New clinic will help in early detection of lung cancer

pulmonary clinic docs

The opening of a new medical clinic in Marshall County this week offers faster diagnosis of spots that could be early lung cancer.

Marshall Medical Centers announces the opening of the Marshall Pulmonary Nodule Clinic March 3 to provide early detection and expedited care of lung cancer.

“This clinic will provide a standard approach for lung nodules and act as a community resource for ER doctors and community doctors that identify lung nodules in their patients,” said Dr. Christopher Manganaris of Pulmonary and Sleep Associates of Marshall County. “It will ensure adequate follow up and counseling for patients and family members with lung nodules.”

A lung nodule –commonly called ‘a spot on the lung’ – is a small mass of tissue in the lung that appears as round, white shadows on a chest x-ray or CT scan.

When a lung nodule diagnosis is made, doctors can refer the patient to the Nodule Clinic to meet with one of the pulmonary specialists within 72 business hours. There, the patient’s scans can be reviewed in an office setting. While 80 percent of pulmonary nodules are found to be benign and can come from an infection or scar tissue from an old infection, some are early signs of lung cancer and require prompt evaluation.

Dr. Manganaris said treatment of lung nodules has become very standardized over the last several years and is tailored to each patient’s circumstances.

“Risk assessment based on age, smoking history and the number of nodules determine how aggressive we need to be,” he said.

If a lung nodule is new or has changed in size, shape or appearance, a doctor may recommend further testing to determine if it is cancerous. Testing could include any of the following which are available in Marshall Medical’s Nodule Clinic:

  • Bronchoscopy – a procedure used to see the inside of the airways and lungs.
  • Tissue biopsy – a procedure to remove a piece of tissue or a sample of cells to be analyzed in a laboratory.
  • Low dose CT scan – special X-ray tests that produce cross-sectional images of the body.
  • CT guided biopsy – uses real-time CT images to ensure biopsy samples are accurately taken from the desired part of the lung.
  • PET scan – an imaging test that assists in the diagnosis of cancerous lesions.
  • Endobronchial ultrasound or EBUS – a technique to obtain tissue or fluid samples from the lungs and surrounding lymph nodes without conventional surgery.

Medicare covers lung cancer screening with Low Dose CT once a year for Medicare beneficiaries who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Age 55-77 and are either current smokers or have quit smoking within the past 15 years;
  • Have a tobacco smoking history average of one pack a day for 30 years;
  • Receive a written order from a physician or qualified non-physician practitioner that meets certain requirements.

Medicare coverage includes a visit for counseling and shared decision-making on the benefits and risks of lung cancer screening.

The Marshall Pulmonology Nodule Clinic is located in the Professional Center next door to Marshall Cancer Care Center, just south of Cracker Barrel in Guntersville. The Clinic is staffed by a group of physicians who take a team approach to treatment. They are:


  • Dr. Jenna Carpenter – Pulmonology
  • Dr. Gideon P. Ewing – Medical Oncology
  • Dr. Jonathan A. Storey – Medical Oncology
  • Dr. J.T. Payne – Radiation Oncology
  • Dr. Dustin Bright-Interventional Radiologist

Marshall Pulmonary Nodule Clinic is located on Highway 431 just south of the Guntersville Cracker Barrel. The street address is 11491 US Highway 431, Albertville, Alabama 35950. (256)894-6910 Visit us at:

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No snow days for hospital staff


Hospital employees don’t get to stay home when it snows! During the huge snowfall last week that kept most people cozy and warm at home, Marshall Medical Center employees were hard at work. More than 200 staff members slept at North and South hospitals to take care of patients. That’s what makes our hospitals the best!

Several staff members and physicians transported employees to and from work, and some even rescued staff that were stranded on the side of the road! A significant number of employees stayed more than one night.  Others came in early for their shift in order to allow an off- going staff member the ability to make it home.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who went above and beyond to keep us going during the snow!


Staff from the Call Center slept in the Women’s Center at South so they could take shifts answering calls. All the rooms with beds were taken so they got to bed down on air mattresses. They still had some fun in the snow and got the job done! Below are Renee Wheeler and Tracy Johnson. THANK YOU ALL!

snow5 Snow8

These hard-working folks at North’s emergency department took a minute to pose in the snow.


They are: Jeff Ellis, Shae Watkins, Desi Cordell, Shae Mosley, Andrea Harell, Dr. Sparks, Hattie Freeman, Jennifer Medlin, Brittany Isom and Megan Wray. Thanks so much!


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Exercising in winter is important – These tips will help you do it right

Here are 5 tips for outdoor winter workouts:

1. Don’t Dress Like a Tough Guy

Last weekend, it was cold here in New York. Really cold. I layered up. I threw on a wool hat that covered my ears. I put on warm gloves and socks. And then I layered up again. I took no shame in bundling up like a 10-year-old going sledding on a snow day. While on my run, I saw a man running in nothing but running shorts and shoes – sans shirt! I couldn’t believe it. Some embrace cold workouts by going all-in and end up making it harder on themselves just win “tough points,” but they end up losing “smart points.” Layers help us manage air flow, body temperature, and moisture from sweat. The Mayo Clinic provides details on its website on how to layer-up effectively.

