Thursday, March 27, 2014

IMPACT Magazine - Mailing this Week

Check your mailbox this week for the first issue of IMPACT magazine, which features stories relating to the University of South Alabama Health System. The magazine can be viewed online here. To request more copies of the magazine, email

USA Health System Offers Free Skin Cancer Screenings

The USA Health System will offer free skin cancer screenings for all USA Health and Dental Plan members on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the new clinic at the University Commons.

Screenings will be performed by Dr. Marcus Tan, a surgical oncologist at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, and Mona Hagmaier, PA-C, with University Physicians Group.

According to Dr. Tan, the incidence of melanoma in the United States is rising more rapidly than for virtually any other cancer. “In fact, one in every 55 individuals will develop melanoma. However, if caught early, it is curable in 90% of cases.”

There are several risk factors to consider in a melanoma diagnosis including family history of melanoma, prior melanoma, multiple pigmented skin lesions and some rare genetic syndromes. In addition, a history of extensive or severe sun exposure or severe sunburns may also contribute to the development of this potentially fatal cancer.

Hagmaier recommends that everyone have an annual skin cancer screening as part of their preventative health program.  She also recommends monthly self skin exams to monitor for any changes.

In conducting a successful self-exam, it is crucial to know what to look for. Lesions suspicious for melanoma usually have a combination of the "ABCDEs of Melanoma:"

●      A - Asymmetry
●      B - irregular Borders
●      C - variable Color (pigmentation)
●      D- Diameter greater than 1/4 inch
●      E - Expanding (growing) skin lesion

To schedule your free skin cancer screening, call 660-5787.  USA Commons is located at 75 University Blvd. at the intersection of University Blvd. and Old Shell Rd. (adjacent to the USA College of Education).

Neurology Spring Symposium a Success

Dr. Elizabeth Minto, assistant professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a neurologist with USA Physicians Group, speaks at the USA Department of Neurology's 1st annual spring symposium on March 21, 2014.

The University of South Alabama department of neurology hosted a spring symposium on March 21, 2014, at Space 301 in Mobile, Ala. The event, which had a total of 80 registrants, offered a full day of continuing education sessions on topics ranging from vascular neurology and movement disorders to epilepsy, headache, and multiple sclerosis.
According to USA neurologist Dr. Elizabeth Minto, the goal of the event was to showcase the array of services available to the patients and primary caregivers of the Southeast region via USA Neurology, including the clinics, clinicians, and USA's state-of-the-art Comprehensive Epilepsy and Neuroscience Center.

"Throughout the day I had numerous people share that the topic mix was perfect," Dr. Minto said. "I was also told by multiple attendees how needed our symposium was, and how much they hoped we'd do it again next year."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Med School Café - Expert Advice for the Community

Last week, Dr. Donna Bennett, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, presented the March Med School Café lecture. The lecture, titled "Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy," had a total of 40 attendees.

During the talk,  Dr. Bennett discussed menopause, including its symptoms and several treatment options that can relieve symptoms. To view her lecture in its entirety, click here.

The next Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Clara Massey, professor of internal medicine and director of the division of cardiology at the University of South Alabama. The lecture will take place April 30, 2014.

If you are interested in attending, email for more details. To learn more about the lectures, click here.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It most often starts as a non-cancerous polyp in patients around 50 years of age – showing with little or only minor symptoms.

Watch the video below to learn more from USA Gastroenterologist Dr. Brooks Cash about what you can do to prevent colon cancer from occurring, as well as steps you can take to dramatically improve treatment if you are diagnosed with colon cancer.

Dr. Brooks Cash - Colon Cancer Screening from USA Health System on Vimeo.