Top health stories of 2012

Did you miss any of our top health headlines this year?
© MSN Healthy Living // © MSN Health

This year, the world of health saw sorrow (the tragic death of Whitney Houston), outrage (the Lance Armstrong doping scandal), hope (Giuliana Rancic becoming a mom via surrogate), and a lot of "Oh, no they didn't"s (the man in the cockroach-eating contest who unfortunately died, well, choking on cockroaches). Here are the biggest, wildest health stories of 2012:

Anne Hurley for MSN Healthy Living

1 of 21 Getty Images

The man who got a new face

As a young man, Richard Lee Norris lost half his face—quite literally—in a gun accident. He spent 15 years as a recluse in Virginia. A face-transplant surgery at the University of Maryland in March (get details on the procedure) has given Norris his life back. He says he "doesn't get a second look" out in public and has been relearning how to speak and eat.

Bing: The latest on Norris' recovery

2 of 21 AP

Cockroach vs. human

Edward Archbold entered a cockroach- and worm-eating contest (get details) in Florida in October to win an exotic python prize. But Archbold, 32, who ate dozens of roaches and won the contest, collapsed and died shortly thereafter, having choked to death on insect parts.

Bing: More on his cause of death
Find: What happened to his exotic grand prize?

3 of 21 John-Patrick McNown | AP

Lance Armstrong doping scandal

Lance Armstrong, the winner of seven Tours de France and hero to millions, may be all too human after all. In October, the US Anti-Doping Agency released a scathing report (get the details) that Armstrong was involved in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program" ever seen in professional cycling. He was stripped of his titles and has stayed silent about the charges.

Bing: Is he still involved in his foundation, Livestrong?
Search: Read a well-known columnist's take on the scandal

4 of 21 Riccardo S. Savi | Getty Images

Paula Deen and Type 2 diabetes

TV chef and personality and cookbook author Paula Deen used to be the poster girl for high-fat (and delicious) Southern cooking. But Deen revealed early this year that she has been battling Type 2 diabetes for three years (get the details on her diagnosis). Reaction was scathing, but Deen is now working to be healthy (get details) and offers lighter versions of her signature recipes on her website.

Bing: Check out Paula's new, healthier recipe options
Search: Read Anthony Bourdain's reaction to the news 

5 of 21 NBC NewsWire | Getty Images

The "Eat like a caveman" diet

This year, the big diet craze was the Paleo Diet, followed by celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Megan Fox and Matthew McConaughey, as well as several pro athletes (like who?).

Bing: Get the diet dos | What can't you eat?
Search: Are there any side effects?

6 of 21 Jon Kopaloff | Getty Images | Steve Granitz | Getty Images

New York bans the Big Gulp

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared war on diabetes, obesity and empty calories this year by sponsoring a new law banning certain sales (of what?). The ban will go into effect next March, but meanwhile, consumers and product companies are riled up.

Bing: What's one company's reaction to the ban?

7 of 21 Michael Loccisano | Getty Images

Marijuana is legalized in two states

Washington state and Colorado approved legalization of small amounts of marijuana (how much?) for recreational use. They join more than 20 other states (which ones?) that have either decriminalized possession or have legalized pot for medical use.

Bing: How do the new legalizations work with federal law?

8 of 21 Jon Paciaroni | Getty Images

Robin Roberts receives a bone-marrow transplant

The "Good Morning America" host, who has battled breast cancer in the past, underwent a bone-marrow transplant this fall to battle MDS, or myelodysplastic syndrome.

Bing: Who was Roberts' donor?
Search: How is the TV host recovering?

9 of 21 Fred Lee | Getty Images

Giuliana Rancic becomes a mom

After recovering from breast cancer surgery just months earlier, Giuliana Rancic and her husband, Bill, welcomed son Edward Duke in August (see photos of couple with their baby boy), born via a surrogate.

Bing: Get details on their surrogacy experience
Search: Will Rancic give up her career for baby

10 of 21 Uri Schanker | Getty Images