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CNN LARRY KING LIVE
Eyewitness Accounts of West Virginia Mine Explosion; Interview with Martina Navratilova
Aired April 7, 2010 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
LARRY KING, HOST: A special edition of LARRY KING LIVE.
They're hanging to a shred of hope in West Virginia tonight, as workers continue to vent those deadly gases from the mine. A press conference is underway.
Let's get the latest from CNN's Brooke Baldwin on the scene in Noma -- Brooke.
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry, a huge announcement as we were just listening to that he news conference. It was Kevin Strickland with MSHA, the federal mining -- basically the governing body. And that is the first time that we've heard anyone here actually talk about the next phase of this rescue mission, which is when they would send in these 30 guys. He mentioned six teams going in under the mine and try to get to the rescue chamber.
You know, this massive, long, painstaking process has taken what seems like, I'm sure, an eternity for all these families who are in West Virginia waiting for news.
What's taken so long essentially is they've got these five holes they're planning on drilling, one of which -- just one -- has made it all the way down to the mine at 1,100 feet down. They've been testing the air quality. And as you just heard, MSHA was saying that it's finally improved. So he's saying sort of nebulously, hopefully soon they'll be able to send the rescuers in and hopefully find these missing miners in this rescue chamber -- Larry.
KING: Brooke, we understand that President Obama reached out to some of the families who lost loved ones.
Is that true?
BALDWIN: That is true. I've seen the picture of the president on the phone from the Oval Office reaching out to some of these miners' families, of course, offering condolences and, you know, a bit of news, at least for folks here in West Virginia. The West Virginia basketball coach, they call him Huggie -- Bob Huggins -- called or actually visited via helicopter here, some of the miners' families. That apparently, according to one of the Congressmen I was talking to, was a huge deal -- a huge ray of hope for -- for the folks out here. But they're just -- these families, as you can imagine, they're waiting. They're furious with Massey Energy. They feel like the truth hasn't been given to them as expediently as they would like. They really just have yet to hear the words, "I'm sorry," according to some I've...
KING: What about the...
BALDWIN: -- talked to -- Larry.
KING: Brooke, what about the families of the four missing miners?
Have you been in touch?
How are they holding up?
BALDWIN: I have not been in touch. It is -- this has been so challenging, covering this story. I was in West Virginia covering Sago four years ago and it was easy to be in touch with those families because they were sort of holed up in this church behind the row of media. But here, those families, Larry, are a couple miles away deep, deep into this mining property. And so it's almost impossible for us here to talk to -- to the families.
But from what I've been told, they have been told to go home, get sleep, take a shower. And most of them have stayed put right up the road, holding out all hope.
KING: We're talking with Brooke Baldwin, CNN correspondent on the screen.
Let's carry a little bit of that press conference now in progress.
KEVIN STRICKLIN, U.S. MINE SAFETY & HEALTH ADMINISTRATION: We pegged our instruments, high methane, low oxygen. So I would expect the air to be not as good as what we would like to see it be.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) there could be a pocket of worse air?
QUESTION: In regards to drilling of the hole (INAUDIBLE)?
STRICKLIN: Could you repeat that?
QUESTION: Earlier today, you had talked about putting cameras down in those holes (INAUDIBLE). If you are (INAUDIBLE) to get in the mine tonight, some of those other things you were talking about at 3:30 (INAUDIBLE), is that suspended right now and focus mainly on getting through (INAUDIBLE)?
STRICKLIN: It's not suspended. We're doing both operations at the same time. But our intent -- our preference would be to rescue teams to go in and almost physically touch those refuge chambers. If the air is too bad or we find that it's unsafe for the teams to go underground, our Plan B is to drill from the surface and use cameras. QUESTION: What is the estimated time it will take once they enter the mine to reach those chambers?
STRICKLIN: I -- I don't know exactly. As -- as quickly as possible.
QUESTION: How far do they have to travel?
STRICKLIN: It's about five miles total to get into the mine -- to get into where these chambers are, I believe, someone (INAUDIBLE)...
QUESTION: Would it be by foot?
STRICKLIN: No, it won't be by foot. It will be -- we'll ride in as far as we can and -- until we can't travel any further by ride. Then they'll walk the rest of the way.
QUESTION: And just to be absolutely clear, how many rescue chambers are we talking about that you need to check?
QUESTION: Well, there has been a case...
QUESTION: There's been a break in the drilling at all since you started, which would allow you to listen for the sounds that you hope to hear?
STRICKLIN: We have not had a break in the drilling. We think it's important to keep going right now with the drilling operation to get the bore holes in. It's important to get that in right now for us.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) their only mission would be to go see those (INAUDIBLE)...
