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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.

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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 »

Staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic is extremely important for individuals older than 65. Those individuals need to be physically active, especially if they have comorbidities and chronic diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and/or chronic lung disease. If they want to exercise outdoors, they should respect social distancing, wear masks if exposed to other individuals and use sanitizer or wash hands with soap and water. A suggested goal is to go for a brisk walking at least 30 minutes daily... Read More »

Have you wondered why or when an individual becomes addicted to opioids? Most often the addiction begins with a prescription for an opioid pain reliever.


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Tinnitus is a ringing, hissing, buzzing or roaring sound perceived by an individual in the absence of an actual external sound source. Though some are unbothered by tinnitus, many find it burdensome or even debilitating. Tinnitus is not a disease, but is instead a symptom of an underlying health problem. In fact, there are around 200 different health disorders that can cause tinnitus. In most cases, it is not a sign of a serious illness or condition.

It is best to see your hearing health provider or your family physician to determine if there are any underlying health issues that... Read More »

Your ability to speak can influence how well you communicate with those around you. Your ability to swallow can affect what and how much you eat and drink, which can have a tremendous impact on your overall health. For these reasons, issues with your voice or swallowing can greatly affect your quality of life. The UT Health East Texas Voice and Swallowing Clinic can help.

The clinic takes a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment, employing a speech therapist, Stacy Dickerson, CCC-SLP, and an... Read More »

August 1 is Lung Cancer Awareness Day. Even now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more East Texans will die from lung cancer than the virus.

While not completely preventable, the risks of lung cancer can be reduced by not smoking. Even long-term smokers will see their risk of lung cancer decrease by quitting, no matter how long they have smoked.

The... Read More »