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Health Highlights: Aug. 6, 2019

Surgical Procedure Aims to Delay Menopause for Decades Author Toni Morrison Dead at Age 88

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Surgical Procedure Aims to Delay Menopause for Decades

Ten British women have undergone a first-of-a-kind surgery that could delay menopause by up to 20 years.

The procedure involves removing a portion of a woman's ovaries and then cryogenically freezing it. When the woman gets closer to the age of menopause, the tissue is thawed and re-implanted to restore her younger, natural hormones, CBS News reported.

The women, ages 22-36, had the procedure performed by doctors at ProFam in Birmingham, England.

While a remarkable development, it also raises a number of questions, according to CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus.

"A hundred years ago, the average life expectancy was in the 50s," he told CBS This Morning. "So now really we're living, or women are living, with four or five decades of having menopause. So menopause, osteoporosis, increased heart disease, obviously hot flashes, potentially memory problems, and others, you can delay that with this procedure."

However, the effects the procedure will have on women won't be known for several decades.

"For all we know it could change cancer risk," Agus said. "It could change cognitive function later as you get older. We just don't know the answer."

He noted that similar procedures have been available for decades for women with cancer, but not healthy women, CBS News reported.


Author Toni Morrison Dead at Age 88

U.S. author Toni Morrison, the 1993 Nobel laureate in literature, died Monday at age 88.

She died at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, according to a statement from her publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, The New York Times reported.

In her writing, Morrison explored black identity in the United States, particularly the experience of black women.

The author of 11 novels as well as children's books and essay collections, Morrison was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, The Times reported.

Her works included "Song of Solomon," which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, and "Beloved," which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

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