KING: Imagine surviving an explosion that killed at least 25 people. Stanley Stewart did just that. He was inside the mine Monday when the blast sent him scrambling to survive.
He joins us now from Noma, West Virginia.
How are you doing physically and emotionally?
How are you doing Stanley?
STANLEY STEWART, SURVIVED MINE EXPLOSION: I'm doing OK, Larry.
KING: All right. Take us back. Where were you when the blast...
STEWART: I'm coping.
KING: I understand.
Where were you when the blast occurred?
STEWART: I was approximately 300 feet inside the portal, sitting in the man trip. We were about to leave to head to our section and the air hit us. It started out as a small breeze, it felt like. And then it got hard, very hard. And so I got out of the man trip quickly. I knew something was wrong and I knew that we needed to get outside.
The wind intensified to what I felt like was a gale force, hurricane like wind. My eyes were filling with dirt. I had to put my head down. I couldn't see. And I felt panic setting in, although I knew I didn't have far to go. But still, I was scared.
And I told the guys that was coming with me to take their time, be careful, we didn't need to fall down. We didn't know -- we knew something big had happened. We didn't know what. But we needed to get out. And luckily we did.
KING: How many were with you?
STEWART: There were probably approximately 15 getting ready to go inside to our sections at the time.
KING: Do -- do you feel lucky...
STEWART: I don't have an exact number, but I'm -- I feel very lucky and fortunate, Larry, so much.
KING: Yes, boy.
So how long between the first wind hitting and getting out did it take, do you think?
A matter of minutes?
STEWART: Yes, it just took a couple of minutes. It didn't take very long. And we -- like I just stated, we were very fortunate that we were that close to the outside and were lucky enough to get out to safety.
KING: We'll be right back with Stanley Stewart and more still to come, Martina Navratilova.
Don't leave us, Stanley, because we're coming right back on LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't go away.
KING: We're with Stanley Stewart, who survived the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in West Virginia.
Stanley, then after you got out, you helped get others out or did you -- were you bring out bodies?
What were you doing after you got out?
KING: OK, do we have the governor?
OK. All right. We apologize. We -- Stanley Stewart, we couldn't make a connection. We're expecting to talk w the governor -- the Democratic governor of West Virginia, Governor Joe Manchin.
We can go to him now?
All right, Governor Manchin -- he's in Charleston, of course, West Virginia.
What's the latest you can tell us about the four missing men, Governor?
GOV. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Well, we're working feverishly. I just returned from the mine. I came up to do the memoriam for the Davis family. We lost three members of one family. We lost Timmy, the oldest brother; two grandsons and nephews. It's a very sad time. They're very strong, good people -- hard-working people. So we just attended that and I'll be heading back down to the mine.
But before I left, as you know, they'd bored the holes down. And you were probably watching the press conference. They're making decisions right now and trying to make sure that the air is safe enough for the rescue teams to go in.
We spoke to the families earlier, Larry, and every family to a tee does not want to put these rescue workers in any more harm's way than what they will be.
So we are still in a rescue operation. And after we determine the fate of our four missing miners, then we'll return to a recovery.
KING: Is it true that our friend, Bob Huggins, the West Virginia basketball coach, called you and offered to do what he could?
MANCHIN: The coach called last night. The coach called and said, Joe, I just want to do whatever I can. And I said coach, please.
I think that he didn't want to take away from it, he just wanted to contribute.
And I said, Bob, why don't you come on down?
I said the people will love you. They'd -- they'd love to see you and I think it will be uplifting. And it was. And he brought some West Virginia shirts down and all that. He's a -- he's a wonderful person...
MANCHIN: -- and he's loved by all of us. And he's our friend. And he did a great job. And, you know, everybody has been so good. The president has called. I spoke to the president. He wanted to speak to some of the families and he made those calls today. Vice President Biden has spoken. And -- and they've both been so appreciative and so respectful, offering to come, but they said they didn't want to take away from this tremendous effort -- this rescue effort.
We appreciate that so much. And maybe at a later time, they'll come and be able to visit with these great people.
KING: Does this come in the category, Governor, of a -- of a national tragedy where you ask for governmental help?
MANCHIN: No. The -- you know, they -- the government has, you know, MSHA is doing their thing. We take -- we're OK. We understand. It's -- it's a terrible situation here. But we're going to take care of our -- of our people. And they're just wonderful, wonderful human beings. They're the salt of the Earth -- hardworking people. We -- we are -- we're all together. We're a large family in West Virginia. And if you see them and the families together, Larry, at first you would see the different family sections. And then after the first day, you can't tell, because they all become one large family, helping each other whoever is having the most difficult time.
