Page 1


INTRODUCING INFINIâ„¢ Skin Rejuvenation Colon Cancer Screening SAVES LIVES RESOLVE TO UNPLUG from Your Device

Allergies in Full Bloom?

Making Communities Healthier.

This facility and its affiliates comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does’ not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-770-918-3000. (TTY:711) CHÚ Ý: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn. Gọi số 1-770-918-3000.


www.RockdaleMedicalCenter.org 1412 Milstead Avenue Conyers, Georgia 30012 800-424-DOCS (3627)


Graphics/Layout Design: Carol Massey

Contributing Writers:

Lee Udell; Kathleen Lambert, M.D.



Unsolicited queries and submissions of art and writing not accompained by a self-addressed stamped envelope will not be returned. Response time varies and Healthy in Newton cannot assume responsibility for unsolicited materials. To contact the manager by email, address correspondence to dburgamy@covnews.com.

 4. Introducing INFINI™  7. Colon Cancer Awareness Month ADVERTISING

 8. Relief from Allergy Symptoms

Information regarding advertising and rates are available by contacting Debbie Burgamy at 770-307-6235 or dburgamy@covnews.com.

10. Common Sports Injuries Parents of Student Athletes Should Know

11. Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives 12. Resolving to Unplug from Devices


13. Preventive Medicine Can Lessen Health Expenses

c/o The Covington News 1166 Usher Street, Covington, Georgia 30014 Phone 770-787-6397 / Fax 770-787-6451 www.covnews.com

14. Recognize Potentially Dangerous Household Chemicals















A • M



21. The Importance of Annual Health Exams



19. 5 Simple Rules to Reduce Your Risk for Colorectal Cancer


17. Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention

22. 10 Things to Know Before You Go




general health


Introducing INFINI™ Radiofrequency Microneedling for Skin Rejuvenation and Collagen Stimulation


ermatology Consultants is a full service facility for the diagnosis and treatment of all skin diseases. An array of aesthetic procedures and services are also available at Dermatology Consultants including the newest procedure – INFINI. This procedure, referred to as the technology breakthrough of the decade, has produced proven results for treatment of acne scars, wrinkles, texture and laxity problems. Infini is a microneedling device that delivers adjustable radiofrequency to stimulate collagen and elastin deep within the dermis. It is best used to treat loose or sagging skin, wrinkles, age spots, melasma, pigmented lesions and acne scarring. It uses a 3-dimensional approach of delivering RF energy to create tissue volumization. The new Fractional Laser, Infini precisely delivers radiofrequency through insulated microneedles for consistent outcomes. It uses your body’s own reaction to firm the skin by delivering energy directly to the dermis through gold-plated microneedles. This unique and innovative technology protects the top layer of the skin therefore, allowing treatments on all skin types, even tanned skin. When the energy is delivered, it stimulates the natural growth of collagen and elastin. Radiofrequency (RF) is essentially electrical energy. Infini’s RF technology delivers this electrical energy into the skin and/ or collagen, heating the targeted area. Collagen must be heated to approximately 60 degrees Celsius in order to produce new collagen and tighten your tissue.



Courtesy of Swapnil Shah Solapur, MD, India 4 HEALTHY IN NEWTON | SPRING 2017

Microneedling is the process of using very small sterilized needles on the skin for collagen induction. The Infini hand piece contains 49 microscopic needles that are deployed through the skin’s surface. Once deployed, the Infini micro needle tips conduct radiofrequency energy into predetermined depths of the dermis, a huge advantage over traditional microneedling devices. You will feel heat and some pressure. The treatment is tolerable but your physician will work with you to maximize your comfort level. Compared to CO2 lasers, many find the Infini more comfortable. There is an initial redness and swelling which substantially subsides after 24-36 hours. It can take up to a week for this to completely resolve. Most people resume normal activities within 48 hours. Unlike many other procedures, this has long lasting results since it is your own body that is at work. The effects could last for years. You can expect to see some changes as soon as a day or two after the procedure. However your body will continue to rebuild collagen for several weeks after, so you will see improvement over the next six months. A treatment can take as little as 15 minutes and up to an hour. Your physician will discuss your goals which will determine the length and number of treatments you will need. Many see results after just one treatment. To learn more about INFINI or any of our other procedures or services, please contact Dermatology Consultants at 770784-0343.



Courtesy of Yael Halaas, MD, USA

▪ ▪ ▪

  




TRUE or FALSE Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer. TRUE

Both men and women get colorectal cancer.



Colorectal cancer often starts with no symptoms.



Screening helps prevent colorectal cancer.




Colon Cancer doesn’t have to be scary. Timely screening for colon cancer means a

90% Prevention Rate.


African Americans and those with family histories of colon cancer should be screened earlier (at 40-45 yrs).

