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The Importance of Clinical Trials

Posted on in Cancer

Patients with childhood acute leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and testicular cancer all have something in common: Cures for their cancers were developed through clinical trials.

Clinical trials can focus on diagnosis, screening and prevention. However, most of us think of clinical trials in the context of potential new treatments. Patients who exhaust standard treatments in surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy often explore participation in clinical trials, where they can gain access to promising new treatments not generally available elsewhere.


Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Tobin C. Hyman, MS, DABR Chief Medical Physicist

Radiation therapy for cancer is delivered in two primary forms: External, in which a large x-ray generator sits outside the patient directing beams into the patient and Internal, where the radiation is placed inside the patient mere millimeters from the tumor or directly inside the tumor.

Medically Reviewed by John T. Atkins, MD McLeod Pulmonary & Critical Care Associates

Let’s be honest: Smoking causes lung cancer.

From an interview with Rajesh Bajaj, MD McLeod Oncology & Hematology Associates

It’s a case of good news, bad news, good news. We are all living longer. That’s good. But because we get to grow older, more of us are experiencing cancer. That’s bad. However, the latest good news is improvements in cancer treatment are continually being unveiled.

Breast Reconstruction

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dominic Heffel, MD McLeod Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

When actress Angelina Jolie had her highly publicized mastectomy, she had breast reconstruction surgery at the same time. The decision to have breast reconstruction is becoming a more common decision among the 296,000 women annually who face breast cancer.

Keys to Cancer Survival

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rajesh Bajaj, MD

Cancer is about survival. One key to your long-term survival is…YOU.

Radiation Therapy Overview

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dr. T. Rhett Spencer

Bulky machines sit in a darkened room. A bed stretches into the inside of the machine. It may buzz or hum. These machines that direct radiation into cancer are one of the most effective ways to kill, control or shrink tumors.

Chemotherapy Overview

Posted on in Cancer

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sreenivas Rao

Along with surgery and radiation therapy, chemotherapy – the use of powerful drugs to attack cancer cells – is one of the main treatments available to cancer patients.

Tips on Preventing Breast Cancer

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rajesh Bajaj, MD

Surviving breast cancer starts with spotting it early by keeping a close eye out for a new breast lump, pain or swelling in the breast (especially in the nipple) or nipple discharge other than milk.

Medically reviewed by Noel Phipps, MD Florence Radiological Associates

Dense breasts were once thought to raise the risk of breast cancer so dramatically that nearly half the states have laws (NC has a law; SC is considering one) requiring a woman’s doctor to talk to her about screening in addition to mammograms.

Surgical Options for Breast Cancer

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Joseph Pearson, MD Pee Dee Surgical Group

Nearly every woman diagnosed with breast cancer has surgery – even if they also have radiation, hormone therapy, targeted drug therapy or chemotherapy. Lets review a woman's surgical options.

10 Years of Tamoxifen: Good News...

Posted on in Cancer

From an interview with Michael Pavy, MD McLeod Oncology & Hematology Associates

In the 1970s, research was undertaken on the drug Tamoxifen as a possible way to help prevent breast cancer in women with a high risk. Results of those studies showed that women, who took the anti-estrogen drug for 5 years experienced a 50% reduction in cancers, compared to those who did not get Tamoxifen. High-risk women include those who had a mother or sister with breast cancer.

Preventing Breast Cancer with Tamoxifen

Posted on in Cancer

From an interview with Michael Pavy, MD McLeod Oncology & Hematology Associates

Not only have we made great strides in treating women with breast cancer but today women, who have a high risk of the disease, are much better off thanks to pharmaceutical breakthroughs. McLeod Oncologist Dr. Michael Pavy describes the new hope for women at high risk of breast cancer:

3 Tips on Preventing Colon Cancer

Posted on in Cancer

From an interview with Timothy Spurling, MD Florence Gastroenterology Associates

“The best way to prevent colon cancer is to have a screening colonoscopy,” says McLeod Gastroenterologist Dr. Timothy Spurling. “If we find and remove polyps, we prevented them from turning into colon cancer. I also have three other tips to lower your risk.”

Schedule a Colonoscopy

Posted on in Cancer

From an interview with Timothy Spurling, MD Florence Gastroenterology Associates

Colon cancer – tumors in the lower part of the large intestine – is only the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. However, it ranks second as the cause for deaths due to cancer.

Milkshakes, Pudding & Peanut Butter: Cancer & Nutrition

Posted on in Cancer

Reviewed by Kitty Finklea Registered Dietician

“If there can be any good news about Cancer Treatment, this is it: You may be encouraged to add foods to your diet that most of us are cautioned to avoid,” says McLeod Registered Dietitian Kitty Finklea. “Cancer can change the way your body uses food. And loss of appetite is a common side effect of chemo and radiation therapy.”

Medically reviewed by Michael Pavy, MD McLeod Oncology & Hematology Assoc.

Much like winners in the TV game show “Jeopardy,” a cancer patient’s chances for success are greatly increased by putting their concerns in the form of a question.

You’ve Been Diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Now What?

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rajesh Bajaj, MD

Hearing the words “You have breast cancer” (or any kind of cancer) can be emotionally destructive. You hear the words but your mind is overcome by a tidal wave of questions and feelings. Denial. Helplessness. What if’s? What now’s? Even “take charge” people can be thrown into shock and depression – their thoughts and lives brought to a screeching halt.

Cancer Treatment Options

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rajesh Bajaj, MD McLeod Hematology & Oncology Assoc.

“Cancer is not one disease,” says McLeod Cancer Committee Chair Dr. Rajesh Bajaj. “It fact, it’ a group of perhaps thousands of different diseases, which have some common characteristics. For this reason, cancer treatments are very complex and increasingly personalized.”

Spotting Breast Cancer with Mammograms

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Noel Phipps, MD Medical Dir., McLeod Breast Imaging

 “When it comes to discovering breast cancer, a woman can do a self-exam, looking for lumps or changes in the size or shape of the breast,” says Radiologist Dr. Noel Phipps, Medical Director of McLeod Breast Imaging. “Also, a physician or nurse can perform a clinical breast exam, feeling for lumps or other changes. Or the gold standard for diagnosing breast cancer is the mammogram. But the questions many women face are 1) when should I start getting mammograms and 2) how often should I get a mammogram?”

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