They know what we're facing. We know that we have 14 unidentified miners in the mine. We have four that are still in the mine that have been identified for 18. And we have four that were missing. So we have a total of 22 brave miners there that we're doing everything in our power as quickly as possible.
And we're just doing everything to make sure that we can get in and hopefully have a miracle. It's a shred of hope we still have, but we do have hope. And I think everyone knows that if they could have made it to the self -- or to the rescue chamber, we have a sliver of a chance. If not, we know it's -- odds are against us.
KING: Governor, we salute you.
We'll stay in constant touch. And we -- we extend our best to all those great people in West Virginia.
MANCHIN: Well, Larry, we appreciate America's prayers, I can tell you that. And these are wonderful people and we do appreciate all of you.
KING: Governor Joe Manchin, the Democratic governor of West Virginia.
Martina Navratilova reveals her next opponent. It is by far and away her toughest yet, right after the break.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: Martina Navratilova -- if I have to tell you who she is, you're on another planet. The winner of 59 Grand Slam tennis titles. She is AARP's health and fitness ambassador. She looks terrific. And on a personal note, Martina and I both received honorary degrees on the same day about 15 years ago from George Washington University -- a day we'll both long remember.
MARTINA NAVRATILOVA, TENNIS LEGEND: Correct.
KING: OK. Let's get right to it. You're facing a big health challenge -- breast cancer.
How -- how did you get the diagnosis?
NAVRATILOVA: Well, I had a mammogram in January and they told me to come back for -- for a closer look. I went to the Australian Open for Tennis Channel, so it waited about a month. In February, I went back and they magnified it and said, well, there's a cluster, we'll probably do a biopsy just to be sure. So I went to Denver. This was done in Aspen.
So I went to Denver to get the biopsy on a Tuesday. And they said it looks pretty good, it should be nothing. Wednesday, my doctor, Mindy (ph), who is a very good friend of mine calls me and says, are you sitting down?
And I'm like, why?
She said, well, it came -- it came back positive.
I'm like, positive?
Wait. That's not good. Normally positive is a good thing, but not in this case. So I -- I was pretty shocked. And that's -- I said OK, what does this mean?
And she said, well, we don't know yet -- maybe lumpectomy; maybe mastectomy; radiation, probably; chemotherapy maybe. So I was -- I had to sit down. And I was -- I was, needless to say, pretty shocked because I was so sure that it was going to be nothing. Even when they were doing the biopsy, I was still joking around with them. You know, they put a marker on my...
KING: Why were you so sure?
NAVRATILOVA: Well, because I'm so healthy and I'm still young, you know?
I'm -- OK, I'm an AARP member, but I still feel in my -- in my head sometimes, I feel about, I don't know, 12. I feel like -- most of the time, I feel like I'm in my 30s or perhaps in my 40s. So I just thought it was too soon for this. I mean, you know, I have no breast -- breast cancer history in my family. My grandmothers died from cancer, but they were 86, 87 years old. So I just thought this was a bit -- a bit too soon for that.
NAVRATILOVA: So I was pretty shocked.
KING: Did you get -- did you -- Martina, did you get regular mammograms?
NAVRATILOVA: I had been getting regular mammograms and -- and then I didn't. 2006, I think, was my last one -- or at -- in the end of 2005. And I was still playing on the tour, playing my last year. So I thought, oh, I'll get it later. Then after I finished my career, I got a knee surgery. I'm like I'll do it later.
Then I moved back to Colorado. And I'm like, oh, I'll get it done. And it just kept, you know, it just kept missing and I didn't take it seriously.
And I'm like, finally, in January, I said, you know what, another year is going to go by. And I had not realized it had been four years. So I thought maybe it was two years since my last mammogram. And I thought it's time to get my yearly checkup.
So I finally went and...
NAVRATILOVA: -- and -- and there -- there it is. So I was lucky that...
NAVRATILOVA: -- that this calcification happened at the tail end of those four years rather than at the beginning of it.
KING: Are you scared?
NAVRATILOVA: No. No. No. I mean, you know, as far as cancers go, this is -- this is the good one. It's like an oxymoron to have a good cancer...
KING: What do you mean?
NAVRATILOVA: Well, because, actually now, after the lumpectomy, the cancer is out of my breast so I don't have it in my body anymore. Then I'm doing radiation, which will sort of hopefully get rid of any of the cells and help keep -- keep it from Australian Open.
So I'm going to -- well, maybe after that, I have maybe a 10 percent chance of it Australian Open. So the odds are very good for me.
