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Recent blog posts

When Your Pap Test’s Abnormal

Posted on in Women's Health

Medically reviewed by Charles Tatum, MD McLeod OB/GYN Associates

One element of a woman’s regular physical exam is often the Pap test, a proven method of spotting precancerous cells in your cervix (the lower part of your uterus that opens into the vagina). Yet, you may have numerous questions concerning the Pap test, which we’ll try to answer here.

Stages of Cancer: What you need to know

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dr. Rajesh Bajaj McLeod Oncology & Hematology Assoc.

After the doctor says “cancer,” a patient’s mind is flooded with a thousand questions. For most patients – “How bad is it?” – is the most urgent question.

Medically reviewed by Evans Holland, MD McLeod Cardiology

At some point, nearly 60% of children have a heart murmur. Parents should not panic, because nearly all of these are technically described as “innocent,” meaning harmless. Unless there is a rare congenital heart defect, most children will eventually outgrow the murmur.

Obesity & Knee Replacement

Posted on in Orthopedics

Here’s a quick multiple-choice quiz. Given the topic of the article, we’re expecting a perfect score.

Question: Which of the following is the greatest cause of the extraordinary increase in hip and knee replacement surgeries:

Pregnancy and Fibroids or Endometriosis

Posted on in Women's Health

Medically reviewed by J. Michael Davidson, MD McLeod Women’s Care

The waiting room air crackled with anxiety. Beth paged through an old Red Book magazine not really paying attention to the articles. Across the room, Rhonda checked her watch to see how long she’d been waiting. Both had the same thought: “Will I be able to get pregnant?”

Bumps in the Road: Cancer Treatment Side Effects.

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by James Smith, MD McLeod Oncology & Hematology Associates

The punch in your belly from a cancer diagnosis is followed by a tidal wave of emotions and questions. How to tell your family, your friends, your boss? Then, come decisions on treatment options. It’s not an easy road to travel. Understanding what to expect can help with your decisions and your journey.

Medically reviewed by Brian Wall, MD McLeod Cardiology

High blood pressure is a silent killer. And it’s one that we normally associate with our parents and grand parents.

Arthroscopy - Most Common Ortho Procedure

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically Reviewed by Pat Denton, MD Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Although it is not generally used for total joint replacement surgery, arthroscopy is very commonly performed on the knee and other joints for diagnosing and treating problems. One source claims more than 4 million are performed worldwide annually.

Treating Urge Incontinence

Posted on in Women's Health

Medically reviewed by Wallace Vaught, MD

“I gotta go. I gotta go! Oops. I didn’t make it.”

Fighting Cancer Fatigue

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Rommel Lu, MD

Cancer patients often feel tired physically, mentally and emotionally. Not surprising, given the struggle and stress of testing, surgery, radiation therapy and the attack of chemotherapy on cancer cells.

When Two Joint Replacements are Better than One

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically Reviewed by Michael Sutton, MD McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

Not only was Darth Vader the father of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, but all that light saber fighting took its toll. Darth – in real life, actor Dave Prowse – needed a Hip Replacement. And not just one hip – but both.

Medically reviewed by Carmen Piccolo, MD McLeod Vascular Associates

Swelling in your legs and ankles. New varicose veins. Legs that are restless, heavy, tired, aching or discolored.

Medically reviewed by Mary Beth Lewis, MD Interventional Radiologist

Most radiologists spend their days like electronic Sherlock Holmes, searching X-Rays, CT Scans, PET scans and more to find the source of a patient’s problem.

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.

Impact and Concussions

Posted on in Orthopedics

From an interview on Good Morning Pee Dee with Chadley Runyan, MD Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Next to Highway crashes, sports participation is the leading cause of traumatic brain injury, primarily concussions, among young people aged 15-24. Parents, coaches and orthopedic specialists are joining the media in paying closer attention to the effects of concussion.

Aura: Warning Sign of a Migraine…and a Future Stroke

Posted on in Heart Health

Medically reviewed by Timothy Hagen, DO Medical Director McLeod Neurology

Excruciating pain. Nausea. Sensitivity to light. The crushing symptoms of migraine headaches affect 15% of the population and, unfortunately, women are 3 times as likely as men to experience them.

After a Hysterectomy Do you Need a Pap Smear?

Posted on in Women's Health

(NOTE FOR READERS: Content for this article is from answers at the McLeod Women’s Health Forum “Straight Talk” This article contains straightforward discussions of women’s health problems and is designed for mature readers.)

Medically reviewed by Brad Campbell, MD, McLeod OB/GYN Assoc. & Paul Chandler, MD, McLeod Women’s Care


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.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Posted on in Orthopedics

Medically reviewed by W.S. (Bill) Edwards, Jr., MD Pee Dee Spine Center

Many surgical procedures have involved smaller incisions and various minimally invasive techniques for quite some time. Due to the delicacy of the spine, surrounding muscles and nerve pathways, it took longer to introduce these higher-tech approaches to back operations. Now, they are relatively standard for a full range of spine surgeries.

“Traditional spine surgery used an incision about 6 inches long and we pulled or retracted the muscles out of the way to see the surgical site," says fellowship-trained McLeod Spine Surgeon W. S. (Bill) Edwards, Jr. “This often bruised or injured the muscle, leading to a longer recovery and more pain. Now, our technology uses small half-inch incisions and we gently spread the muscles to insert a small retractor or tube and then pass instruments through it. We can see what we are doing through the small surgical approach with an operating microscope that magnifies the surgical site and document our location with real time X-ray during the procedure.

TIA - Warning of A Stroke

Posted on in Heart Health

From an interview on Live 95 Good Morning Pee Dee with Alison Smock, MD Medical Director, McLeod Stroke Unit

Some people call a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) a “mini-stroke.” To McLeod Neurologist Alison Smock, MD, the TIA is a warning sign not to be ignored.

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