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The development of a benign multinodular goiter is a normal aspect of aging and a majority of women will develop goiters later in life. Very few of these nodules are cancer. However, as a result of the increasing use of diagnostic imaging involving the neck, more and more thyroid nodules are discovered; therefore more cancers are being detected in patients.

Two common scenarios are a thyroid nodule is seen on a CT scan with a follow-up thyroid ultrasound or a thyroid ultrasound is ordered because a palpable... Read More »

There are few diagnoses more difficult to share with a patient than head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancer is synonymous with squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCCA). When talking about HNSCCA we are referring to cancer that has developed on a mucosal surface somewhere within the upper aerodigestive tract; for instance, on the tongue or on a vocal cord. Squamous cell carcinoma can also develop in the lungs and on the skin, as well as on other sites.

HNSCCA is a very aggressive cancer that has the propensity to... Read More »

As we quickly approach the holiday season of 2020, I hope that many of my patients will be experiencing much-needed relaxation and quality time with friends and family. However, they also may celebrate with some little overindulgences in fine food and alcohol, which could lead to another unwelcomed holiday gift. This is the time of year I often get phone calls from patients experiencing pain, redness and swelling in their toes or foot with no memory of how it could have happened. If you... Read More »

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am confronted daily with questions from patients with Alzheimer’s disease and their families: What should we do? Should we stay home and avoid all personal contact?

I saw the impact of the pandemic on these patients: social isolation with subsequent depression, lack of physical activity, deferral of routine follow-up visits, cancellation of elective procedures and loss of follow-up for chronic conditions.

Unfortunately, there are no large-scale studies to address the impact of... Read More »

The mammogram is a powerful and potentially life-saving tool. In this blog, Dr. Michael Klouda, board-certified diagnostic radiologist at the UT Health East Texas HOPE Breast Care Center, explains when women should start receiving mammograms and why timing is so important.

Annual screening mammography should begin at age 40. This simple recommendation has recently been challenged by the medical community, stating, “Let us wait until age 50 to begin screening. Look at all the money we will save!” While... Read More »

Dr. David Olvera, board-certified pain management specialist at UT Health East Texas Pain Management, discusses everything you need to know about common causes and treatment for patients’ pain.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer is a disease in which the cells in the body grow out of control. Second to skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. There are nearly 250,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women and 2,300 in men every single year in the U.S. Even with the death rate declining, approximately 42,000 women and 510 men die each year from breast cancer.

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There are many reasons to have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist. Hearing loss may occur as a result of genetics, aging, medication side effects, pathology of the ear, loud noise exposure, and much more. Hearing loss can happen suddenly or your hearing may slowly worsen over time. If your hearing loss is gradual, others may notice that you are having difficulty hearing before you do. It is important to have your hearing checked as soon as you notice changes in your hearing. Untreated hearing loss may lead to poor understanding, fatigue, depression, and social isolation.

... Read More »

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Blood cancers include leukemias, lymphomas and multiple myeloma. Together these account for approximately 180,000 new cancers each year in the United States. There has been dramatic improvement in the treatment and outcomes for most blood cancers in the past two decades. Many of these cancers are more common as someone ages, but some leukemias and lymphomas are fairly common in children.

Leukemias are cancers of the white blood cells made in the bone marrow. They often present with symptoms related to suppression of normal blood production... Read More »

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and September 10 is observed annually as World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death for people of all ages around the world; in Texas, it is the eleventh leading cause. For each suicide, approximately 135 people suffer intense grief or are otherwise affected.

In recent years, the impact of suicide has obtained increased attention in our community. Northeast Texas has a suicide rate 47 percent higher than the state average. Of the 25 most populous counties in Texas, Smith County has the... Read More »