But, you know, scared?
I was scared when I first got the news. But immediately, I got into the solutions. I thought what do we have to do to -- to get out of this? And it's a bit of a shock to the system because I didn't expect it because I'm -- I'm -- I'm so healthy. I eat well. I exercise, of course. And I just didn't think that it's just not the thing -- I didn't feel anything. I didn't feel -- and you couldn't feel it in -- in a breast exam because they were so small.
Now -- but now, the digital mammography is so good that they can find a pinhead, you know, in there. And they did.
So that's -- and, initially when I got the diagnosis, I'm like, OK, I'm going to keep it quiet. I'm not going to tell the world about it because I've really been keeping my private life much more private the last 10 years or so.
And -- and then when I found out why -- I found what I have and -- and I was so lucky that we found it early because of the mammogram. I thought you know what, I really owe this to the women out there that are putting it off to speak out and say you know what, get that mammogram every year because you never know when it's going to save your life.
NAVRATILOVA: And so that's why I went public with it. And that's why I'm here, to give women to get that yearly check-up. Because as AARP's health and fitness ambassador, I've been advocating good eating and exercise and all that stuff. I even wrote a book about it, which came out four years ago. And I couldn't get on your show then (LAUGHTER) to talk about it.
So what do I have to do to get on your show, get breast cancer?
Thanks a lot, Larry.
KING: I needed to hear that, Martina. Thank you.
NAVRATILOVA: Oh, yes, yes.
But anyway, so -- so that's why I went public...
KING: Let me get a break and come right back.
NAVRATILOVA: Yes. All right.
KING: Martina Navratilova. She is one of the best.
We'll be right back.
Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Martina Navratilova. Her purpose -- urging every woman to get a regular mammogram. She will be doing a Web chat about breast cancer tomorrow at 1:00 Eastern. That's 1:00 Eastern, 10:00 a.m. Pacific. And you can register into that Web chat at AARP.org/martinachat -- one word. AARP.org/martinachat. That's one word.
And by the way, in a little while, we'll have Dr. Mehmet Oz come on with Martina to discuss breast cancer and her particular case.
By the way, what was -- what was having that lumpectomy -- what was that like?
NAVRATILOVA: It was a piece of cake, really. The biopsy was actually more uncomfortable, because you're laying on this table upside down with your breast sticking out and then they numb it and it's -- that was uncomfortable, just being on that table. But the -- the lumpectomy is much easier because you're -- you know, you're a normal patient and they kind of put you to sleep in this little twilight zone. And you wake up and -- and it's over...
KING: It's over.
NAVRATILOVA: -- and you don't know that it actually happened already. And there was no pain whatsoever afterwards, when the breast came to life. I also had a -- had a lymph node taken out to make sure that the -- the cancer hadn't spread. And it hadn't. It's still just in that one boob.
KING: A couple of other things before Dr. Oz joins us.
What do you make of the whole Tiger Woods story, one great athlete about another?
NAVRATILOVA: Well, I think that it's great that he's playing again. And I think he will find the golf course his oasis, because that's what he does best. And I found, for myself, whenever things were not going quite right for me, I felt that the tennis court was my safe haven. And I think he will do just fine. He'll be happy to be back doing what he does best.
KING: I remember when you came out. And now we have the controversy over don't ask/don't tell. Ricky Martin, the great singer, has just come out.
As you encourage women to get -- get their mammograms, do you -- do you encourage gay people to come out of the closet?
NAVRATILOVA: That's a personal choice, you know. And it's difficult. I mean it's -- it's easier, I think, for private people to do that than for famous people to do that, because then you're coming out to the whole world.
But it's a very personal choice. And when people are ready, they do come out. And when they do come out, I have not heard of one case where somebody wants to go back into the closet, they made a mistake. So I would encourage people to come out just because they will feel so much better about being free, true to themselves and don't have to pretend anymore. So, yes, (INAUDIBLE) people...
KING: Was it hard...
NAVRATILOVA: -- but it has to be an individual choice.
KING: Was it hard for you to come out?
NAVRATILOVA: Well, no. I -- I -- I couldn't come out until I became a citizen, because it was actually a disqualifier at the time. But if I had...
NAVRATILOVA: Yes. Yes. I may not have gotten my U.S. citizenship if I had spoken out publicly before. So I waited until I got -- I got that passport.
But I don't think it's the case anymore.
KING: I didn't know that.
NAVRATILOVA: But it was that case 30 years ago. Yes.
