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Health Highlights: May 12, 2015

Sandra Lee Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis Binge Drinking by Young People on the Rise Globally Preventive Care Coverage Gaps Closed by Federal Government San Francisco Bans Chewing Tobacco From All Playing Fields

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

Sandra Lee Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Food Network star Sandra Lee has breast cancer and will soon undergo surgery to have both breasts removed, she announced Tuesday.

Lee, 48, said she found out about the cancer late last month. She had a cancerous lump removed and will have more extensive surgery later this week, the Associated Press reported.

A routine mammogram detected the cancer. Lee said she decided to go public about her illness to encourage other women to get screened for breast cancer.

"If it saves one person, and makes one more person go get a mammogram, and if they're sitting down right now watching this, don't watch this TV," she said on "Good Morning America."

"Go pick your phone up," Lee said, "and call your doctor and get your rear end in there and get a mammogram right now."

Lee -- a television chef, cookbook author and magazine publisher -- is the live-in girlfriend of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He says he will take time off to support Lee after her surgery, the AP reported.

Early detection of the cancer "could very well have saved Sandy's life," Cuomo told reporters at an event on Long Island.

"It's not easy to talk about this operation and the recovery and have everyone know. But she thought she could do some good," he said. "She wants to help people. She wants to make the world better, and that's where she always goes. I've been with her for 10 years and that's been a constant."


Binge Drinking by Young People on the Rise Globally

Binge drinking by young people in some wealthy, developed countries has increased over the past two decades, even as overall alcohol consumption has fallen, according to an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study.

Average annual alcohol consumption in the OECD's 34 member nations fell 2.5 percent over the past 20 years, to 9.1 liters (2.4 gallons) of pure alcohol per capita, the Associated Press reported.

However, regular binge drinking (five or more drinks on one occasion per week) has risen among young adult men and women in Canada, Germany and Italy, and among men in France and women in New Zealand.

Binge drinking rates fell in England and Ireland. There is conflicting data about whether binge drinking has risen in the United States or remained the same.

The OECD also said that the proportion of boys 15 and younger who have been drunk rose from 30 percent to 43 percent during the 2000s, and rose from 26 percent to 40 percent among girls 15 and younger, the AP reported.

Binge drinking by young people is a "major public health and social concern," the OECD said.

It also noted that harmful consumption of alcohol accounts for a higher percentage of deaths worldwide than HIV/AIDS, violence and tuberculosis combined, the AP reported.


Preventive Care Coverage Gaps Closed by Federal Government

Gaps in health insurers' coverage of preventive services such as birth control and colonoscopies are being closed by the federal government.

On Monday, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said insurers must cover -- at no extra cost to patients -- at least one birth control method in each of 18 categories approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Associated Press reported.

The government also said insurers can't charge patients for anesthesia services in connection with colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance must cover recommended preventive services at no additional charge to patients, including birth control. However, some coverage gaps for birth control methods have been identified by women's groups and experts, the AP reported.

Insurance companies said federal rules did not provide enough detail.


San Francisco Bans Chewing Tobacco From All Playing Fields

San Francisco has become the first U.S. city to ban smokeless tobacco from all playing fields, including the home park of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2016. It bans the use of smokeless tobacco at athletic facilities, and targets baseball, which has a long history of players using smokeless tobacco, the Associated Press reported.

The San Francisco ban on smokeless tobacco -- which includes chewing tobacco and moist snuff -- is part of a larger effort by the Washington, D.C.-based Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"Today, San Francisco entered the history books as the first city to take tobacco out of baseball. The home of the world champion Giants has set an example that all of Major League Baseball and the rest of the country should quickly follow," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the AP reported.

A bill to ban all tobacco use -- including smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes -- wherever organized baseball is played in California is being considered by state legislators.

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