Preventative screenings are largely covered by health insurance and Medicare.


because diagnostic colonoscopy (due to symptoms) carries higher costs! Don’t put it off any longer.







1269 Wellbrook Circle, Conyers, GA 1075 South Main Street, Suite 200, Madison, GA 7229 Wheat Street, Covington, GA 1000 Cowles Clinic Way, Cypress Building, Suite C-300, Greensboro, GA

770-922-0505 EastAtlantaGastro.Com 6 HEALTHY IN NEWTON | SPRING 2017


general health


Colon Cancer Awareness Month Y

ou’re about to hit the half-century mark and wondering how you’ll blow out all those candles on your birthday cake! But when you finish partying, be sure you remember another of the big joys of turning 50: your first colonoscopy. While you might not think that’s worth celebrating, there is some good news: over the last 10 years, the incidence of colorectal cancer in people over 50 has dropped 30 percent – and deaths have also declined, says the American Cancer Society (ACS). Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and/ or rectum) is the third most common nonskin cancer in adults and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the United States. Your risk of developing colon cancer is about 1 in 20, according to the ACS. But colorectal cancer is both preventable and treatable if detected early. In fact, studies have shown that regular screening could prevent onethird of colorectal cancer deaths in the U.S. And when it’s detected early, the five-year survival rate is 90%. To remind everyone of the importance of regular colorectal cancer screening, the U.S observes Colon Cancer Awareness Month every March. So what better reason do you need to call your doctor and put that baseline colonoscopy on your calendar? You see, polyps and lesions in the colon are found more often in people aged 50 and older. So, screening tests that look for and remove these polyps and lesions can ward off colorectal cancer. That’s why experts recommend your baseline screening at age 50, with routine screenings every 10 years – every 5 years if the test detects precancerous polyps. Keep in mind that 50 may not necessarily be the magic number for all adults. Several risk factors can make some individuals more prone to colon cancer, which would suggest the need for a baseline colonoscopy before age 50. For example:

• Being of African American descent: African Americans should be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 45 because of higher incidence of colon cancer. • Having a family history of colon cancer or polyps: 5-10% of colon cancers are genetically linked, so someone with a family history of colon cancer is more likely to have inherited the gene. • Having a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or child) with colon cancer of polyps: Recent studies show that family history plays a more important role than previously thought. So, screening should begin 10 years before the youngest case of colon cancer in the immediate family. For example, if your father was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 45, you should begin screening at age 35. Of course, you’re probably thinking that a colonoscopy in the last thing you want on your to-do list. Even though the exam is brief and painless – and you’ll actually sleep through the whole thing – many people fear and avoid them. But, don’t be one of the roughly 40 percent of Americans avoiding this routine and important procedure. Indeed, there’s never been a better time to take the first step by scheduling your appointment. Your physician will see you in the office for a brief visit to discuss the procedure with you and answer all your questions. Especially if you’re in a high-risk category, see your doctor well before age 50, to start asking questions and discussing your options and the timing of your screening. The board-certified gastroenterologists at East Atlanta Gastroenterology specialize in digestive diseases and nutrition, with specific expertise in colorectal cancer and prevention. Schedule your appointment today by calling 770-922-0505 for any of their four offices located in Covington, Conyers, Madison or Greensboro. And once your colonoscopy is over, you’ll have peace of mind, and your doctor will have a baseline for evaluating your risk going forward.




Relief from Allergy Symptoms


written by Lee Udell

efore the flowers even start blooming, you can tell that springtime is just around the corner. Swollen, itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, sniffling, and a general state of misery are the only harbingers you need to tell you spring is on the way – and pollen counts are on their way up. Alas, like millions of other allergy sufferers, you have a love/ hate relationship with springtime. Warmer temperatures bring a welcome change from being cooped up on cold winter days, but with the balmy breezes come airborne pollens and mold spores that send yo u r b o d y ’s immune system into overdrive. “On high pollen days, I can only stay outside for short periods of time,” says Nan Watkins, whose two teens play on springtime sports teams at their local high school. “It’s upsetting for me and for my kids, because I want


nothing more than to be there for them, cheering them on. But some days, it’s all I can do to sit through an entire tennis match.” If you’re like Nan, the recent mild winter will likely add to your allergy suffering this year, thanks to earlier, more rapid plant growth. And the wetter weather will almost surely lead to an increase in mold, causing symptoms that can start in the spring and last well into the fall. Climate factors can play a major role each year in how severe your symptoms might be: • Tree, grass and ragweed pollens thrive on periods of cool nights and warm days, such as those we experienced this winter. • Molds grow quickly in heat and humidity, both common players in our springtime scenario. • Rain washes pollen away, but pollen counts can also skyrocket after rainfall. • On warm, windy days, common in