KING: Don't forget, Martina is doing a Web chat. It's about breast cancer. It's tomorrow, 1:00 Eastern. You can register -- AARP.org/martinachat. That's one word. The famed Dr. Mehmet Oz will join us in a moment to discuss the Navratilova case.
Don't go away.
KING: Martina Navratilova remains with us for this segment, the tennis legend, the winner of 59 Grand Slams, and AARP's health and fitness ambassador. And we're joined by Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of "Dr. Oz," terrific television show, and "New York Times" best selling co- author of the "You" series of health books.
Dr. Oz., what are your thoughts on Martina's situation?
DR. MEHMET OZ, "DR OZ": Martina has a tumor that is very common. It's about one in four of all the breast cancers in the country. It's not a cancer we knew much about until we started doing a lot more visual mammography, where we could find it.
It's a very early tumor. I point that out because it's one of those cases where the mammography was life changing. By getting the mammography, she was able to make a diagnosis. The real dilemma that a lot of our viewers are worried about is what age do you start.
Martina is 53, if I can share that. Once you get past the age of 50, and you go through Menopause, mammography becomes a much better test. It's still the best test we have younger than the age of 50. But for a lot of women in that crucial decade between 40 and 50, the dilemma is do I tolerate a mediocre test -- not perfect, not like a papsmear, where you get a real diagnosis, but it's the best I have? Or do I wait it out until at age 50, where the test becomes much more effective, because my breasts become more thin?
KING: What do we mean by ductile carcinoma?
OZ: So imagine that you have a series of tunnels going from the nipple into the breast. That's where the milk collects and is secreted from. Inside of those tunnels, you have these very delicate cells that in some women begin to turn carcinogenic. They begin a barren cell, sociopathic cells. They begin to fight and argue with the cells around them.
At the very earliest stages, sometimes those cells will develop a bit of calcium in them, as they did in Martina's case, clues to us that something is going on. The real dilemma, Larry, is we don't know if all these are going to become aggressive cancers. Some we know do. So it puts the patient and the doctor taking care of them in an awkward position. Now we've got to guess if this is a life threatening cancer.
The standard today in America is to do exactly what Martina is having done, which is to take an ice cream scooper, and scoop out part of the breast and then radiate around that area to make sure you got it all. I got to say, my vision for the future -- and I think a lot of my colleagues in the breast surgery field feel this way as well -- is that we will be able to take little scopes, go in through the nipple, actually see the early tumors before they become invasive, kill them by freezing them or lasering them. I think over the next few years we'll see more of these innovative approaches to make the art of breast surgery a bit more new tech.
NAVRATILOVA: Sounds good to me in case it comes back.
KING: Martina, is there anything you would want to ask Dr. Oz?
NAVRATILOVA: Well, I think I know the numbers pretty well. But he explained to me something a little more. Again, with time, hopefully, these cures will be even less invasive than they are now. Again, for me, the lumpectomy was pretty easy. But I guess now my unknown is the radiation. I'm having a six week course of radiation. What am I to expect in that?
OZ: The radiation is generally low impact, because they're going to aim right at the tissue around the tumor that was taken out. The reason we do the radiation, Martina and Larry, is because we recognize that in order to get all the tissue, with a good margin, around this very early tumor, you would disfigure the breast. So in order to preserve the contour of the breast, and maintain a cosmetically acceptable appearance, we opt to make a smaller excision of tissue, and then radiate around it to make sure we have no cells that escaped into the tissue around the area we attacked.
NAVRATILOVA: Actually, I'm told I'll be having the whole breast irradiated. Because it is ductal, it travels --
OZ: In the old days, the radiation would go into the heart area. As a heart surgeon, I would see that because it would tragically devastate the heart tissue or the valves. We can avoid that now. It allows you to be back at full speed quickly.
KING: Martina, you'll be happy to know that we Tweeted on King's Things that you were going to be on the show talking about this diagnosis. We've got tons of Tweets back wishing you the best. We have a Facebook question for you.
KING: You said your diagnosis was your 9/11. Do you think about life in a different way now?
NAVRATILOVA: Well, you just sort of take pause and sort of reboot. Are you doing the things that you want to be doing? If I had a year to live, I probably would change things. But I don't. I hopefully have a lot longer. Still, it gives you pause to make sure you're doing what you want to be doing. I am. I love working for the Tennis Channel. I love working for AARP, and empowering people there.
I still have plenty of time for my friends and family and travel and see the world. So I have a great life and hopefully I'll be here for a long time to annoy you all.
KING: Any thoughts on who's going to win in France?
NAVRATILOVA: Boy, that's still two months away. If Nidal is healthy, he's still my pick, of course, on the men's side. On the women's side, I hope to see Serena Williams and Justine Henin in the finals, and then I'm just going to have a lot of popcorn and enjoy that match.
