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Recent blog posts

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.

Stress Fractures in Feet Need Treatment and Care

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Adam Ploeg, MS, ATC McLeod Sports Medicine 

A runner, a military recruit and a basketball player may be different in their type of activity but all can experience pain in their feet due to a stress fracture. It is a cross-section of the most common people who might suffer from the orthopedic issue of a stress fracture. Women seem to be more at risk than men. 

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 Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopedics

Three things to know about pain management following a knee or hip joint replacement: One, you WILL feel better after your total knee replacement or hip joint replacement when you are fully recovered. Two, your medical team will use advancements in postoperative pain management to control your pain while you are in the hospital. And three, you should expect some discomfort when you return home. 

Heart Valve Surgery, Recovery – An Overview

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview with Michael Carmichael, MD McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates

Think you might be facing heart valve surgery – or know someone who is?  Learn what to expect in this overview from McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Michael Carmichael, MD:

Medically reviewed by Pat Denton, MD Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Your doctor lifts your arms up over your head. Then, you are asked to slowly drop your arms down by your side. Both arms slowly move until they are straight out from the shoulder.  As you continue, one arm just falls quickly to your side. Sometimes a diagnosis does not require the use of diagnostic testing equipment. In this case, the simple (and simply named) “Drop Arm Test” can tell your Orthopedic Specialist if an important group of muscles in your shoulder – the rotator cuff -- is torn. 

Medically reviewed by Brad Campbell, MD

Two out of 3 women never discuss bladder health or incontinence with their doctor. Shyness. Embarrassment. Shame. A feeling that, “it’s just part of growing old.” Or not knowing which medical professional can help. All these are reasons you may suffer in silence with stress incontinence or urge incontinence  – wearing pads, limiting your social life, or continually searching for a public restroom. Gynecologists are trained to help you with this problem – one that occurs in 40% of women after giving birth.  

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 Dr. Pat Denton Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

“So,” you ask, “why are we talking about ski and snowboard injuries when we are in the Southeast?” Those who enjoy snow sports on a regular basis and often every year know what to expect.  However, if you live in the South and plan an occasional ski trip, it is like a Northerner who takes a beach trip once a year, the unexpected can leave you hurting. The following tips will help you know what to expect and what to avoid so that you can have a safer, enjoyable trip.

The IMPLANTABLES: Super Help for Erratic Hearts

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically reviewed by Prabal Guha, MD

Pacemakers & Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD

Surgery of any kind involves certain risks. Continuing developments in surgical technique and technology have significantly reduced those risks for total joint replacement patients. “In fact, serious complications in knee or hip joint replacement are found in less than 2 percent of patient outcomes,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rodney Alan of McLeod Orthopaedics. “Yet, as an informed patient, awareness of the possible complications will help you communicate any problems with your Orthopedic Surgeon.”

What’s the Mess with Mesh for Prolapse

Posted on in Women's Health

Medically reviewed by Melissa Brooks, M.D. McLeod OB/GYN Dillon

Watch TV much? Then, you’ve probably seen those lawyers' commercials: “Was mesh used on your pelvic organ prolapse surgery? Well you should see a lawyer.…” Did those TV ads make you hesitate to have surgery for your pelvic organ prolapse? Here’s information that may help you rethink your decision.

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.”

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopaedics

“Fashion knows no pain,” a line probably coined by a fashion designer. You know it’s not true, if only based on your personal experience with high heels, neckties or backpacksPurses and handbags are another place where fashion absolutely can cause you pain. How many of the following do you carry daily in a handbag or purse: wallet, phone, computer, keys, makeup, water bottle, notebook, diary, pens, pencils, workout clothes, gym shoes, umbrella…?

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.”

Medically reviewed by Rodney Alan, MD McLeod Orthopaedics

With modern materials and surgical techniques, your knee or hip joint replacement is likely to last 10 to 20 years – or even your entire life. Some people do need to redo the joint replacement.  Several causes can require this so-called revision surgery:

Medically reviewed by Christopher Cunningham, MD McLeod Vascular Associates

“A whole new approach to clearing plaque from thigh and knee arteries --  and keeping them clear,” is the way McLeod Vascular Surgeon Christopher Cunningham describes the Drug Coated Balloon angioplasty treatment for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)Cunningham was one of the first vascular specialists in the country to use the new treatment after it was approved by the FDA in early October 2014. PAD is a blood flow blockage – often in the legs – caused by a build up of fatty substances (plaque) in the artery. The blockage restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to muscles causing pain and cramps.

Medically reviewed by Gabor Winkler, M.D.

Submarine Sonar. Burglar alarms. Jewelry cleaning. And diagnosing problems in your heart and blood vessels. All these uses put sound waves to work. You’re not likely to be a submariner. Hopefully, you’re not a burglar. Probably, not a jeweler. So, we’ll focus on the uses of sound in diagnosing heart and blood vessel problems.

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.

When Your Aching Shoulder Leads to Joint Replacement

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by Pat Denton, MD

What’s the first thing they ask you to do in school?  Raise your hand. Right? So, if it’s something you’ve practiced most of your life, why does it hurt so much now? One possible answer: You may need a shoulder joint replacement, the third most common joint replacement after knees and hips.  “The shoulder is more complicated than some joints in the body,” says Dr. Pat Denton of Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates. “It’s actually several joints with muscles and tendons that enable a broad range of motion, enabling you to reach for your wallet, swing a golf club and hammer a nail. 

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