this area in springtime, pollen counts can soar. The usual culprits for springtime hay fever are oak, sycamore, maple, elm and birch, with hickory, poplar and walnut rounding out the list of common triggers. The small pollen cells these trees produce are light and dry, so they can be carried far and wide by spring breezes. Thus, you don’t even need to live in a heavily wooded area to feel the effects of spring pollen. While you might be tempted to move to another climate to avoid the misery of spring allergies, experts warn that approach usually isn’t successful – allergens are virtually everywhere. But there are steps you can take to get some relief from your symptoms. • Limit time outdoors: With the help of your doctor, learn which pollens you’re sensitive to, and then monitor pollen counts. In spring and summer, pollen levels are typically highest in the evening, so try to exercise or garden early in the day. If you must head outdoors, arm yourself with glasses or sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes and a filter mask for gardening or cutting grass. • Take allergy medication: Oral antihistamines, available over the counter, block your body’s response to allergens. Some may provide relief

in as little as an hour, but others could require a few days to build up in your system. Nasal sprays can also provide relief, but, again, it may be several days before you notice improvement. If you have a history of seasonal allergies, start medications about two weeks before you expect pollen counts to explode. If you experience more severe allergies which don’t respond to these medicines, allergy shots could be the answer. These contain a tiny amount of the pollen, to expose you over time to gradual increments of your allergen, so your body learns to tolerate it. • Turn your home into a castle: Keep windows and doors closed, and use an air conditioner equipped with allergy filters to cool your home, instead of a fan, which pulls air into your home from outdoors. Clean floors with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. Leave your shoes at the door, and ask guests to do the same. Take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes if you’ve been working or playing outdoors. Don’t wait for spring allergies to wreak havoc with your head this year. The more you know about protecting yourself – and the sooner you start taking steps to curtail your misery – the better you can stop your suffering at the source.



Common Sports Injuries Parents of Student Athletes Should Know Injuries of the hand, elbow, shoulder and ankle are some of the most common sports-related injuries Justin Kunes, MD, orthopedic surgeon at Piedmont Newton Hospital, has treated in his five years of practice.

If these symptoms present, Dr. Kunes recommends rest, icing the ankle and keeping it elevated to reduce swelling. Wrapping the ankle also will give it support. Have a doctor evaluate the ankle to make sure the injury doesn’t get worse.

“Identifying the injury and seeking treatment immediately is key to a quicker recovery and getting your student athlete back in the game,” Dr. Kunes, who recently joined Piedmont Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Covington, said. “While there is no definitive way to prevent sports injuries from happening to your student athlete, it is important to know how to deal with them if they do occur.”

• Jammed finger. A great catch during the big game could result in a finger injury, especially if the ball hits the finger and bends it in the wrong direction, also known as a finger jam. Finger jams occur when the fingertip is pushed back into the hand or bent backwards. They are most common in sports that involve a ball, like basketball or football. Signs of a jammed finger include pain or inability to bend or straighten the finger, as well as inability to grab things with the finger. Typically, these jams are minor injuries but it is best to have the injury evaluated by a doctor to be sure.

• Ankle sprain. Dr. Kunes estimates that half of all ankle sprains are sports related and occur when the ankle is stretched beyond its normal range of motion. Ankle sprains are common in sports that involve changing direction or jumping. Signs of an ankle sprain include pain, swelling, bruising, stiffness and inability to walk or put weight on the ankle.

“While there is no definitive way to prevent sports injuries from happening to your student athlete, it is important to know how to deal with them if they do occur.”

• Golfer’s elbow (also known as “tennis elbow”). Despite its name, golf is not the only cause of this common elbow injury. Golfer’s elbow is the result of overusing muscles in the forearm and does not come from a single injury. Instead, golfer’s elbow occurs over time because of the repetitive motions involved with throwing or hitting a ball. Look out for pain or burning on the inside or the outside of the elbow as well as weakness when trying to grab something. If golfer’s elbow is suspected, have the student athlete avoid sports-related activities until they see a doctor. For more information about sports-related injuries in student athletes or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kunes, visit piedmont.org.




general health


Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives


aving a colonoscopy isn’t something people get excited about, but preventing colon cancer before it starts should be. Ranked as the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., colon cancer is one of the most highly treatable and preventable cancers when detected in its early stages with a colonoscopy. Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates (AGA) physicians perform this procedure regularly at AGA-affiliated outpatient endoscopy centers and area hospitals. Because early detection and removal of polyps during a colonoscopy can actually prevent the disease, screening colonoscopies are recommended for everyone beginning at age 50 and younger for those with a family history or other risk factors. While there is evidence that more people are getting screened than in previous years, one in three adults ages 50 or older are not getting this life-saving test. If it’s time for your screening colonoscopy and you’re in good health, you may be able to schedule your procedure directly – without a pre-procedure visit. When you make your appointment, ask about our Direct Access Program. The physicians at Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates see patients at more than 40 locations across metro Atlanta, including an office in Conyers. To make an appointment, call 678.745.3033 or visit www.atlantagastro.com.  n