KING: Are these players today as good as you, better than you? Could you have taken them on? Do they improve as other athletes do?
NAVRATILOVA: Of course they improve because they're bigger, stronger. They're hitting the ball harder. The equipment makes it easier to do that. People ask me quite often, do you think you could beat Serena Williams, because I don't think so? I said, well, do you think I could beat Justine Henin? They say, of course yes, because she's smaller than I am. I'm like Justine Henin beat Serena Williams, so there's your answer.
No, I think we would have great matches. And I think I would hold my own OK. It would have been fun. I would have loved to have played them.
KING: By the way, don't forget Martina is doing a web chat about breast cancer, tomorrow at 1:00 eastern. You can register at AARP.org/MartinaChat. Thanks Martina, good luck, dear.
NAVRATILOVA: I appreciate it. Thanks, Larry. KING: My pleasure. Your body's secret signs can save your life. Do you know what they're telling you? Dr. Oz is going to clue us in next.
KING: We're back with Dr. Mehmet Oz, "the New York Times" best selling co-author, host of his own TV show. On that show tomorrow, he's going to talk about secret signs. I'll ask you about that in a minute. But we have a Twitter question that might relate to the last guest. The question is, Tweeted to us, can a sonogram tell for sure that you don't have breast cancer?
OZ: No test can actually guarantee you don't have cancer. Larry, frankly, most of us watching the show right now, you and I included, have cancer cells in our body. The question is how does our immune system track those cancer cells, identify them, and knock them off? That's one of the beauties of the human immune system, that we're continually looking around for cells that aren't behaving themselves.
That stated, the sonogram is a reasonable test to identify if the cyst that you have in your breasts need to be drained. It gives us a clue. There's no radiation involved. So it's a adjunct useful tool. But mammography remains the gold standard. I want to emphasize, it's not the perfect test. I'm looking forward to better tests coming along to help us in the management of breast disease.
KING: Ovarian cancer, not a major problem for women, called a silent killer because it's often not found until it spreads. But you say there are symptoms women should know, like?
OZ: Larry, when I went through my training, if you had ovarian cancer, we were taught that you were going to die. By the time we identified it, it was almost always too late. There are three pairs of symptoms that are absolutely essential. The first is around food. If you had (INAUDIBLE), which means you lose your appetite quickly, and you don't tolerate the foods you used to have.
Second is if you have discomfort, pain, in your pelvis, your belly. And thirdly, if you're noticing that you're bloated, you've got a bigger waist than you used to have -- and it's not fat. It's gas. That's because you may have early signs of ovarian cancer. The survival rates, Larry, are 85 percent or better if women can track those three basic pairs of symptoms and bring it to the attention of their doctor. A sonogram, in that case, can be life saving.
KING: Your show tomorrow is on secret signs people's bodies may be giving them about their health. OK, give us a couple secret signs.
OZ: Well, I should say the preamble, which is your body is like an alarm clock. It's making lots of noises to you, trying to warn you of problems that are going on. Too many of us are hitting the snooze button and not paying attention to it.
A couple of signs -- I'll just list them -- is if you lose your sense of smell, that's one of the earlier signs that you may have Parkinson's Disease. It will predate the diagnosis by about seven years. That's one of the tips you can look for, pay attention to it.
Women who have calves that are large -- a lot of times women get upset about that. They don't know why they don't have those thin, dainty calves. It turns out that the circumference of your calf -- if you measure the distance around your calf, and it's more than 13 inches, guess what, you have a lower chance of having a stroke. We believe that's the case because big calves will suck up some of the fat that was in your blood. Less of that fat is in your blood vessels, less of the disease affecting your brain vessels occurs, and, for that reason, you may have less strokes.
Simple tips like that are the ones we're going to highlight in tomorrow's "Dr. Oz." I think for a lot of us, the more you recognize the clues your body is yelling out to you, the more you can pay attention to them.
KING: I know Summer is coming, and there's a big thing now that we need more Vitamin D. Everyone should take more Vitamin D. Take it in pill form. Get -- should we get more sun?
OZ: I think we ought to get more sun. But I think there's a smart way of doing it. Let's go to the numbers real quick. If you live north of Atlanta -- you can actually draw a line from Atlanta to Los Angeles. If you live North of that, in the winter months, you're not getting those rich sun rays that give us Vitamin D most of the time. So I can almost guarantee that, unless you get sun exposure or take a supplement, you're probably not going to get enough Vitamin D.
