Health Blog with a stethoscope sitting on top of a laptop.

Welcome to Our Blog.

At McLeod Health, we are dedicated to providing useful health and medical information to our community. Take a look at our blog categories and choose those that interest you. Be sure to subscribe to each category of interest and we will send you new blog articles as they are posted.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
Recent blog posts

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alan Blaker

Testosterone is a powerful hormone. It makes voices deep, grows beards and helps develop muscle mass. It might also help protect men against heart problems.  MIGHT is the key word.

Medically Reviewed by Taylor Holmes, DPT, STAR-C

Surgery is the gold standard for pelvic repair to “cure” urinary leakage or stress incontinence. However, following the diagnosis, nearly every gynecologist will start with a series of non-surgical options.

Modifying behavior and the way a woman reacts to her body’s signals has been the focus of clinical attention in the US for several decades. One of these – biofeedback – can be used in conjunction with Pelvic Muscle Exercises – also known as kegels.


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. 

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pat Denton, Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Hip Joint?  Bad Knee?  Leg Cramps? Torn Muscle? Hairline Fracture? Inflamed Tendon? “In medical terms, those questions are the beginning of a differential diagnosis,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Pat Denton of Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates. “For most people, the term leg pain can be the key to a multitude of medical issues – some minor, some serious. Many – but not all – are handled by Orthopedic Specialists.” Let’s try to sort things out a bit. Orthopedic Specialists primarily deal with problems related to your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Below are some common leg pain issues treated by Orthopedic Specialists:

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Leask

Americans love numbers.  We rate baseball players with a range of statistics. We rank golfers.  We grade ourselves on everything from academics to attractiveness (“He’s a 9 out of 10.”) Another set of numbers important to everyone are how much things we do (or don’t do) increases our risk of heart disease – 200% (2x) to 600% (6x). “It’s good to know how your lifestyle is affecting the possibility that you will suffer heart disease or die of a heart attack,” says McLeod Cardiologist Gavin Leask, MD.  "The following list shows you which actions (or lack of) increase your heart risk.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brad Campbell

A woman’s reproductive organs can be affected by five main types of cancer, identified by the location where it started: ovarian, cervical, uterine, vaginal and vulvar. This article looks at symptoms associated with ovarian cancer. A woman has two ovaries in her pelvis, located on either side of her uterus.  They produce the eggs for reproduction as well as some female hormones. There is no simple, reliable test for ovarian cancer, in the way a Pap test can identify cervical cancer. Making it even more confusing for a woman, many of the symptoms are typical of other non-cancerous problems. 

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.”

Medically reviewed by Dr. Pat Denton, Pee Dee Orthopaedic Associates

Ever try to hold up 150 or so pounds and keep it stable ALL DAY? That’s what your knees do. And small C-shaped wedges between the cartilage and bones in your knee act as stabilizers and shock absorbers.  Each of these wedges is called a “meniscus.” Given their work assignment, it’s not hard to understand that a meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries.  

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Carmichael

Success, A Blend of Skilled Surgeons & Technological Developments. In 2014, a person with a faulty heart valve can have it replaced and expect extraordinarily low operative mortality rates and minimal complications. Today’s positive reality represents decades of research and refined surgical skills. 1960s - MECHANICAL VALVES. The first aortic valve replacement occurred in 1960, using a mechanical valve that was essentially a ball loosely fit inside a ring. It was soon replaced by a valve using a disk that tilted open and closed.  Eventually, a valve was developed with two leaflets. Leaf versions of the mechanical valve can last a long time but the patient must take medication to prevent blood from thickening and clotting the valve opening. 

Medically Reviewed by Brad Campbell, MD

A Higher Risk is Actually Good News for Women A study unveiled in late 2013 indicated that 1 in 5 women face a risk sometime in her life of surgery for urinary incontinence or pelvic prolapse surgery.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Rodney Alan, McLeod Orthopaedics

“Pssst.”  “Down here.”  “Listen carefully.”  “I need your help to keep us both out of trouble.” A bit overly dramatic for sure.  Our knees don’t talk.  But if we don’t treat them right, in time we may not be able to ignore our knees, whether they talk or not. “Knee joint replacements are soaring, especially among younger people between 45 and 60,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Rodney Alan.  “And while total joint replacements are some of the most successful surgeries performed, it’s important to do what you can to make your original knees last as long as possible.”

