Breast Cancer Misconceptions

092815_Dr. Dull Photo White BackgroundBarbara Z. Dull, M.D., is a breast surgeon at Rex Breast Care Specialists. Dr. Dull earned her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Piscataway, N.J. She completed her general surgery residency and served as a post-doctorate research fellow at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wis. Most recently, she completed a Breast Surgery Fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to dispel some common misconceptions about breast cancer.

  1. 092815_breast_cancer2You’re only at risk of getting breast cancer if you have a family history of it. I see many patients in my office diagnosed with breast cancer who are shocked at the diagnosis because they have no family history of the disease.  In fact, only 10-15 percent of breast cancers are due to a genetic mutation running in a family, the other 85 percent occur sporadically.  For women with no family history of breast cancer we recommend starting screening mammography at the age of 40.
  2. I found a lump in my breast so I must have breast cancer. Only a small percentage of breast lumps turn out to be breast cancer.  Even though most breast lumps will turn out to be normal breast tissue or benign (non-cancerous) masses, they should never be ignored.  Any patient feeling a breast lump should notify their doctor so that the appropriate work-up can be performed.
  3. Breast pain is a sign of breast cancer. Breast pain is a common symptom for many women, but rarely is a sign of breast cancer.  More than 60 percent of women will have breast pain in their lifetime and this is usually related to hormonal changes or benign masses.  Of all women evaluated for breast pain, less than 1 percent are found to have breast cancer.
  4. I heard that ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is not really breast cancer. DCIS is non-invasive form of breast cancer that started in the milk ducts and has not spread to surrounding tissue so it is considered stage 0 breast cancer.  DCIS can develop into an invasive breast cancer and so it is treated similarly.  We currently can’t predict which patients with DCIS will develop invasive breast cancers and which will not, but research is ongoing to help answer that question.  The goal would be to identify patients at high risk of developing invasive breast cancer and target treatment appropriately.
  5. If I have a mastectomy I won’t need chemotherapy. If a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer many times they have two surgical options to treat the breast cancer in the breast, a mastectomy or a lumpectomy (partial mastectomy).  Chemotherapy is a systemic (whole body) treatment, treating any breast cancer cells that cannot be treated via surgery or radiation.   The decision on whether or not a patient needs chemotherapy depends on the size of the breast cancer, whether it has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body, and which tumor markers it has and is not impacted by which type of surgery is done on the breast.

092815_breast_cancerEarly detection provides the best defense against breast cancer. For this reason, mammograms are only one part of the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer. In addition to yearly mammograms, women 40 and older should also get a breast exam by a healthcare professional every year (women in their 20s and 30s should have a breast exam at least every 3 years).

Along with these recommended exams, women need to be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel and should report any changes to their doctor right away.

If you are interested in having your mammogram at the Rex Breast Care Center, please call 919-784-3419 for more information or schedule your mammogram online today.


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Chicken Vegetable Soup with Kale

This hearty soup has it all! Nutritious vegetables, grains and protein come together in a high-fiber, low-fat, low-sodium soup.

Number of servings: 3


  • 092815_soup2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup onion (chopped)
  • ½ cup carrot (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (ground)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups water (or chicken broth)
  • ¾ cup tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 cup chicken, cooked, skinned and cubed
  • ½ cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1 cup kale (chopped, about one large leaf)


  1. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan. Add onion and carrot. Saute until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add thyme and garlic. Saute for 1 more minute.
  3. Add water or broth, tomatoes, chicken, cooked rice and kale.
  4. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Per serving: 180 calories, 5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 17 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 85 mg sodium.

Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture,

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Child Safety Seats: Are They Used Correctly?

Robin DealRobin Deal, BSN, RN, CCE is the Perinatal Services Manager for Rex Healthcare. She has been a Child Passenger Safety Technician for over 15 years.

September 13-19 is National Child Passenger Safety Week. Safe Kids coalitions and other organizations are holding child safety seat inspections to emphasize the importance of proper car seat installation and use.

Do most parents and caregivers use child safety seats correctly?

091615_carseat2According to researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University Hospital led by Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, the answer is no!  In an ongoing study, new mothers who were asked to install a child safety seat in their vehicle and position their newborn in the seat under the supervision of a certified child passenger safety technician (CPST) did not do it correctly. 93% made at least one critical error in positioning their child in the car seat or installing the seat in their vehicle.*

Additionally, the study showed 68% made a harness error, 33% positioned the retainer clip too low, 28% used the incorrect harness slot, and 14% did not know how to adjust the harness.  The most common installation errors were a seat that was too loose (43%), incorrect angle (36%), and an unlocked safety belt (23%), There was an average of 2.3 positioning errors per family and an average of 1.9 installation errors per family.

The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years.  Proper usage of a child safety seat requires a combination of reading and following the car seat manufacturer’s instructions along with the vehicle owner’s manual that includes a section child seat safety.