But in the summer time, in many parts other country, people don't expose themselves to sun. Here's the catch: people don't want to get wrinkles, right? So my advice is if you want your facial skin to look like your buttocks skin, which doesn't have any wrinkles on it because it doesn't see the sun, then you put sun block on your face, on the back of your hands, protect those areas, but leave your torso, your legs exposed to the sun for about 15 minutes.
Here's the math, Larry: if you're light skinned, in about 15 minutes of sun exposure, you'll generate 10,000 units of Vitamin D. That's a lot of Vitamin D. If you're darker skinned, African American, you need more like an hour of sun exposure. But you'll get that nutrient, Vitamin D, that we know helps reduce cancer rates. We know it's important for your immune system, plus the benefits it gives us for our heart and for osteoporosis and the like.
KING: What if I take 10,000 milligrams of Vitamin D? Is it called milligrams?
OZ: It's called international units. You could take 10,000. Most people probably don't need to do that. If you take 1,000 or 2,000 a day, units of Vitamin D, you'll be there, for most people. Some folks need to have their levels checked, and might need a tiny bit more.
Here's the catch: a lot of folks say, well, I'll get it in my milk. Milk has Vitamin D in it, but it's Vitamin D made from vegetable sources. It's not what the human body normally uses. You have to convert it. That means it's not all that efficient.
There's not a lot of great sources of Vitamin D in our diet. You either have to get it from Cod Liver Oil or some other fish oil source -- by the way, Cod Liver Oil, that our mom gave us when we were little kids, probably made sense because it had Vitamin D in it, plus Omega-3 fats. Or you need to get some of that nutrient from the sun that we were talking about.
Remember, Larry, in the Winter time, your cholesterol levels go up. The reason for that is the way the sun changes the body is it converts cholesterol to Vitamin D. It's magical, but it makes perfect sense now that our cholesterol levels fluctuate with the weather, because it's trying to regulate our Vitamin D levels.
KING: The amazing Dr. Oz. More after these words. Don't go away.
KING: Dr. Mehmet Oz is our guest. A Tweet question for you. When looking at nutrition facts, which is more important, sodium or sugar levels?
OZ: I worry more about sugar levels. Not everybody has a problem with sodium. We take in about 3,500 milligrams of sodium a day in this country. If we can take 50 percent off of that and get it down to 2,300 milligrams, we think we'll save about 100,000 lives. It's big deal.
But not everybody has blood pressure problems, which is primarily where sodium plays a big role. Sugar is a big issue for all Americans. Larry, I think the reason we have an obesity epidemic in this country is not because of the fat that we're eating, but because of the sugar. We convert that sugar in our liver to fat. We store it in our waist lines. And the cheap sugar, and the abundance of it in our food supply, is probably what's driving the obesity epidemic.
We were talking to Martina about obesity a little bit, and breast cancer. Obviously, she's muscular and doesn't have much weight, which is great news for her. But we believe 20 percent of breast cancer -- perhaps 20 percent of all cancer in America is caused by obesity. It's one of the reasons that it's so important to address that. Lots of ways to do it. Getting physical activity outside is one way. But you have to address the amount of sugar in your diet to be impactful.
KING: Don't forget, Dr. Oz, on his show tomorrow, gives you the secret signs. Let's take a call. Allison, Illinois, hello.
CALLER: Hi, Dr. Oz and Larry. I want to ask Dr. Oz about his take on chronic Lyme Disease. I have been misdiagnosed for six years and just got diagnosed last October, and just wondering why do you feel like the medical community is not acknowledging this epidemic? It's huge.
KING: Is it, doctor?
OZ: This is a huge question. I'm glad you're asking it now. It's the beginning of the Spring season. We're starting to see more ticks come out. As urban areas crowd rural areas, we're starting to see more of these ticks that have the Lyme Disease in them. It's impacting people.
Chronic lime disease happens when you don't treat the initial presentation of the problem. You get that classic bullseye rash, usually, but folks miss it. When you don't treat it initially, it can cause headaches. It can cause arthritis.
KING: You sleep a lot, right?
OZ: You sleep a ton. The real question, Larry, is it the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease or it is some other virus that's present in these ticks that's in our blood. We tried to study that a lot on my show. I've got to say, the jury is still out. It's a complex topic the medical community fights a lot over. Not everybody you treat aggressively with long term antibiotics gets better. We're not sure that everybody has chronic Lyme. It might be that you had Lyme Disease, but you've got some other virus at the same time, and that's what's causing your issue.
So it's that balancing act that so many doctors are challenged with patients who have Chronic Lyme.
KING: Another question from King's Things, our Twitter: is there any danger in consuming artificial sweeteners.
