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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.”

From an article by Amy Murrell, MD Pee Dee Surgical Group

In the last decade, multiple advancements are increasing long-term survival for women with breast cancer. These advancements have included improvements in imaging technology, enhanced surgical techniques and new discoveries in oncology.

Brachytherapy: Attacking Cancer With Radiation From Inside

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. Internal Radiation Therapy is also called Brachytherapy. Roughly translated, it means “short distance therapy” – it’s a short distance between the radiation and the tumor. A small thin tube – called a catheter – is used to deliver radioactive solids to the site of the cancer.  Solids can be capsules, seeds, micro-spheres, or ribbons about the size of a grain of rice.  Other methods of internally delivering radioactive material to the site of the disease/tumor include ingestion of a pill (ex., for thyroid cancer) or injection/infusion through an IV (ex., for bone cancer). 

When Breast Cancer Spreads

Posted on in Cancer

Metastasized Tumors & Their Treatment 

Medically reviewed by Amy Murrell, MD

You Are the Key to Spotting Your Breast Cancer Early

Posted on in Cancer

Learn the Signs and Symptoms

Medically reviewed by Amy Murrell, MD

Coping with Cancer Chemobrain

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Michael Pavy, MD

Melanie sat at her kitchen table, sipping her coffee, enjoying the birds in the garden.  She smiled, recalling the positive prognosis she received after finishing chemotherapy for her breast cancer. “I’m going to phone Mom and tell her,” Melanie thought.  Then, she couldn’t remember a phone number she had called thousands of time.  “Oh well,” she thought, “I’ll make some lunch.” Yet, struggle as she might, Melanie couldn’t remember the ingredients for her favorite recipe.

Brain Tumors. What You Need to Know.

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dr. William Naso

Let’s start with 3 pieces of good news:

Long-Awaited Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines Released

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Gregory Jones, MD

“In many cases, the high mortality rate of lung cancer is related to a late diagnosis,” says McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Gregory Jones. “Other cancers we hear about – colon, breast and prostate – have screening tests.  With the new guidelines, maybe we can detect lung cancer earlier.”  

Hospice and Palliative Care for the Cancer Patient

Posted on in Cancer

Medically reviewed by Dr. Mark Fox

Now – more than ever before – survival is a realistic possibility for cancer patients, thanks to new technology, drugs and therapies. PALLIATIVE CARE. While cancer specialists treat the disease (with survival as the goal), palliative care specialists can treat the patient’s pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and depression associated with cancer. A study has shown that use of palliative care may even improve a cancer patient’s survival. Unfortunately, not all cancers can be cured.  And there may come a point -- no matter how good your cancer doctors, available treatments or even clinical trials – where therapies are no longer controlling the disease. 

8 Things to Know about Cancer-Related 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. “X-rays and lab tests can’t tell us about a cancer patient’s fatigue,” Says McLeod Oncologist Dr. Rommel Lu.  “It’s the patients who tell us. They complain of heaviness in arms and legs. They also have trouble concentrating and completing everyday tasks. They might be irritable and take less care in their personal appearance. Knowing more about the problem can help cancer patients deal with their fatigue.”

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