When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

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The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

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This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

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Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

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More Women Choose Double Mastectomy, But Study Says Many Don't Need It

Nov 28, 2012
Originally published on February 26, 2015 5:06 pm

It's a startling trend: Many women with cancer in one breast are choosing to have their healthy breast removed, too.

But a study being presented later this week says more than three-quarters of women who opt for double mastectomies are not getting any benefit because their risk of cancer developing in the healthy breast is no greater than in women without cancer.

"People want absolute certainty," breast surgeon Monica Morrow of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center tells Shots. "Unfortunately, even having a double mastectomy doesn't provide certainty that breast cancer will not recur. So it's a false sense of security."

Morrow is a co-author of a paper that will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Quality Care Symposium in San Diego.

Another co-author, Sarah Hawley, of the University of Michigan, says double mastectomy "does not make sense" for about three-quarters of the women who are choosing the operation "because having a non-affected breast removed will not reduce the risk of recurrence in the affected breast."

The researchers looked at nearly 1,500 women who had been treated for early-stage breast cancer. Of those who chose mastectomy instead of lumpectomy, nearly 20 percent opted to have both breasts removed.

But of those who chose double mastectomy, three-quarters had no medical justification, Hawley tells Shots.

In fact, many women had a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS, considered a so-called stage zero breast cancer — a type many say shouldn't really be considered cancer at all.

The more radical operation makes medical sense, Hawley says, for fewer than 10 percent of women with early breast cancer. Those include the 1.5 percent who have a genetic mutation called BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 and another 8 percent who have a strong family history, which means two or more immediate relatives who've had breast or ovarian cancer.

Double mastectomy rates "have been inching up over the last decade," Hawley says. There are no guidelines on who should be getting the operation.

When the researchers surveyed women about their choice of therapy, not surprisingly they found the main factor was fear that cancer would "spread" to the healthy breast — even though, Morrow says, "it's a misunderstanding that cancer spreads from breast to breast."

"One of the biggest fears when you get a cancer diagnosis is, if I go through this treatment, can I be done, can I go on and live my life and not have to worry about it coming back?" Hawley says.

"I have seen young women who leave the office having signed up for lumpectomy," Morrow says, "and they call back the next day and say, 'Well, I was on the Internet or I was talking to my friends and they said I'm a young mother, don't I want to do everything I can to be there for my child? I think I want a double mastectomy.' "

But there's a flaw in that approach. "Unfortunately, that's just fuzzy reasoning."

There's another reason cited by many — the belief that a double mastectomy plus breast reconstruction will give a better, more symmetrical cosmetic result.

"We would have thought that concerns about body image would lead women away from double mastectomy," Hawley says. "But it may be almost the inverse."

Morrow says there's no evidence that reconstruction after double mastectomy will lead to a better cosmetic result and there are other ways to achieve symmetry.

She says there's growing concern among breast cancer specialists about the trend toward double mastectomy.

The evidence, Morrow says, is that the trend is driven by consumers — not surgeons. She finds that ironic.

"I'm old enough to remember the days when surgeons were considered to be horrible mutilators of women when they did one mastectomy, no less two," Morrow says. It took years of pressure from the then-nascent patients' rights movement, along with the evidence from controversial research studies, to establish breast-conserving lumpectomy as a valid alternative to mastectomy.

"The two operations really are equal — not just in survival but in the risk of cancer recurrence," Morrow says. "That wasn't true 30 years ago. We've gotten better at lumpectomy; we understand more about the biology of breast cancer.

"So at a time when we can decrease the intensity of surgical therapy," she continues, "instead what we're seeing is patients who want to be 'safe' choosing the bigger surgery, even though in fact it's no safer for them."

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