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Health & Balance

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Larry King Hosts 25 Years of Health News

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LK: We did shows on irritable bowel disease -- something that just wasn’t discussed. And colostomies, where you have to wear the bag. We haven’t been afraid to talk about things that might make people uncomfortable.

WW: We’ve also talked a lot about the traditional approaches to cancer treatment, radiation and chemotherapy, vs. alternative treatments. We make sure to cover both perspectives. I think that’s one of the things that these shows have all done. Before, whatever your doctor would say, you’d do it without question. Now people are interested in getting a second opinion, and they have WebMD and other sources to explore their options.

WebMD: What medical shows have touched you most? Have there been any that have moved you to tears?

LK: Going through the burn center two weeks after 9/11, that was one of the hardest shows to do. I learned a lot about burns, why they kill you and how they’re treated. I remember one guy -- they couldn’t even put a sheet on him because the sheet brought him so much pain, so he had to lie uncovered. I was impressed by how many people were willing to talk about what had happened to them.

WW: For me, I think it was our coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, with Sanjay Gupta there discussing what he was doing to help the children. The doctors were leaving the hospital, and he was there by himself. His stories were just amazing. Another difficult night was the night Tim Russert died; it happened so quickly and was so shocking. But we did a good show that night with Larry’s doctor, Dr. P.K. Shah, about heart attack prevention.

WebMD: Are there any medical issues you haven’t covered that you wish you had time for?

LK: Concussions and brain injuries. This is so much in the news now with the NFL, and it’s a huge issue. Why was a famous baseball player kicked in the head and has now decided to retire because of all the concussions he’s had? [St. Louis Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue announced his retirement in mid-September, after a kick in the head during an August brawl, saying that the cumulative effects of that concussion and some 20 others he’d suffered since his high school football days had left him debilitated, unable to drive or cook for himself.] When your kid gets hit in the head in a ball game, how much do you have to worry now?

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