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  1. It's important to stretch and strengthen back and abdominal muscles


    Keeping core muscles limber is as important as keeping them strong.

     Alyssa Cedela of St. Pete demonstrates the modified cobra yoga pose at the Vinoy in St Petersburg, FL,  May 9, 2017.
  2. Entrepreneurs aren't waiting for lawmakers to plan the future of medical cannabis


    WESLEY CHAPEL — Mute the sound and it would have felt like a real estate seminar. The hotel conference room was half full. It was an older crowd, professionally dressed. Notepads sat on top of the tables, which hid the khakis below.

    Jake Bergmann, CEO of Surterra Holdings, a cannabis-based therapeutics company, speaks to attendees during the first day Friday of the Florida Medical Cannabis Conference and Exhibition at Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel. [JOSH SOLOMON  |  Times]
  3. Rare liver surgery performed at TGH saves Tampa man's life


    When doctors learned during surgery that Ken Brant's liver was too riddled with cancer for a conventional procedure, they turned to his wife with two options.

    Jeanne and Ken Brant thank Dr. Julio Sokolich for undertaking a complicated procedure in February that saved Brant’s life.
  4. A South Carolina teen dies after caffeine overload, leaving others to wonder: How much caffeine is too much?


    The story of South Carolina's Davis Cripe seems, at first, almost unbelievable:

    A coroner says a healthy 16-year-old South Carolina high school student died from heart problems after drinking too much caffeine. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Davis Cripe drank a large Mountain Dew, a latte from McDonald?€™s and an energy drink in the two hours before his heart fell out of rhythm at Spring Hill High School on April 26. [Photo from video]
  5. Abortion bills die in Florida's Capitol for the first time in eight years


    Lawmakers left Tallahassee last week without accomplishing an agenda item that has been at the forefront for years: They passed no legislation restricting abortions or targeting abortion clinics.

    Planned Parenthood supporters in Tampa this February.
  6. Whistleblower talks of health insurers bilking Medicare


    When Medicare was facing an impossible $13 trillion funding gap, Congress opted for a bold fix: It handed over part of the program to insurance companies, expecting them to provide better care at a lower cost. The new program was named Medicare Advantage.

    Benjamin Poehling, a former finance director for UnitedHealthcare Medicare and Retirement, in Minneapolis. He contends that his company and other insurers have been systematically bilking Medicare Advantage for years. [Ackerman and Gruber for the New York Times]
  7. Olympic ice skater, cancer survivor Scott Hamilton joins Moffitt national board of advisers


    TAMPA — The Moffitt Cancer Center has appointed famed ice skater, Olympian and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton to its national board of advisers, the institute announced Tuesday.

    Scott Hamilton, shown in 2010, battled testicular cancer in 1997 and in 2004, doctors found he had a brain tumor. Now, he works a public speaker and a humanitarian. [Associated Press]
  8. Artists decorate 'cancer masks,' turning patients into superheroes


    Bland meshed white masks cover the face and as low as the upper torso of a cancer patient and are then bolted onto a radiotherapy table to prevent that area of the body from moving during radiation treatment for the neck up.

    Nancy Kirkpatrick of Temple Terrace sets up treasure boxes on a table at the home of Clarisse Castro in Lutz, Fla. on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.  

Members of the not for profit Florida Suncoast Decorative Artists meet regularly to paints Memory Boxes for parents who have lost their infants. They also paint Treasure Boxes for children at the Shriners Hospital and the frightening masks that radiation patients at Florida Hospital must wear during treatment.
  9. A shocking diagnosis: breast implants 'gave me cancer'


    Raylene Hollrah was 33, with a young daughter, when she learned she had breast cancer. She made a difficult decision, one she hoped would save her life: She had her breasts removed, underwent grueling chemotherapy and then had reconstructive surgery.

    Raylene Hollrah developed lymphoma caused by the breast implants she got to rebuild her chest after a double mastectomy. A rare cancer of the immune system, linked to textured implants, has had devastating effects on women, many of whom had reconstructive surgery after breast cancer. "I thought, 'I'm not going to see my kids grow up." [Whitney Curtis | New York Times]
  10. Rep. Gus Bilirakis defends health care vote, but some constituents wonder why he did it

    State Roundup

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Like so many of the hundreds of constituents who showed up at U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis' February town hall meetings on health care reform, Mona Bedard came away impressed. The Republican congressman seemed genuine, empathetic and determined to protect his constituents' access to health care, said …

    U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis listens to concerns at the West Pasco Government Center in February as part of his series of sessions on health care reform. He has no town hall talks coming up.