Here are a few tips to help you install and use your child safety seat correctly.

  • 091615_carseat4Read all directions carefully in both manuals – vehicle owner’s and car seat
  • Know and understand the locking system of your seat belt.
  • Install the seat with less than one inch of movement – it does not have to be immoveable!
  • For a rear-facing seat, use the correct angle as noted by the indicator on the seat.
  • Position the harness retainer clip at armpit level.
  • Choose the harness slots that are at or below the child’s shoulders for a rear-facing seat.
  • Snug the harness so you are not able to “pinch up” the material.
  • Know how the LATCH system works if you have it in your vehicle (hint: owner’s manual!).
  • Avoid the use of products that did not come with your child safety seat.

There is no substitution for reading all instructions thoroughly before installing and using your seat.  Additional assurance that you are correctly using your child seat can be provided by having your seat inspected by a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST).

091615_carseat5If your baby is premature, make sure you choose a seat appropriate for the weight and length of your baby.  Select a seat that has a lower weight limit of 4 pounds and low harness slots.  Most premature babies are tested in their seat before discharge from the NICU to make sure they can ride safely in their seat.

Rex is proud to offer car seat inspections and classes for caregivers.  A certified CPST is available from 8:30 AM- 12:30 PM Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to inspect your car seat installation for free.  Please note:  We ask that you have read your instructions and installed your seat prior to coming to the inspection area in front of the Rex Women’s Center.  You may contact our technician, Chris Morris, at 919-784-1802 or Robin Deal at 919-784-3340.


*Hoffman B. Abstract #25919.  Presented at the 2014 AAP National Conference and Exhibition, “Majority of Parents with Newborns Misused Car Safety Seats.”

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2015 Great 100 Nurses

Rex is proud of Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC, Lactation Services, Women’s & Children’s Services, Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN, Team Leader, Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Services, and Rosemary Hill, RN BSN, Special Care Nursery, Women’s & Children’s Services, for being selected for this year’s list of the Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina. The prestigious list recognizes registered nurses for their outstanding professional abilities and commitment to improving health care in their communities. The list is compiled by The Great 100 Inc., a grassroots, peer recognition organization that honors the nursing profession in North Carolina.

In honor of their accolade, we asked Sheri and Fadwa to share what being a Great 100 nurse means to them.

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC, Lactation Services, Women’s & Children’s Services:

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC

Sheri Taylor, RN BSN IBCLC

Many months ago, my supervisor let me know she was nominating me for the Great 100.  I was grateful for the confidence and trust that she had in me and humbled by her wanting to take the time to fill out the application.

Last month, I got notification in the mail that I had been selected to be one of 2015 Great 100 nurses.  I was excited that I was selected.  I was excited that I could represent not only myself, but nursing in Women’s and Children’s, and nursing at Rex.

As the news spread to my friends, family, and colleagues that I had been selected, the kind words and comments that have come my way have been overwhelming.  People I didn’t even know very well were congratulating me.  People who did know me well gave me words of praise.  My colleagues were as excited as I was. It was like having a celebration every day at work.  Most humbling of all were the words of praise from some of the families I have worked with over the years.

I am more appreciative of my role in helping new families than ever before.  I wish every nurse could hear the words of appreciation, support, and praise that I have heard since being named a Great 100 nurse.  I have never been prouder of being a nurse.

Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN, Team Leader, Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Services:

Fadwa Bousliman, RN

Fadwa Bousliman, RN PCCN

I started working on Three West eight years ago as a foreign nurse, struggling with her communication skills. My assets were a big heart and a sense of humor. I was determined to make my patients’ lives a little better, at least during my shift. I have been fortunate to work with a great team and a wonderful manager; they inspired, directed, and encouraged me. Since then I have grown to become the go-to person on my unit.

I never dreamed that I would win any award. I certainly wasn’t doing anything for it – I was doing my job, a job that I love. When my manager, Janice Laurore, informed me that she nominated me for the Great 100 Nurses for North Carolina award, I was thrilled. It’s meaningful to know that someone believes you are good enough to deserve an award. I told my manager that being nominated is a win in itself.

When I got the letter confirming that I was selected as a Great 100 Nurse, I was ecstatic. I called my manager on her cellphone to inform her. We were screaming on the phone like teenagers! Winning this award has taught me that with hard working anything is possible. It motivated me to do an even better job.

Words cannot express how happy and proud I am to receive this award. I feel valued and appreciated. I am deeply thankful and grateful for this award.