2. Drink Up

When it’s 80 degrees outside and we sweat buckets, reaching for a cold drink is as instinctive as breathing. When it’s freezing, we often overlook the integral part hydration plays in exercising safely. We sweat when it’s cold and we expend energy, even if we don’t seem that thirsty. In cold weather, the body’s thirst response is diminished by 40 percent due to blood vessel constriction tricking our minds into thinking we don’t need to drink up. It’s important to drink water before, during, and after exercising outdoors.

3. Grab a Buddy

It’s especially hard for many of us to motivate ourselves to exercise when it’s very cold out. This is a good time to partner up with a friend or participate with a group. Working out with others helps hold us accountable and offers a sense of athletic camaraderie. Running Coach Jenny Hadfield says, “You’ll have a built in motivational source, a friend to chat with along the way and it is safer to run in numbers. Running with others (or pets) is a great way to beat the winter doldrums.”

4. Grab a Shovel (New England Special)

As of yesterday, Boston winter snow totals had reached nearly eight feet, just 12 inches to go to hit the season record with much of winter to go. As frustrated as our New England friends must be, if you can’t beat them, join them. The “them” New Englanders can’t beat, of course, is the snow. Embracing the snow is the way to go. And what better way than grabbing that shovel and getting a good ‘ole fashioned workout with it. In between periods of moving snow from one large snowy mound to another, there are some effective exercises to partake in. Use a shovel to help improve squat form, as a lightweight to use to rotate your body and work the obliques, or carry snow for weighted deadlifts and lunges.

5. Clean Up Quickly

We layered up. We completed that long run, bike trail, or circuit training routine. Perhaps we even shoveled. And we’re home and exhausted. After stretching and doing our cool-down routine, the last thing we want to do is take all those layers off and jump in the shower. Do your best to resist the urge to delay cleaning up. It’s important to get out of the clothes that you wore pretty quickly. Sitting around in wet, cold clothes will make you vulnerable to getting sick and prevents your muscles from loosening up.snowy winter scene in a wood

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‘Through With Chew Week’ brings smokeless tobacco to the forefront

The week of Feb. 15–21 has been designated as “Through With Chew Week” in an effort to call attention to the dangers of smokeless tobacco use. The public awareness campaign is designed to reduce the use of smokeless tobacco among young people.

“Smokeless tobacco is not a safe alternative to cigarettes, as some young people believe,” said Bret Stanfield, communication coordinator for the Alabama Department of Public Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. “In fact, it is even more habit-forming because it contains a higher concentration of nicotine than cigarettes.”

According to the 2014 Alabama Youth Tobacco Survey, 9.7 percent of Alabama’s high school students are current smokeless tobacco users. That figure is down from 12.6 percent in 2012. Nationally, 6.4 percent of high school students use smokeless tobacco.

“Smokeless tobacco can cause oral cancer, especially in the cheeks, gums and throat,” said Stanfield. “The use of smokeless tobacco can also lead to other oral problems, such as mouth sores, gum recession, tooth decay, bad breath and permanent discoloration of teeth.”

Stanfield also said that smokeless tobacco use can sometimes be seen as a rite of passage among young people in Alabama, typically males. Smokeless tobacco is also used as an alternative nicotine source as it emits no smoke and can be used more discretely than cigarettes and in places where smoking is not allowed.

Parents and teachers are encouraged to participate in Through With Chew Week by educating their children on the dangers of smokeless tobacco use.

In Alabama, resources are available to help residents quit smokeless tobacco. The Alabama Tobacco Quitline offers free help to anyone ready to quit tobacco use, or to anyone who wants more information about quitting. The Quitline offers free coaching, a personalized quit plan, and two weeks of free nicotine patches if enrolled in coaching and medically eligible.

For more information on the Alabama Tobacco Quitline, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit

smokeless tobacco


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Ms. Senior Alabama is a regular at TherapyPlus Fitness

By Morgan Martin

Marshall Medical Centers

Therapy Plus is the place to go when you want to stay healthy or even begin a new healthy life style. With two great locations in the area, Boaz and Guntersville, it is hard to come up with an excuse as to why you would avoid going. Therapy Plus offers multiple fitness and wellness programs as well as all the equipment needed to enhance one’s physical health.

“We focus on wellness and fitness. Our main goal is to help you have a healthier lifestyle.” says Marsha Chadwick, the director of the wellness services at Therapy Plus.

It was these factors, as well as the helpful and friendly staff at Therapy Plus that has kept Renee Pierce, also known as Ms. Senior Alabama, a regular there. Pierce and her husband, Tommy, have made hitting the gym every Tuesday and Friday a habit since June. When asked what her motivation is Pierce says having her husband as her gym partner helps a lot, as does as having a personal trainer. When the couple mentioned their interest in working out regularly at Therapy Plus, a friend from church gave them the name of Keith Britton, a personal trainer there. “He doesn’t belittle you if you if you are not able to do something,” says Pierce. “Instead he’ll give you tips on how to eventually accomplish what you couldn’t do before. I expected to gain a lot of knowledge from a trainer, but it also makes a big difference that Keith is so likeable and very understanding.”

renee piercerenee pierce & trainerBritton has been a licensed personal trainer for five years and believes strongly in positive reinforcement. When asked about working with his clients, and inspiring them to reach their goals, Britton said  he tries to be positive and encourage them.