FAQ: Common Questions About Colonoscopy Screenings What is a colonoscopy? A colonoscopy is considered the single best method for detecting colon cancer in its early stages. A colonoscopy is a procedure performed under light sedation that allows a trained gastroenterologist to look at the inner lining of your large intestine – or colon. The physician uses a thin, flexible, lighted instrument called a colonoscope to visually inspect your colon. How long does the procedure take? The entire process – from check-in to check-out – typically takes about two hours. A colonoscopy itself usually takes about 25 to 30 minutes. You should plan to rest for several hours after the procedure. When should you get screened? Screening colonoscopies are recommended for every adult beginning at age 50 and at age 45 if you are African-American.* For those with a family history of the disease, or other risk factors, screening could start even earlier. *American Cancer Society





March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month Make the call that could save your life.

Conyers | 678.745.3033 www.atlantagastro.com

AGA, LLC and its affiliates are participating providers for Medicare, Medicaid and most healthcare plans offered in Georgia. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. CHÚ Ý: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn.




general health


Resolving to Unplug from Devices


any people now spend ample time each day texting, posting to social media and watching videos on their smartphones. Devices such as phones and tablets might play big roles in many peoples’ lives, and few may realize just how much time they’re spending on their devices. According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, Americans aged 18 and older now spend more than 11 hours a day watching television, listening to the radio or using phones and other electronic devices. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit focused on assisting people in navigating the world of media and technology, notes that American teens and tweens spend about nine hours using media for enjoyment. Research conducted by Silentnight, a United Kingdom-based bed and mattress company, found that mobile phone usage, at eight hours and 41 minutes per day, in the UK has now exceeded the amount of time people spend sleeping. Sleep experts warn that constant exposure to electronic devices is contributing to poor sleep and can have other negative effects on a person’s health. Cutting back on electronic device usage can prove challenging. However, with some patience and practice, it is possible to wean off devices without digital withdrawal symptoms. · Keep tech devices out of the bedroom. Make bedrooms device-free zones so they don’t disturb


sleep. Various studies have found the blue light emitted from phones and other electronics can wreak havoc with the body’s natural circadian rhythms, reducing melatonin production and causing the body to think it’s daylight. Turn off devices at least 60 to 90 minutes before bed to give the mind time to wind down. · Reach for a book. When a diversion is needed, grab a book or another reading material. Keep magazines, traditional books instead of e-books and newspapers at the ready. · Turn off notifications. Eliminate pop-ups and audible sounds. Check posts and emails on your own schedule. · Delay turn-on times. Push back the time that you first turn on a phone or another electronic device by a couple of minutes per day. · Leave phones home when running quick errands. Leave phones at home when stepping out of the house to run quick errands. Follow suit when shopping for groceries or heading to the gym for a workout. · Set limits. Establish a schedule when devices can and cannot be used in the house, enforcing this schedule strictly. When not on devices, get outdoors or engage in physical activity. A popular new resolution is to cut back on the amount of time spent using electronic devices. This can reduce dependence on technology and help improve overall health as well.


general health


Piedmont Physician: Preventive Medicine Can Lessen Health Expenses Prevention means maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing disease; however, to Monica ChappellMarshall, MD, a primary care physician at Piedmont Physicians of Covington, it also can mean saving patients money. “It’s important to catch things before they become a problem,” Dr. Chappell-Marshall said. “This is so that I can not only minimize the number of medications taken, but ultimately minimize the amount of money people have to spend on their health.” Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, are responsible for 7 of every 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75% of the nation’s health spending, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is why Dr. Chappell-Marshall stresses the importance of annual physicals to aid in the prevention of serious health issues and the subsequent cost of treatment later in life.

“I encourage people of all ages to invest a little bit in their health now to keep from having to pay larger healthcare costs down the road.”

