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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?”

How to talk with a Cancer Patient

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Sreenivas Rao, MD McLeod Oncology & Hematology Assoc.

It is not easy talking to someone who has a life-threatening health issue, even for those of us who deal with it every day,” says McLeod Oncologist, Dr. Sreenivas Rao. “So, we understand how difficult you find it when faced with a friend or family member who is a cancer patient. This article includes some suggestions and some straight talk directly from cancer survivors.”

Genetic Triggers for Breast Cancer

Posted on in Cancer

From an interview with Michael Pavy, MD Oncologist-Hematologist

About one out of every 10 women carries the gene that can make them susceptible for breast cancer. McLeod Oncologist Dr. Michael Pavy explains the three types of breast cancer, how to find out if you carry this gene and what to do should you have it.

Smoking & Lung Cancer

Posted on in Cancer

Gregory Jones, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

If you ask McLeod Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Gregory Jones whether there’s a link between smoking and lung cancer, his answer is short and definite.

Lung Cancer Surgery

Posted on in Cancer

Gregory Jones, M.D. McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

Not all lung cancer surgeries are the same. According to McLeod Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Gregory Jones, the goal is to spot the cancer early, so the smallest amount of lung tissues needs to be removed.

Lung Cancer Screening

Posted on in Cancer

Gregory Jones, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Specialists

Medicare and most private health plans now cover a lung cancer screening. McLeod Thoracic Surgeon Dr. Gregory Jones explains why the screening was established and who qualifies for it.

Treating Breast Cancer – Before & After Surgery

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Michael Pavy, MD

It’s not a great statistic: 1 in 8 women will have breast cancer during their lifetime. However, here is a better statistic: for women with Stage I breast cancer, the 5-year survival rate is greater than 95%. For Stage II, it’s 93%. Even for Stage III, it’s still 72%. This focus on survival is, in large part, due to refinements and developments in breast cancer treatment. Most women with a breast tumor will have breast cancer surgery. But, there are many other elements to their treatment.

Radiation Therapy Can Find, Shrink and Cure Cancer

Posted on in Cancer

From an interview with Virginia Clyburn-Ipock, MD McLeod Radiation Therapy

Radiation – more powerful than an X-ray – brings many benefits to today’s cancer patients. It can diagnose, shrink and even kill off tumors.

From an interview with Virginia Clyburn-Ipock, MD McLeod Radiation Therapy

Today’s radiation therapy for cancer uses computerized, multiple streams of highly focused beams to improve survival, reduce side effects and reduce the number of treatments needed.

From an interview with Virginia Clyburn-Ipock, MD McLeod Radiation Therapy

Today’s radiation technology can improve cancer treatments and limit side effects.  Radiation Therapist Dr. Virginia Clyburn-Ipock discusses:

Treating Colon Cancer for a Longer Life

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Spurling, M.D.

The colon is the four to six feet of the large intestine and an important part of your digestive system. With the broad range of "bad for us" foods we impose on the colon – nachos, pizza, fries, steak, and BBQ to name just a few – it’s no surprise that colon cancer strikes 1 in 18 Americans.

Preventing Colon Cancer

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Spurling, M.D.

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. However, it is also one cancer that can be prevented with regular screening through colonoscopy. “Most cancer in the colon – the first four to six feet of the large intestine -- develops from non-cancerous polyps,” says McLeod Gastroenterologist Dr. Timothy J. Spurling. “It takes 10 to 15 years for a polyp to turn into cancer. So, if you have a colonoscopy or other screening test every five to 10 years, we should be able to catch any problem early.”

Medically reviewed by T. Rhett Spencer, MD

For a man, the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer can be devastating. The concern is not so much for his ultimate survival (five-year survival rates are almost 100%; and at 10 years, almost 99%.). It’s the specter of potential treatment side effects that strike directly at his “manhood” -- possible incontinence and erectile dysfunction. “Newer treatments, plus technical advances in surgery and radiation therapy, can reduce the side effects,” says McLeod Radiation Oncologist Dr. T. Rhett Spencer.  “Understanding the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer is important, because early treatment can also help limit the side effects.”

Medically reviewed by Rajesh Bajaj, MD

Cancer is about survival. One key to your long-term survival is…YOU. “One in 3 people with cancer also struggles with anxiety or depression, according to a new study,” says McLeod Oncologist Dr. Rajesh Bajaj. “The study also found that breast cancer patients were twice as likely to suffer unusual mental stress than other cancer patients. Not surprising, when you factor in the issues of breast surgery and reconstruction.”

13 Great Anti-Cancer Foods

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rommel Lu, MD

At some point you have probably read a reference to “super foods” that can be eaten to help prevent cancer. However, most nutrition and cancer experts will tell you that no single food will prevent cancer. Foods -- and humans -- are complex. Foods contain many chemicals. And, our interaction with the food we eat is not a simple, purified version of a chemical mixing with cells in a test tube. “There are food groups and some specific foods that probably lower the risk of cancer,” says McLeod Oncologist Dr. Rommel Lu. “And, some elements in food can convincingly lower the risk of a specific type of cancer.”

Leukemia: When Cancer is in Your Blood

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Michael D. Pavy, MD

“Where’s coach?” several players asked. His absence from the regular Monday meeting struck the attendees as more than unusual. It was extraordinary for their NFL head coach to miss this critical weekly team meeting. Indianapolis Colts Coach Chuck Pagano “skipped” that meeting in 2012 because he was in the hospital being treated for leukemia.

6 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. Although the actual cause of breast cancer isn’t yet known, there are a number of healthy habits that can help prevent it:

Mammograms: Promise and Limitations

Posted on in Cancer

Will You Be 1 in 5 Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer? - National Breast Cancer Foundation Medically reviewed by Noel Phipps, MD

Mammograms don’t prevent cancer and they have their limitations. Yet, mammograms are the most effective way available to screen women for breast cancer. “Studies show that regular mammograms lower a woman of 50’s risk of dying by 35%,” says McLeod Radiologist Dr. Noel Phipps. “Screening mammograms are an essential part of the overall process of discovering and treating breast cancer, along with a woman’s self-exam and a physician’s clinical exam.”

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