Medically Reviewed by Evans Holland, MD

Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) describes a gradual weakening of the heart over time.  As it weakens, the body tries to compensate.  With the weakening, the heart may have to pump faster to maintain the blood pressure.  Blood and oxygen are diverted from some parts of the body, such as muscles, to keep organs working.

Medically Reviewed by Charles Tatum, MD 

DID YOU KNOW  By age 65, more than a third of US women have had a hysterectomy. Women living in the US South or Midwest are more likely to have a hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is a descriptive term that covers a range of surgical procedures and options. At its most basic, a hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman’s uterus. (The uterus is where a baby grows.)

Medically reviewed by Dr. Rodney Alan, McLeod Orthopaedics

The trend toward younger people seeking hip and knee joint replacements is pretty clear.  But who are the people seeking them and just how “young” are they? Here’s a brief look at these questions.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Gabor Winkler

Lack of blood flow in your leg can lead to amputation. Now is the time to take action to prevent this tragedy. The general condition of blocked arteries in the legs and arms is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).  

Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen, DO

May is National Stroke Awareness Month.  Stroke is the leading cause of death and long-term disability in the United States.  For a number of reasons, more women suffer this “heart attack of the brain” than men.  A number of issues -- such as migraine headaches with auras, smoking, hormone therapy, preeclampsia during pregnancy, age and family history – can put a woman at increased risk of stroke.  High blood pressure is both a risk of stroke and a sign to watch for.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Michael Sutton, McLeod Orthopaedics Dillon

Total Joint Replacement  for Knees and Hips can reduce pain, increase mobility and enhance overall quality of life. So, why do people wait…and wait…delay…put off…find excuses to avoid the surgery?  For many, it’s anxiety over the pain they’ll have while recovering from the surgery. “There will be pain, as there is with any surgery,” says McLeod Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Michael Sutton. “Yet, remember two things.  One: Unlike the pain from your knee before surgery, this pain will ease and eventually vanish as you complete your rehab.  Two: New developments continue to improve post-surgical pain management.” 

Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen DO May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing on average 1 American every 4 minutes.There are a number of risks that can lead to a stroke. Among those risks are smoking, migraines, high blood pressure, and oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. Another key risk factor is an irregular heartbeat called Atrial Fibrillation. In addition to heart palpitations, and dizziness, Afib can open the door to a crippling or fatal stroke.  McLeod Neurologist Dr. Timothy Hagen describes the problem.

Stroke. You Could Die…or….

Posted on in Women's Health

Medically Reviewed by Timothy Hagen, DO May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Tips on Lowering Your Risk of Long-Term Disability. Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States – with more women suffering a stroke than men, thanks to risk factors, such as migraineshormone therapy and oral contraceptives. Death from stroke is tragic. Yet, stroke “survivors” can take months to recover from the disabilities. And up to 30% of the stroke survivors never recover.Avoid stroke by lowering your blood pressure with this tips for women from McLeod Neurologist Dr. Timothy Hagen

Medically reviewed by Dr. T. Rhett Spencer

Bulky machines sit in a darkened room.  A bed stretches into the inside of the machine. It may buzz or hum. These machines that direct radiation into cancer are one of the most effective ways to kill, control or shrink tumors. External Beam Radiation Therapy, Radiotherapy or Cancer Radiation Therapy uses the large machines to generate high energy, highly targeted x-ray, cobalt or particle beams. The beams are focused to hit the tumors inside the body, disrupting the DNA in the tumor. The goal is to kill the tumor cells so that the body sloughs them off. Treatments are generally painless and the machine doesn’t touch the patient nor does it make the patient radioactive. 

The information on this site is intended to increase your awareness and understanding of specific health issues and
services at McLeod Health. It should not be used for diagnosis or as a substitute for health care by your physician.
To report technical issues, please contact us. Public Access to Information or To Report a Concern.

©2012 McLeod Health. Download Vendor Code of Conduct | HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices | Patient Bill of Rights
Report a Concern | Visitation | Download McLeod Health Mission & Values