting aids. they're free and they're here to tell everyone their story. plus, the not so skinny on school lunches. we'll check in with my school back in michigan to see what is on the menu nowadays. and i'll introduce you to a young man who overcame obesity
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and lost half his weigbody weign the process. anderson cooper continued to press former massachusetts governor mitt romney on his state mandated health care law. >> i was in interviews in this debate stage with you four years ago, asked about the massachusetts plan. was it something i would impose on the nation. and the answer is absolutely not. it was something crafted for a state. and i've said time and again, obama care is bad news. it is unconstitutional. it costs way too much money, a trillion dollars and if i'm president of the united states, i will repeal it for the american people. >> mr. romney also said the people of massachusetts favor his state mandated health care by a 3-1 margin. it is true, we checked into this. polling shows it is popular. meanwhile, our most recent cnn or c-poll, which i should note was conducted before the las vegas debate, shows mitt romney and herman cain in a statistical dead heat, leading the race.
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perhaps even more interesting, while romney's numbers climbed slightly, cain's numbers have tripled since september. it is herman cain's 9-9-9 plan that received the most attention. i wanted to shine a spotlight on something else, his battle with ca cancer. mr. cain spoke about it earlier this week on "piers morgan tonight". >> there is a reason i think you're seen as a fighter. that's the extraordinary battle you waged with cancer. >> yes. >> tell me about the moment you found that you had it, not just mild cancer, you were hit full on. >> stage four. when i first got my first cat scan, i thought it was just in my colon. and after the doctor did the colonoscopy, he said, well, there is something called resection and they could take a part of it out, the incidence of success is very high. i said, okay, how do we get this done, let's get a plan together, you know, what's the game plan, et cetera. it wasn't until i went to the
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surgeon, with all of the test results and had a discussion with her, and she said, you have stage four cancer. i said what is that? she said, that's as bad as it gets. >> he was given a 30% chance of survival. dr. kathy anga is one of his doctors. she joins me this morning from washington. good morning. thanks so much for joining us. kathy, i know you can't speak specifically to herman cain's case out of privacy laws, but he's written a lot about this. generally speaking, colon cancer is the third most common cancer. he had stage four specifically. when you first heard that, what are the odds for someone like him? what makes a difference in his survival? >> well, what really makes a difference here is number one, how extensive the disease is. and in his case, as well as in other patients, there are those individuals that can undergo
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surgical resection. and that's a decision made between a group of doctors, usually a medical oncologist, surgical oncologist and sometimes if the tumor is still in tact in the colon or rectum as well as the colorectal surgeon, so it is a decision created by looking at all the diagnostic studies, ct scans and x-rays and looking at the patient as a whole and making a decision upon whether or not they can or cannot be surgically resecreta resectioned. that's the way to cure the patient. >> he had chemotherapy and then radiation to remove the cancer from his colon. what can we say about his status now? no one used the word cured. they said they don't see any cancer in his body. how do you describe it? >> well, not necessarily pertaining to his case per se, but for any individual that has stage four disease, meaning that it has spread to another organ
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outside of the colon or rectum, they can be cured with surgery and that's what's the most important thing i think to keep in mind. the odds for individual that cannot go to surgery are not as favorable as someone that can go to surgery. so it is all very favorable. and in fact, within two years from the surgical resection, that's the highest risk of recurrence, but most individuals, we follow them out for five year and at that time point, you know, they may follow up with their own primary care doctor or come see us annually. so the risk of recurrence is extremely low, usually at five years out versus individuals that can't undergo surgery. those patients we follow on a regular basis because they're continuing to get additional treatment. >> there has been a lot made of screening lately. one third of americans who should be screened for colon cancer still aren't. we talk about this all the time
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on this program. what would you say as someone who specializes in this area. we know colon cancer doesn't have to be diagnosed at such an advanced stage tass was with mr. cain, for example. but what do you tell people about early detection and prevention in general? >> okay. so the one thing i want people to keep in mind is number one colon cancer is a very common cancer. as you stated, the third most common cancer here in the u.s. and it is a global problem. the average age individual is 70. and this all starts off with a polyp, a noncancerous growth, as you know, and takes about five to ten years to become a tumor or cancer. so the best way to prevent this is is screening and that's with a colonoscopy. people tend to forget that 75% of all colorectal cancers are not due to any inherited form. it is due to something that happens sporadically and it is very important to get screened. and if they get the colonoscopy or any other type of screening test that will help diagnose this early on, it could really save their lives.