“I encourage people of all ages to invest a little bit in their health now to keep from having to pay larger healthcare costs down the road,” Dr. ChappellMarshall said. “There are many cost-effective ways to ward off conditions such as heart disease and it starts with a healthy lifestyle – namely, diet and exercise.” Dr. Chappell-Marshall notes that approximately 22% of individuals in Newton County, Georgia live in poverty. For some, the cost of healthcare can be crippling, and many people find it difficult to pay for regular checkups and medications for themselves and their family members. “If people are prescribed medicines they can’t afford, then they won’t take them,” said Dr. ChappellMarshall. “It’s important to analyze a person’s needs and to find a medicine that works for a patient and ensure they understand the steps that can be taken to prevent the need for more medications in the future.” For more than a century, Piedmont physicians have been providing care for Georgia families as part of the Piedmont Healthcare system — a comprehensive network of hospitals, care centers and specialists. So whether you need a routine checkup or critical care, you can rest assured that Piedmont Healthcare has the resources close at hand to get you the care you need. To schedule a same-day appointment with Dr. Chappell-Marshall, visit piedmont.org.





general health


Recognize Potentially Dangerous Household Chemicals


omes are safe havens that people retreat to in an effort to relax and unwind. However, homes may be harboring some hazards that put their inhabitants at risk. Cleaning products and chemicals can be found in every home, but some may be putting people in jeopardy. Even seemingly safe items can prove dangerous when they are used and/or stored incorrectly. Individuals who make a concerted effort to educate themselves about common household chemicals can reduce the likelihood that such cleaners will hurt them in the long run. The following are some commonly used products that may prove dangerous or irritating with prolonged use. Air Fresheners These seemingly innocuous products may be doing more harm than good. Information published in a 2015 issue of The Journal of Toxicological Sciences linked air fresheners to volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. They also may contain ultra-fine particles of formaldehyde and phenol. In addition, National Geographic’s The Green Guide states that many air fresheners contain nerve-deadening chemicals that coat nasal passages and temporarily block one’s sense of smell. Many widely available air fresheners use phthalates, which are linked to hormonal and reproductive issues, birth defects and developmental disorders. In lieu of chemical air fresheners, spray diluted essential oils around the house. All-purpose Cleaners Many cleaners list bleach and ammonia among their ingredients. Bleach may be listed as sodium hypochlorite. When used as directed in a well-ventilated space, bleach and ammonia can be relatively safe. However, fumes from bleach or ammonia can cause rashes and skin irritation and irritate the eyes and


respiratory tract. Bleach and ammonia should never be mixed because mixing the two can produce a deadly chloramine gas. Vinegar and baking soda can be used as a replacement for many household cleaning products, and these alternatives have virtually no dangerous side effects. Drain and Oven Cleaners Many drain and oven cleaners contain lye (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide), a chemical derived from salt or wood ash that is used to break down other substances, particularly those that are sticky. Lye is quite caustic in high amounts and extremely alkaline, which can cause burns and skin irritation. Lye is also found in soaps and detergents. When handled correctly in safe amounts, lye can be used safely. However, it can be dangerous if it gets into the hands of children or is touched by pets. Antibacterial Products Antibacterial soaps, lotions and wipes may contain triclosan, triclocarban and at least 17 additional ingredients that are linked to various negative health effects. In September 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the use of these antibacterial agents. These chemicals can disrupt hormone cycles and cause muscle weakness. “There’s no data demonstrating that over-thecounter antibacterial soaps are better at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water,” the FDA said in a press release issued shortly after the rule was announced. In addition to the aforementioned products, some carpet cleaners, toilet cleaners and other detergents may prove harmful. Always read ingredient lists, use products in the proper fashion and keep any and all chemicals away from children and pets.

Getting sick is easy. Getting care is, too. Get care on your time, in good time.





Allen Filstein, MD

Jason Arnold, MD

Katharine Simmon, PA-C

John Fountain, MD

Darryl Hodson, MD

Dr. Jason Arnold Has Joined Our Team!

770-785-SKIN (7546) 1349 Milstead Road • CONYERS Skin Cancer Removal • Mohs Surgery Routine Skin Exams • Mole Removal General & Surgical Dermatology 16 HEALTHY IN NEWTON | SPRING 2017




kin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. Each year in the U.S., over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. And during the course of a lifetime, one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer. Skin cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. Unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Early detection is key in catching skin cancer before it can become life threatening, especially with malignant melanoma, the most dangerous and aggressive form of skin cancer. While melanoma isn’t the most common of skin cancers, it causes the most deaths. It’s estimated that melanoma kills more than 10,000 people annually in the U.S., and experts predict that more than 76,000 people will be diagnosed with invasive melanomas this year alone. Melanoma frequently develops in a mole or can suddenly appear as a new dark spot on the skin. The telltale ABCDEs of melanoma are: a) asymmetry, b) border (irregular or poorly defined), c) color (varied with shades of tan, brown or black), d) diameter (typically larger than the size of a pencil eraser), and e) evolving (changing in size, color or shape). The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma (BCC). These flesh-colored, pearl-like bumps or pinkish patches of skin are common on the head, neck and arms, but they can pop up anywhere, including the chest, abdomen or legs. BCC almost never spreads (metastasizes) beyond the original tumor site, but it still shouldn’t be taken lightly. If not treated promptly, BCC can cause damage and disfiguration. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. It may look like a firm,