OZ: I'm not a big fan of artificial sweeteners. I have to be clear in saying that there's no compelling evidence that they're dangerous, or they cause cancer in the doses humans normally take. But here's the real argument, Larry -- I mean, these products, the diet sodas, for example, that are commonly imbibed by Americans, I mean, they are sold by big companies that have marketing budgets. If they truly helped you diet, don't you think they'd present that data and show you can lose weight if you had a diet soda?
The reality is, Larry, you don't lose weight with diet soda. So they don't accomplish their main goal. In fact, if you sat down and had a cup of iced tea and a tablespoon of sugar, you know how many calories you'd get? Give me an idea?
KING: A hundred?
OZ: Twelve, 12 calories? I'd rather you put real sugar in a the tea, enjoy a little sweetness with it. Get your 12 calories. You're going to get your 12 calories anyway. Don't get fooled. When you have an artificial sweetener, Larry, what happens is your brain is smart enough to realize you're giving itself something sweet but no calories with it. It's reminding you, hey guy, you cheated me, give me back the calories you promised me. People who have artificial sweetener in their diet tend to get more obesity. KING: We will try to be equal to that task. We'll be right back.
OZ: Scott McIntyre, "American Idol"'s first visually impaired finalist tells us why Idol won't be the same after Simon leaves and why he can make a good replacement for him. Check it out on our blog, CNN.com/LarryKing. Another call for Dr. Mehmet Oz. Dearborn, Michigan, hello. Hello? Are you there?
KING: Go ahead. What's the question?
CALLER: Hi. I was diagnosed with Leukemia in May of 2009 and the doctor put me a diet of all natural foods and high Omega-3s. I want to ask you and Dr. Oz what do you think Howard Stern's butt hole --
KING: He mentioned something important -- a little wacko, but that's OK. He mentioned something important. I read somewhere in a medical journal that Omega-3 Fish Oil is the only proven successful additive kind of thing you can buy in a health food store. All the rest make claims. The only proven benefit is Omega-3. Is that true?
OZ: I would argue that the best proven is Omega-3. But I don't think it's fair to say it's the only proven benefit. I mean, Vitamin D is clearly associated with reduction of some cancers.
Omega-3 is my favorite, without question. It seems to maintain a higher cognitive function. You think more clearly if you take Omega- 3s as you grow older. Children who don't get enough Omega-3s are not as sharp as kids who are given Omega-3s. It's one of the reasons, by law, we have to supplement infant formula if you're unable to breast- feed because it has Omega-3s in it. I think nutrition is very important.
If you have leukemia or any other cancer, recovering from it, do not give up the reality that when you walk into a grocery store, you're walking into a pharmacy. There are powerful and sacred nutrients found in these foods. They are whole foods and given to us just the way we need to take them. Omega-3 is unfortunately not always present.
Can I offer one other thing? We Tweeted out and put on our Facebook site that I would be on tonight, we got so many responses. There was one important thing we got asked about breast cancer. One asked, if, in fact, you don't have a family history, there's not that much of a risk of you getting breast cancer? I want to emphasize to all the women out there, only 20 percent of women with breast cancer have a family history. The rest do not. It's true your risk goes up if you have family members. But do not think you're safe just because you don't have a loved one who had the disease also.
KING: What's the percentage of people who get breast cancer who will die?
OZ: It's going down. One of the problems with answering that question is that we have done a great job keeping people with breast cancer alive. But breast cancer is one of those sneaky illnesses that keep coming back over and over again. You can't even talk about a five year survival rate. You have to talk about a 20 year survival rate, because the cells hideout and come back later.
Martina, for example, the kind of cancer she has, treated at the stage she is, her cure rate is over 90 percent. That is a wonderful tribute to the researchers in that area.
KING: Men can get it, too, right?
OZ: They can. It's much less common, because guys have less breast tissue. But self exams, which are the best way for a guy to find a tumor, because they don't have fibrous tissue like women do, is enough. You can just exam your breast by working your nipple and working your way out.
For women -- I want to emphasize this -- there's many women who identify breast cancer in themselves through breast exams, as through mammography, when they're young. Because when you know your breasts, and you examined them -- this is --again, the point of tomorrow's show is to know your body because it has secrets. It's trying to tell them to you. Pay attention to your body.
KING: Thank you, Dr. Oz. Always great to see you. Welcome any time.
OZ: My honor. I love you. Take care.
KING: Dr. Mehmet Oz. We'll be talking Tiger and his return to golf at the Masters tomorrow. Steven A. Smith and other will joins us. Right now, joining us, Anderson Cooper and "AC 360." Anderson?