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this is a very preventable cancer compared to other different cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer. colon cancer is probably the most preventable cancer. >> thanks so much. thanks for take gooding care of h him as well. thank you for your time. >> thank you for having me here. >> thank you. coming up, true courage, against all the odds these two brothers built one of the most successful programs to fight aids. they did it in iran. they got sent to prison and became a worldwide cause. we'll explain next. and since my doctor prescribed lipitor, i won't go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough. now i'm eating healthier, exercising more, taking lipitor. numbers don't lie. my cholesterol's stayed down. lipitor is fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. it's backed by over 19 years of research. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems
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new splenda® essentials™ no calorie sweetener with b vitamins, the first and only one to help support a healthy metabolism. three smart new ways to sweeten. same great taste. new splenda® essentials™. i like to talk with doctors who work in some pretty tough places. and two brothers, kamiar and arash alaei risked their lives to help people with aids quite literally. they did it for nearly a decade in iran. three years ago, it got them sent to prison. imagine that. after an international campaign on their behalf, first kamiar was set free, and then arash. who finally made it to the united states just this week. let me point out, you literally are seeing each other for the first time in over three years. you were imprisoned. you got out three years ago, right? and then just -- you're just
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flying back to the states now. it is a -- it is a strict society. i think that's safe to say, right? a lot of people watching now have never been to iran, they don't know what it is like. you both do. we're going to talk about what specifically led to imprisonment, but how strict was it? if you say, look, i'm a doctor, i want to take care of patients with hiv/aids and do needle exchange programs because it can help save lives, what was the response? >> we wanted to clarify that this was not due to the behavior. that was the issues that took time at the beginning. but we rephrase. they say are you working with the sick workers? no, we are working with vulnerable women. >> so it was the presentation, the language. >> and rephrasing. and in bad and worse, bad is better. alcohol is prohibited, but you cannot drink water you can drink alcohol to save your life. condom is bad, hiv is worse. let's have condom.
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>> arash, did you think, i believe in this so much i will go to prison potentially for what i believe in and the work i'm trying to do? did that cross your mind? >> maybe. maybe. in that time, they didn't like to accept any activity in the field of hiv/aids from people and from government. but when we have been in prison, we saw different response from prisoner and imprisonment. so maybe. >> what is the reaction from the government now? >> as you know, at the beginning when we started the reformist and there was opportunity that we can do some kind of community-based, but then the new administration came and say we don't have high risk behaviors, we don't have high risk behaviors. that was that the people who had -- who feel they are at risk, it was less likely they go to the clinics.
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>> you know, when we started the program, it was reformist party duration. so they accept our program and they gave us the atmosphere to present our program and we have been in schools and universities to present and to expanding education in the field of hiv/aids. when shift from reformist to conservative they close all program in universities and students. so by this way, i think step by step they are going to go to close program for -- not only for hiv/aids, for open societies. >> what was the specific charge, though, against you? if you're doctors trying to take care of your patients, what do they say you're being charged with? >> that was the issue. th they said communication. they call it article 508.
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if you have any communication with enemy government. but there is a way -- >> was there any truth to any of that? >> no. because all we did was -- all we did was focused, and raise the issues and it was transparent. and that was the issue. we got shocked after eight months of the investigation. we went to the court and they said, so you had this? i said, all of it was transparent. you had only ten minutes in the trial. >> what was the experience like? >> this is distant between prisoner staff and some officials that they push prisoners under pressure. so we are suffering a lot for eight months, two months in solitaire you solita solitary, six months living with drug dealers. we can motivate prisoners to wash hands after using the bathroom, have morning exercise, encourage them to, you know,
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some prisoners knew other language, educate english. i learned spanish in prison. >> is that right? >> because i wanted to do for latinos. we wanted to motivate the prisoners to not have another prison inside the prison. we had a line for smoking and nonsmoking in the yard. so every month -- >> these are programs implemented by you? >> all in the prison. but after eight months, they, you know, they moved us to working potatoes and baking. i realize that bread is -- let's have healthier bread. we motivated the prisoners to wash the walls, wash the grounds, clean, no smoking there. we continue. this is the message. everywhere you are, if you believe your work, regardless if it is appreciated by the government or not, keep going, until the last minute of your life. >> that's incredible. incredible message. >> they cannot change the mind
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of the people. maybe they push to go to prison, but they can't change the mind of people. >> the first thing when you in prison you think you are forgotten, especially your family. when you see thousands of, you know, messages come, it touches your heart. >> that gives me goosebumps, chills. doctor. >> thank you so much. >> doctor, thank you. welcome back. glad you're both safe. you're doing some incredible work, inspiring. thank you for joining us this morning. we'll have more this weekend on iran on cnn. fareed zakaria from tehran. you heard a suggested question from the the doctors over here. that's sunday 10:00 a.m. eastern. still ahead, look at this kid. any guesses who it might be? got the answer when we come back. on. that's what we like to hear. ring, ring. progresso... ...switch our phone service?, i think we're pretty happy with our phones. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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♪ recognize those guys?