general health


red bump, a scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens. SCC tends to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest and back. With early detection, SCC can be readily treated, but if allowed to grow larger, a SCC can grow deep in the skin and cause tissue damage and disfigurement. It’s never too late to begin protecting yourself from skin cancer. Clothing is your first line of defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which cause most skin cancers. The more skin you cover, the better. Long sleeves, long pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses protect you most effectively. Other parts of a complete sun protection regimen should include: ➧ Seeking the shade – especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ➧ Do not burn. Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 every day. For extended outdoor activities, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating. ➧ Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds. ➧ Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreen should be used on babies over the age of six months. ➧ Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. Be sure to check your skin thoroughly, even the places that never see the sun. Check your scalp, your nails, and the bottoms of your feet, where it might be easy to overlook moles. Get to know your skin, and know what’s normal for you – and what’s different. ➧ See your physician every year for a professional skin exam. However, if you notice a spot or mole that’s different from others, or that changes, itches or bleeds, make an appointment to see a dermatologist right away. The dermatologists at Georgia Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Conyers specialize in treating all types of skin disorders, including skin cancers. Call 770-785-SKIN (7546) today for an appointment, and protect your skin for life.





Dr. Kathleen Lambert

Dr. Sherine Thomas

We salute the strength of ADVANCED and courage THE LATEST RESEARCH TREATMENTS all Rockdale County cancer survivors


Key Colorectal Cancer Facts • 2nd leading cause of death among men and women in the US. • In 2016 an estimated 3,980 new cases were diagnosed in Georgia. • Early detection is key; when caught in the beginning stages, it is highly treatable. • Beginning at age 50, screening is recommended for men and women who are at average risk. • Before age 50, screening is recommended for individuals at higher risk due to family history or certain medical conditions. • A diet rich in vegetables, legumes and whole grains and limited in processed and red meat has been correlated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Be Proactive Georgia Cancer Specialists is a national leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. The Cancer Answer® is patient-focused care anchored by prevention, early detection, advanced treatment, clinical research and compassionate caregivers.

Rockdale Office: (770) 760-9949 1501 Milstead Road, Suite 110, Conyers, GA 30012

gacancer.com 18 HEALTHY IN NEWTON | SPRING 2017

Dr. Kathleen Lambert • Dr. Sherine Thomas


general health


5 Simple Rules to Reduce Your Risk for

COLORECTAL CANCER By Kathleen Lambert, M.D.


olorectal cancer, or cancer of the large intestine, is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers and the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. However, it’s also one of the most preventable cancers and it responds well to early treatment. Your risk of developing colorectal cancer is a combination of controllable and uncontrollable factors. People older than 50 and those who have a family history of colorectal, ovarian or breast cancer have a relatively higher risk of developing the disease than others. Luckily, there are many things you can do to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, regular screenings and some lifestyle changes can help prevent colorectal cancer. Modern technology makes screening for the disease much easier (and less uncomfortable), but there are many other things you can do on your own to reduce your risk of developing the disease. In fact, researchers believe that eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and controlling body fat could prevent nearly 45 percent of colorectal cancer cases. Dramatically reduce your risk of getting colorectal cancer by following these five simple rules: 1. Get moving. Physical activity is a powerful weapon against colorectal cancer. In a recent study,

exercise was linked to a 24-percent-decreased risk of developing the disease. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week. 2. Eat healthy. Adhering to a healthy, low-fat diet with plenty of fiber and at least five servings of fruits and veggies each day can dramatically reduce your risk of developing cancer. Also, limit red and processed meats – they are linked to an increased cancer risk. 3. Get screened. Your recovery largely depends on the stage of your cancer, which is why early detection is so important. Stage I colorectal cancer has a five-year survival rate of 74 percent. Whereas, there is only a 6 percent survival rate after five years for a stage IV diagnosis. Beginning at age 50, schedule routine colonoscopies at least every 10 years. 4. Manage your vices. Smoking and drinking radically contribute to your risk of developing colorectal cancer. People who consume more than seven alcoholic beverages a week have a 72-percent-increased risk, whereas long-term smokers have up to a 164-percent-increased risk. 5. Keep your weight in check. Obese people (those with a BMI over 29) have a 20-percent-increased risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to those of normal weight.

Dr. Kathleen Lambert is a board-certified internist, hematologist, and oncologist at the Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) Rockdale office, 1501 Milstead Road, Suite 110 in Conyers. GCS is a national leader in advanced cancer treatment and research. GSC provides care in 27 locations across Metro Atlanta, North and Central Georgia. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit gacancer.com SPRING 2017 | HEALTHY IN NEWTON


This facility and its affiliates comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does’ not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-770-918-3000. (TTY:711) CHÚ Ý: Nếu bạn nói Tiếng Việt, có các dịch vụ hỗ trợ ngôn ngữ miễn phí dành cho bạn. Gọi số 1-770-918-3000.

