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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?”

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.

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.”

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