Lexington Medical Center and DHEC to Offer Free COVID-19 Testing in Batesburg-Leesville

At the request of Senator Katrina Shealy, Lexington Medical Center and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control are working together to provide free COVID-19 testing at Batesburg-Leesville Elementary School, located at 403 S. Lee Street in Batesburg-Leesville, on Tuesday, June 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Individuals do not need to have symptoms. No appointments are necessary. Clinicians will administer the tests in a drive-thru format. Patients do not need to get out of their cars.

Testing for COVID-19 involves a nasopharyngeal swab, where a clinician places a special 6-inch cotton swab up both sides of the nose and rotates it around for about 15 seconds. DHEC is providing the test kits, which will go to third-party laboratories for processing.

Lexington Medical Center held free COVID-19 screenings earlier this month at White Knoll High School in Lexington and Brookland Baptist Church in West Columbia. More than 1,250 people received screenings at those events.

Lexington Medical Center and DHEC are thankful for the support of the Midlands community throughout the coronavirus pandemic as they work to keep everyone healthy and safe.

Further questions about testing should be directed to DHEC at www.scdhec.gov or (803) 898-3432.

What Men Need to Know About Prostate Cancer

by Terence Chapman, MD, Director of Urologic Oncology, Lexington Medical Center
Urologist, Lexington Urology

Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. While it is a diagnosis that men dread receiving, the survival rate for men with prostate cancer has increased over the years thanks to better screening and treatment options. While 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, only around 1 in 33 die of the disease.

Risk Factors
There are multiple risk factors for prostate cancer; some are genetic, but some can be reduced by diet and lifestyle choices.

Age – While 1 in 6 will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, the risk of getting prostate cancer increases as men age.

Ethnicity – African-American men have a higher incidence of the disease, and they are more likely to get it at an earlier age, have more aggressive cancers and a higher risk of death than other men.

Dr. Terence Chapman

Family History – Men who have an immediate family member (father, brother) diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to develop the disease.

Smoking – There is evidence that prostate cancer risk may be double for heavy smokers. Smoking is also linked to a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer.

Diet/Lifestyle – The risk may be higher if you eat more calories, animal fats, refined sugar and not enough fruits and vegetables. Lack of exercise is also linked to poor outcomes.

Obesity – Being obese increases the risk of dying from prostate cancer. A man can decrease risk by maintaining a healthy weight

It is recommended for all men to have a baseline PSA at age 40 which can help determine future relative risk and to individualize screening frequency based on a number of factors including their overall health, initial PSA level, prostate size, race and family cancer history.

It’s also important to know that an elevated PSA doesn’t always indicate cancer. Many men may have slightly elevated PSA levels because of other causes

After age 70, the value of PSA screening likely declines, depending on a man’s overall health.

If there is a significantly high or increased PSA level or a significant change in prostate size, a prostate biopsy may be indicated. Through biopsy and additional testing, the physician diagnose prostate cancer and more accurately determine the severity (grade and stage) of the cancer.

Though there are multiple treatment options, many cancers will not require treatment. In fact, more men than ever are eligible for initial surveillance. Faster growing tumors that are potentially life-threatening are more likely to require treatment.

Patients and physicians collaborate to determine the right course of treatment, depending on the tumor’s grade and stage, age and overall health of the patient as well as the patient’s willingness to accept potential side effects of treatment.

Treatment choices for prostate cancer include:
*Surveillance, including active surveillance and watchful waiting to monitor the tumor’s growth

*Localized therapies, including surgery, radiation therapy, cryotherapy and focal therapy

*Systemic therapies, including hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy

*At Lexington Medical Center Cancer Center, an affiliate of Duke Health, we follow the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for treating prostate cancer. Our multi-disciplinary team of surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, nurse navigators and social workers meets bi-weekly to collaborate and determine the best course of treatment for each patient diagnosed with prostate cancer. We also participate in clinical trials to offer new treatment options to our patients.

Lexington County Man Survives COVID-19 With Help of Therapeutic Plasma

Jeff Bennett is a COVID-19 survivor. The Lexington County business owner was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus at Lexington Medical Center in March. His condition worsened to the point where he needed to be on a ventilator.

Inside Lexington Medical Center’s Critical Care Unit, doctors gave Mr. Bennett an innovative treatment known as therapeutic plasma exchange. This innovative and aggressive treatment replaces a sick patient’s “inflamed” plasma with standard “clean” plasma. The idea is that plasma from a healthy person can help a patient fight COVID-19. Lexington Medical Center was one of only a handful of hospitals in the nation using this type of plasma exchange for COVID-19 patients.

In this video, Mr. Bennett and his wife share their COVID-19 story.

Therapeutic plasma exchange has been used for many years for other conditions, but medical intensive care physicians at Lexington Medical Center have used it since late 2019 for patients with septic shock and multiple organ failure. In March, they started using it for patients with COVID-19.

Therapeutic plasma exchange is different than the more widely used convalescent plasma, which transfuses plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient.

COVID-19 alters chemical communicators in the body that help fight infection. Lexington Medical Center doctors think the donor plasma may be able to tell the body how to fight the infection and mitigate the body’s response to it.

Lexington Medical Center is thankful to the community for its kindness and support as hospital clinicians work to take care of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.