Our network of physicians in Rockdale and Newton Counties are ready to help you on your way to better health. If you are looking for a primary care physician, or a specialist, please contact one of our many providers. We are committed to your good health.

Rockdale Physician Practices

Rockdale Physician Practices PRIMARY CARE Bridgewater Family Practice Conyers, GA 770-922-3522 Conyers Medical Clinic Conyers, GA 770-922-1880 Essential Family Care Conyers, GA 678-609-6282 Georgia Primary and Urgent Care Conyers, GA @ Sigman Road 678-609-4912 Georgia Primary and Urgent Care Dr. Wendell Smith Covington, GA 770-787-5600 Internal Medicine Associates of Rockdale (Wellbrook Circle) Conyers, GA 770-922-3023 Internal Medicine Associates of Rockdale

(South) Conyers, GA 770-602-2970 Muthu Kuttappan, MD Covington, GA 770-788-7777 Premier Internal Medicine Covington, GA 770-787-5600 ENDOCRINOLOGY Rockdale Endocrinology Associates Conyers, GA 770-679-1280 GASTROENTEROLOGY Rockdale Gastroenterology Associates Conyers, GA 770-922-4024 GENERAL SURGERY Rockdale Surgical Associates Conyers, GA 770-922-4024

GYNECOLOGY Advanced Gynecology Associates Conyers, GA 678-609-4913 Advanced Gynecology Associates Covington, GA 770-788-1778 VASCULAR SURGERY Rockdale Vascular Associates Conyers, GA 678-609-4927 WOUND CARE & HYPERBARIC TREATMENT Rockdale Medical Center’s Hyperbaric and Wound Healing Center Conyers, GA 678-413-7738

www.RockdalePhysicianPractices.com 20 HEALTHY IN NEWTON | SPRING 2017


general health


The Importance of


Annual Health Exams

nnual health exams are a key component of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A person may not see the need to visit the doctor if he or she is feeling well, but not every disease or condition manifests itself in a way that men and women can detect. According the Unity Point Clinic, nearly one-third of the 133 million Americans living with a chronic disease are unaware of the presence of their conditions. Routine physical exams can detect serious illnesses before they do much damage. No two physical exams will be exactly alike, but many will share some general features. Health History A crucial element of a physical exam will include a thorough health history if the physician doesn’t already have one on file. The doctor will take time to ask questions about family history of illness, health habits, any vices (smoking, drinking alcohol, etc.), exercise schedule, and diet. If there is a possible hereditary health condition running through your family, the doctor may suggest certain testing and make note of potential signs to look for in the future. Current Ailments After discussing a patient’s history, the doctor may ask if they are having any problems they cannot explain. These can include changes in eating or sleeping patterns; aches and pains; lumps or bumps and other abnormalities. Again, the presence of symptoms may be indicative of illness or physical changes, but not all diseases produce obvious symptoms. Vital Signs A doctor will check a patient’s vital signs during the physical. Areas the doctor will look at include but are not limited to: · Heart rate: This measures the speed at which the heart is pumping. Normal resting heart rate values range from 60 to 100 beats per minute. · Blood pressure: A blood pressure cuff (sphygmoma-

nometer) will measure systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure measures the force with which the blood is pushing through the arteries. The diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in the arteries between beats, when the heart rests. The systolic (top number) should be below 120, while the bottom should be less than 80, according to the Mayo Clinic. · Respiration rate: The doctor will measure the number of breaths taken in a minute. WebMD says between 12 and 16 breaths per minute is normal for a healthy adult. Breathing more than 20 times per minute can suggest heart or lung problems. · Pulse oximetry: Johns Hopkins School of Medicine says pulse oximetry is a test used to measure the oxygen level (oxygen saturation) of the blood. It is a measure of how well oxygen is being sent to the parts of your body furthest from your heart. Normal pulse oximeter readings usually range from 95 to 100 percent. Values under 90 percent are considered low. Physical Exam The examination will also include physical components. The doctor will perform a visual inspection of the skin and body for any abnormalities, such as the presence of skin cancer. The physician may feel the abdomen to check that internal organs are not distended. Females’ physical examinations may include breast and pelvic exams. Comprehensive Testing In addition to the exam at the office, the physical may include an electrocardiogram, or EKG, to check electrical activity of the heart; blood count and cholesterol checks through bloodwork; body mass index testing; X-rays or MRIs and bone-density tests. Physical exams remain an important part of staying healthy. Consult with a doctor for more preventative maintenance tips.