Fadwa, Rosemary and Sheri, 3 of North Carolina's Great 100 Nurses

Fadwa, Rosemary and Sheri, 3 of North Carolina’s Great 100 Nurses

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7 School Bus Safety Tips for Kids

As kids return to school, school buses once again welcome kids aboard. While school buses are the safest mode of transportation to school, injuries do occur, many when children are boarding or exiting the vehicle. Here are some safety tips to review with your child this year:

  1. 082615_schoolbusDon’t rush: It’s a good idea to be at the bus stop at least five minutes before the bus is scheduled to come.
  2. Always stay 10 giant steps away from the bus when it’s pulling up so the driver can see you.
  3. Be aware of moving traffic. Avoid things that obstruct your sight, hearing or attention, such as hoods, headphones and video games.
  4. Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting on or off. Sit down as soon as you’re on the bus.
  5. Be cautious of backpack straps, drawstrings or loose clothing that can get caught on handrails or doors.
  6. Don’t put your head, arms, hands or belongings out the window.
  7. When exiting, be aware of other cars on the road. Take five giant steps from the front of the bus and wait for the driver’s signal that it is okay to cross.

As a driver, be sure to review the North Carolina school bus stop laws. Have a safe school year!

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4 Bag Lunch Tips

Whether you’re packing bag lunches for yourself or your kids, you should feel good about selecting wholesome foods and healthy portion sizes. Plus, you’ll save money if you pack a lunch instead of going out to eat. Here are four tips for your next bag lunch:

  1. 082614_baglunchPack last night’s leftovers. Or, reinvent leftovers and create something entirely new for lunch (e.g., a chicken salad wrap or bean salad).
  2. Keep it fresh. Don’t let salads or sandwiches get soggy. Pack toppings and dressings in a separate container and assemble your meal when it’s time for lunch.
  3. Stay cool. Use cooler packs in your lunch bag or keep your lunch in the refrigerator. Perishable food must be kept cold — otherwise harmful bacteria can multiply and potentially make you sick.
  4. Reheat safely. When using a microwave to reheat food, ensure the food is heated evenly by turning or stirring it. Food should be reheated to at least 165 F.
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Cucumber Salad

Low-fat yogurt, vinegar and dill give this cucumber salad plenty ofCucumberSalad zip!

Number of servings: 2


  • 1 cucumber (large, peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed (optional)
  • 1 dash pepper (optional)


  1. Peel and thinly slice cucumber.
  2. Mix all other ingredients in the mixing bowl.
  3. Add cucumber slices and stir until coated.
  4. Chill until serving.

Per serving: 90 calories, 7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 15 mg sodium.

Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture,

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Your Farmers Market Guide


You’ve heard, “Eat your fruits and vegetables,” since childhood. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s good advice. Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. With more farmers markets taking root across the U.S., buying fresh is easier than ever. Choosing produce in their natural growing season ensures value, freshness and nutrient density.

Locally grown trends
In a recent survey*, the majority of respondents said they:
• Go to a farmers market once a week
• Spend less than $10.
• Want to support local agriculture.

4 shopping tips
1. Go in the morning for the best selection, but go at the end of the day for the best deals.
2. Don’t just take advantage of the produce. Explore the baked goods, crafts and more.
3. Bring your own bags for easier shopping and environmental friendliness.
4. Plan for spontaneity—trying new things, like zucchini blossoms, is part of the fun.

Rex is a proud sponsor of multiple farmers markets in Wake County, including:

  • Downtown Raleigh Farmers Market
  • Holly Springs Farmers Market
  • Zebulon Farmers Market

Find a farmers market near you! Check out the USDA’s Farmers Market directory.

*Source: USDA Outdoor Farmers Market Dot survey 2011.

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6 Brain Benefits of Walking

shutterstock_219757786You probably know the benefits of walking for building strong bones, improving heart health and losing weight. But did you know that walking offers benefits for your brain, too? Here are six ways walking can give your brain a boost.

  1. Stay mentally sharp. A number of studies suggest that walking helps ward off age-related memory decline.
  2. Lower Alzheimer’s risk. One study found that older men who walked more than 2 miles per day were half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia compared to those who walked less than a quarter mile per day.
  3. Boost brain power. Taking a brisk walk not only gets your heart pumping, it may help focus your thoughts, too. In one small study, kids’ brain scans showed more brain activity after a brisk walk, specifically in the areas of the brain responsible for focus and attention.
  4. Lift your mood. Research suggests that fast walking at least 35 minutes a day, five days a week, can improve your mood and reduce mild to moderate depression symptoms.
  5. Spark creativity. A recent study suggests that walking—whether on a treadmill or hiking on a trail—boosted creativity by about 60 percent compared with sitting.
  6. Sleep better. Research suggests that a brisk mid-morning walk can help you get a better night’s rest.

Want to join a walking group or exercise class? Learn more about wellness programs available through Rex Healthcare. Visit to view information about Rex Wellness Centers.


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Summer Breeze Smoothie

CaptureSmoothieThis smoothie is loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals for a low-calorie (and great-tasting) treat.


  • 1 cup yogurt, plain, nonfat
  • 6 medium strawberries
  • 1 cup pineapple, crushed, canned in juice
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubs
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Place all ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. Serve in frosted glass.

Number of servings: 3. Per serving: 121 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 64 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 483 mg potassium.

Recipe courtesy of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


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