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Health Highlights: Oct. 2 2019

Beyonce's Dad Battling Breast Cancer Johnson & Johnson Settles Opioid Suit With Two Ohio Counties Bans on Flavored E-Cigs Continue

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

Beyonce's Dad Battling Breast Cancer

In July, Mathew Knowles, father of singing stars Beyonce and Solange, had surgery for breast cancer.

Since the operation Knowles, 67, said he's doing fine, CNN reported.

His first clue that something wasn't right was recurring dots of blood on his shirts and sheets. Knowles saw his doctor and had a mammogram, which revealed the cancer.

After his diagnosis his first step was to call his family. In an interview Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Knowles said he has a genetic predisposition to cancer.

'It also means that my kids have a higher chance, a higher risk, even my grandkids have a higher risk. And they handled it like they should. They went and got the test," he said.

Knowles has the BRCA2 gene mutation, which puts him in a high risk for developing breast cancer, CNN reported.

"I have four things to be concerned about: prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma and breast cancer," he said. "The rest of my life I have to be very much aware and conscious and do all of the early detection for the rest of my life."

Since his surgery, Knowles has quit drinking, and exercises and meditates. "Things that used to be important are not important to me now," he told ABC host Michael Strahan. "[I] just look at the world differently."

Knowles wants men, especially black men, who have a higher risk for breast cancer, to become aware of their risk and get tested.

"I learned that the numbers that we have for men on breast cancer are not adequate because we don't have enough men that come forward that take the exam," Knowles said. "I'm hoping by me coming here today, speaking out, letting folks know that you can survive this, but it has to be early detection. I can't overemphasize the word 'early.'"

Breast cancer mostly affects women, but thousands of men get it too.

Each year in the United States, some 245,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, as are about 2,200 men. About 41,000 women die from the cancer, as do 460 men, CNN says.

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Johnson & Johnson Settles Opioid Suit With Two Ohio Counties

With a federal trial pending, the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson agreed Wednesday to pay two Ohio counties more than $20 million for its role in the ongoing opioid crisis.

The settlement comes on the heels of a $572 million settlement the company was ordered to pay New Brunswick, N.J., for marketing opioids in the state, the Associated Press reported.

The federal lawsuit is scheduled to start in less than three weeks, and four companies have already settled. But companies are still facing 2,000 lawsuits for their part in the opioid epidemic.

In the Ohio settlement, Johnson & Johnson's subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical agrees to pay Cuyahoga and Summit counties $10 million without admitting liability. The settlement also calls for the company to pay $5 million in legal expenses and give $5.4 million to nonprofits that fight the epidemic in northeastern Ohio, the AP reported.

Drugmakers Endo, Allergan and Mallinckrodt have also settled with these Ohio counties. Purdue Pharma has made a preliminary settlement to cover all its lawsuits, but half the states involved say they will oppose the settlement in bankruptcy court.

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Bans on Flavored E-Cigs Continue

Los Angles County and the state of Ohio are the latest to ban flavored e-cigarettes, joining Massachusetts, Washington, Michigan and New York, along with San Francisco.

The LA ban includes flavored tobacco products, chewing tobacco and menthol cigarettes along with e-cigarettes, according to the Associated Press.

The vote by the county's Board of Supervisors was unanimous, despite objections from storekeepers and vaping advocates. The law goes into effect in 30 days and storeowners have six months to pull flavored products from their shelves and apply for new licenses.

In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine has called for a law banning flavored vaping products including mint and menthol. The statewide ban would not affect tobacco-flavored products, CNN reported.

Both LA and Ohio are reacting to the attraction flavored vaping products holds for teens and young adults. The growth of flavored vaping is largely driven by their attraction to young people.

Also, vaping has been linked to 805 cases of serious lung damage throughout the United States and at least 16 deaths.

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