“I’m here to motivate them, but to get the results they want I try to remind them regularly that they have to have their head and their heart in it.”

Aside from gaining some muscles Pierce notes that working out regularly has helped her in many different ways, including improving her balance and increasing her energy level throughout the day,

“Tommy and I primarily assumed that working out would strengthen our core, but I think I swapped some fat cells for muscle cells too,” laughs Pierce.

She also says without going to the gym on a weekly basis she wouldn’t have had the energy to do all that she has had to do since becoming Ms. Senior Alabama. Overall it seems to be a safe assumption that Mrs. Pierce has inspired many with her work ethic and her recent win of such a coveted title, but to say that she has inspired those that know her, including the staff at Therapy Plus, is a fact.

“She is inspiring and it is a huge accomplishment for someone from our hometown to win the title of Ms. Senior Alabama,” Chadwick says. “We are so honored to have her here as a member of our gym.”


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Forget chocolate for Valentine’s Day – Give the gift of good skin



Think about doing something different for your valentine this year. Rather than woo her with flowers or chocolates or both, how about giving her the gift of beautiful skin?
It’s a proven fact that women will kill for nice skin. We spend over $426 billion a year on beauty products. That’s a lot of gunk to smear all over our faces in an effort to hide wrinkles, blemishes, puffy eyes and dark circles.
What would happen if we channeled some of that spending to a process that will nourish the skin on your face? With cleaner, prettier skin, we would need less (maybe no) makeup.
What’s Hydrafacial?
What I’m suggesting is a treatment called HydraFacial. It is available locally from Masdon ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery offices in Boaz and Guntersville. It takes less than an hour, costs less than jewelry, has no recovery time and shows immediate results. Sounds like a girl’s best friend!
How does it work? A technician uses a tool with a series of abrasive tips. As the tool is passed over the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose, it exfoliates the skin with a vortex effect to dislodge and remove impurities.
It involves four steps:
• Step 1 is cleansing and exfoliation. Dead skin cells are removed to reveal healthy new skin.
• Step 2 is an acid peel. This very gentle peel helps loosen dirt and debris from pores without irritation.
• Step 3 is extraction. Using vortex suction to clean out pores pulls out deep-down dirt you can’t remove on your own.
• Step 4 is hydration. A battery of soothing, calming moisturizers restores your skin, leaving it soft, smooth and dewy.
Mild acid peel
If I had known beforehand that the facial involves an acid peel, I might not have done it because I have very sensitive and very dry skin. But as it turned out, the acid is so gentle you don’t feel anything other than a slight tingle. Apparently it is just what the doctor ordered to get the dull, rough surface skin loose.
And if you are skeptical that a painless procedure will really get under your skin and pry out pore-clogging gunk, then you will love the final step. The technician will show you exactly what came out of your skin.
No pain; lots of gain
None of the process is painful. The tips are less abrasive than the exfoliators we commonly scrub our skin with. The suction pulls out the invisible goo that makes skin rough to the touch. Once all the impurities are stripped away, the hydration is cooling and soothing.
I left with glowing skin that felt so clean and smooth I didn’t want to touch it with my germ-ridden fingers. I also didn’t want to hide it with makeup. Now doesn’t that sound better than a box of chocolates?
The basic HydraFacial is $125. It also is available in anti-acne and anti-aging forms for different prices. The procedure is available at the Boaz location next door to Marshall South. Call for an appointment at (256) 571-8450.
Rose Myers is a former journalist now working in the Marketing Department of Marshall Medical Centers.

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TherapyPlus Member of the Month – Exercise and living with Crohn’s disease

Steven Burgett
Steven Burgett
February Member of the MonthHis Story: I had lost a lot of weight due to having Crohn’s disease. I became very weak and tired. My weight dropped to 129lbs. At 5’9” I was well below a healthy weight for me. I joined Therapy Plus in 2011. With the advice and help of my physicians, medication and diet I am pleased to say that I am back to a healthy weight. I am now staying fit, active and healthy after gaining back some weight. I really want to thank Elizabeth, Debbie, Josh, David and all the other trainers that have helped me over the past three years.

Accomplishments: I have gained healthy weight back, but most importantly I feel good about my body.

Challenges: Crohn’s Disease has been an ongoing battle for me.

Interests/Hobbies: I love the outdoors! camping-hiking-rowing

Comments about the facility/staff: The staff is great, always cheerful and ready to assist members with their needs.

Comments about diet: My diet is mostly staying away from gluten and watching carbs.

Biggest Temptation: Is giving up or not trying hard.

What motivates you? Knowing where I was and how hard I fought to get where I am now.

Best compliment that you have received: You look healthy!

Tip for others: Stay with it when you feel like giving in or up……push harder.


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