general health


10 Things to Know Before You Go


recently came across this article from “The Sydney Morning Herald” entitled, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Death but Were too Afraid to Ask.” A quote from this article brought to the forefront the universal hesitancy to discuss death, or death related issues: “There is a social stigma about death,” she said. “You can’t talk about death in a healthy, positive way. If you are talking about death you must be weird or morbid.” This quote is accurate when it comes to talking with someone about death. We see bereaved who tell us that friends, family, and co-workers tell them to “stop talking about that” when talking about death. Although, allowing a bereaved to talk about a deceased loved one is very therapeutic. By removing the stigma of death, we open channels of communication that forge a way for healing. Conversations about death need to be had before the death of a loved one. Death is a reality of life as a human and we should be properly prepared. Planning ahead, knowing what your loved one wants, and planning details of the funeral itself, provides a healthier environment for those left behind. Forethought greatly reduces the stress of the funeral planning process allowing survivors to spend time processing their grief rather than completing paperwork. This article lists, “10 Things to Know Before You Go.” 1. Make a plan. Fewer than 5 per cent of people have an end of life plan. 2. Write a will. Only 55 per cent of people who die have a will. 3. Tell someone what you want. Of those who know they are dying, only 25 per cent will have spoken to their families about their wishes. 4. Only 30 percent of deaths are unexpected. Make a decision about how you want to die while you have time. 5. Doctors don’t die like the rest of us. They are more likely to die at home with less invasive


intervention at the end of their lives.   6. Earlier referral to palliative care means living longer with better quality of life.   7. You don’t need a funeral director. DIY funerals are becoming more popular.   8. The majority of Australians choose cremation but there are alternatives including natural burial, burial at sea or donating your body for research.   9. We don’t grieve in stages. Only 10 per cent of us need professional support after a death. 10. 60 percent of people think we need to spend more time talking about death. Although written from the perspective of Australians, many of these work for the United States as well. We are seeing trends in California for athome preparation of the deceased, and in-home visitation and funerals; However, a funeral director is highly recommended to assist in the process of end-of-life decisions. Additionally, cremation here is becoming more popular and is expected to make up half of all final dispositions in upcoming years. That said, it is important to note that just because you choose cremation does not mean that you cannot have the proper ceremony for the beginning of proper grief and mourning. A professional funeral director is vital in guiding you down this daunting and overwhelming path. Healthy grieving involves proper remembrance. How you choose to remember your loved one should not be dictated by someone else. Plan ahead, talk a lot, and surround yourself with people who are willing to allow you the time you need to process your loss. To read the complete article from The Sydney Morning Herald, follow this link: http://bit. ly/1MDHLIC. At Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home we have dedicated staff to helping pre-plan most end-oflife decisions. For more information, contact Kari Saunchegraw at 770-786-7062.

Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home Dogwood Hill Crematory

We Have Many Options Available to Help You and Your Family Celebrate Your Life: ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖

Pre-Planning and At-Need Arrangements Tailored to Honor One’s Life Wide Range of Traditional and Cremation Service Packages Inviting, Spacious Facilities to Accommodate All Sizes of Crowds Private, On-Site Crematory Knowledgeable, Professional and Courteous Staff Grief Support Groups And Many More…

Call Today for More Information 1215 Access Road- Covington, GA • www.caldwellandcowan.com • (770)786-7062 ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖ ❖

Perpetual Care Ground Burials Mausoleum Entombments Veterans Memorial Section Columbarium Niches Urnarium Niches Cremation Garden Flower Plans Marker Sales

1111 Access Road- Covington, GA





“Postal Customer”


Meet Dr. Kunes Dr. Kunes is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in surgeries for the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder, as well as the foot and ankle. Dr. Kunes treats all aspects of orthopedics in adults and children including sports related injuries and conditions such as carpal or cubital tunnel syndromes. His career passion is correcting complex arm and leg deformities. In his spare time, Dr. Kunes enjoys spending time with his wife Ileana and their two children. They love cooking, traveling, running, biking, hiking, yoga and Tai Chi. Medical Degree: Northeastern Ohio Medical University Residency: University of Kentucky Fellowship: Florida Orthopedics Institute (Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery) Fellowship: Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital (Pediatric Orthopedics) Learn more about Dr. Kunes by visiting piedmont.org/drkunes

Justin Kunes, M.D., FAAOS Adult and Pediatric Orthopedics and Hand Surgery 4181 Hospital Drive • Suite 204 Covington, Georgia 30014 770.788.6534

24 HEALTHY IN NEWTON | SPRING 2017 06219-0117

Profile for The Covington News

Healthy in Newton - Spring  

Healthy in Newton - Spring