When a celebrity has a health issue, this feels relevant to us as it feels like someone you know has a health issue. And piques our curiosity for more information. Many of us struggle from similar if not the same conditions.
Some of the recent celebrities’ health news has been a bit bizarre. We’ll start by discussing the rapper TI and his recent comments about virginity testing. Many of us are wondering what this entails and, to put it as politely as possible, it is checking for a female’s hymen. The hymen is a basic part of female human anatomy inside the vagina, which can be different shapes and sizes, even naturally perforated or absent. It can be broken very easily for various reasons that don’t relate to virginity.
It is unscientific and there is no medical reason or basis for this test to be done. Virginity testing can lead to physical and emotional trauma to the person subject to the testing. It could even be considered a type of sexual assault.
According to the UN, this testing is somehow still being done in over 40 countries and the US is shockingly one of them. NY is one of the states taking steps to help ban this practice entirely. Practitioners should be actively discouraged from performing it and parents/partners should be discouraged from considering it.
The next celebrity is someone who I have a deep respect for coming forward to speak on a topic that previously had little awareness. And this is Mathew Knowles, Beyonce’s father, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mr. Knowles was diagnosed with breast cancer after he noticed a spot of blood on his T-shirt and was encouraged to seek evaluation. He underwent mammography and subsequent mastectomy. Some find it surprising that men have breasts. We all are born with breast tissue. Men just don’t normally develop this breast tissue like women do, but it is still present. And any tissue in our bodies can develop cancer.
What are the risk factors for breast cancer?
In Males, it tends to be age over 60, a family history of breast cancer, the presence of the BRCA gene mutation.
What are the symptoms? These tend to be similar to women. Enlarging lump or thickening, skin changes, discharge or bleeding, or changes in the nipple. Treatment is based on staging.
The last celebrity we’re discussing today is Ariana Grande who had an allergic reaction to tomatoes. Since we are around the holidays, food allergies are a great topic. We are attending holiday parties and are often eating out so we may not be in control of what is in our food. Food allergies are increasingly common. The most common food allergies tend to be to nuts – peanuts and tree nuts, dairy and shellfish.
What are the symptoms to look out for?
These can range from fairly mild to life-threatening. And the symptoms can quickly change and worsen, so it is very important to be aware and treat immediately. Some symptoms include itching and burning around the mouth, rash, swelling of the lips and tongue and difficulty swallowing or breathing.
The importance for food allergies is prevention. Avoidance of the allergen is of utmost importance. Know the symptoms and act immediately if you develop symptoms. Teach kids not to share their lunches and be wary of food that you have not prepared or can’t verify ingredients. Carry an EpiPen if you have a known allergy. Always seek medical attention because symptoms can become quickly life-threatening
Celebrities are really just like us and we all have health conditions. It’s important to be aware of symptoms and seek medical attention, ask questions and ask for advice when in any doubt.