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classic "saturday night live" there, lunch lady land. adam sandler, the late chris farley. we'll have much more on school lunches in a second. first, let's give you the answer to the question i asked before the break. recognize this little guy? that's me. back in elementary school, in michigan. i'm i'm sharing this picture -- boy, crazy to look at -- i'm sharing this picture to have a little fun and because i really do want to talk about the school lunches and how important they are for so many american kids. a topic important to us. the school lunch program began during the great depression. during that time the government bought food from farmers to help keep them afloat during the tough economic times. it also helped feed kids who weren't getting enough to eat. it all made perfect sense. but we all know what happened to our kids' lunchrooms nowadays, pizza, fries, soda, sweets, way too often. simz sometimes the result of outside vendors coming in the school budgets could no longer keep up. i wanted to know what they were serving at my old high school,
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buchanan elementary. mrs. fresh, that's really her name, she faxed us the menu. on monday they'll be serving popcorn chicken with carrot coins or a chef salad with a muffin, but part of the problem is how many kids will go for the salad? there's also a nutrition card incidentally available every day with each entree, you get a choice of fresh fruits, veggies, and take a look at this, full lunch price, still pretty low, not quite as low as i remember at $3.25, a reduced lunch only cost 40 cents. lots to talk about. joining me is someone who is drying to make change for our schoolchildren all across the country, ta shah seville, the founder of the group called urban farming they build garden in urban areas where fresh produce is not available. tasha, this is something we've been beating the drum on for a long time. i'm so glad you are doing this. you're a recording artist, how did you get started in this area? >> well, i was recording a cd
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for sony in detroit, michigan, and i started to become acquainted with all the job loss in that city and the vast amounts of unused land in the city and i put my music career on the back burner, and i started an organization called urban farming. in 2005. and what we do is we plant food on unused land and space and we give it to people and we encourage others to plant food as well. >> that's good. >> so, we started in 2005 with three gardens, you know, a pamphlet and $5,000 and now we have over 50,000 residential and community gardens across the country and abroad. >> and they're not just for schoolchildren, right? i mean, you're trying to use the gardens in a way to help the entire community? >> absolutely. i mean, our goal is to get rid of hunger in our generation and there are many things that we do to achieve that goal.
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but certainly putting gardens at schools and after-school facilities is a big thing, and we intersect with the childhood obesity issue and so, you know, our gardens are a learning experience for the children and for adults. and it's really interesting to see what happens on these gardens when the youth become, you know, they come out to the garden and become familiar with planting, and, you know, i mean, i've seen a lot. we've actually had students particularly students that are from the city that have never really had a chance to see where their food comes from. you know, it's sort of an interesting responses. we had one 17-year-old who asked her teacher, she pointed to an eggplant and said, what's that? and the teacher said that's an eggplant. and she said, is that where eggs come from? and so it's -- you know, it's bittersweet, it's sad, you know, but at least she learned that day where eggs come from and where they don't come from. >> again, i'm glad you're doing this. i hope we can catch up with you
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again. wish you the best of luck. thanks. >> thank you so much. thank you. and up next i'll introduce you to a young man who literally cut himself in half, his weight that is. we'll see how he overcame obesity, shed half his body weight and we can all learn from this. with b vitamins, the first and only one to help support a healthy metabolism. three smart new ways to sweeten. same great taste. new splenda® essentials™.
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just having some tender chicken and some tasty noodles. let's see...south western vegetables...60 calories. ya' know those jeans look nice. they do? yup. so you were checking me out? yup. [ male announcer ] progresso. 40 soups 100 calories or less. welcome back. this morning i want to introduce you to a teenager who through sheer will and the support of his family overcame morbid obesity. he lost half his body weight. he's now on a mission to help others. >> reporter: at 18 taylor lebaron is already an accomplished author. last year he wrote a book called "cutting myself in half." it's about his battle with childhood obesity.
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you see, he was always a chubby kid. in grade school he was constantly teased and picked on. >> people just they put me down for, you know, no reason other than the fact that i have a weight issue. >> reporter: as a teen a walk to the mailbox left him short of breath, lightheaded. he already had high blood pressure. one day he stepped on a scale and got what he says was the shock of his life. >> and the number was 297 pounds and i'm 14 years old and i'm alone in this room and i'm, like, oh, my goodness, i'm not even an adult and i weigh more nearly 300 pounds. >> reporter: frightened, he immediately stopped eating junk food and he began to count his calories. he started exercising at home, taking long walks. an avid video gamer, he made up a game to track how much he was eating and how much he was exercising. four months later unhappy with his progress, he started going to the ymca to work out.
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eventually the weight started coming off. >> the gym membership is really what made everything click together and that was the other half of what i needed to do in order to change. >> reporter: and the payoff was big. in 18 months, taylor shed 150 pounds. >> i thought perry did a pretty good job. >> okay. >> reporter: today taylor is a freshman at washington college in maryland. he's healthy. he's fit. it was a long, hard-fought battle, one that he now shares with kids when speaking at schools about obesity. >> my goal is to be able to help other kids get their weight under control. everyone deserves to be amazingly amazing and i really think that if you believe in yourself that the key word is to believe in yourself, then you can make it happen. >> here's another important point. taylor says he's determined to keep the weight off. he no longer has high blood pressure and he still counts


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