Monthly Archives: January 2016

Know Your Heart Trivia Contest

Heart-Month-Trivia-Promo-ImageHow well do you know your heart? The leading cause of death for men and women in the United States is heart disease and many symptoms for heart attacks as well as strokes go unnoticed.

Throughout this February, we’re teaming up with the Carolina Hurricanes to raise awareness for heart health with a trivia contest! We’ll be asking questions related to the various fun facts about your heart and the new NC Heart Hospital. Simply follow the UNC REX Facebook page to answer each trivia question posted every game day.

All participants will earn a chance to win the Ultimate VIP Fan Experience Package, including four tickets to the Hurricanes game and a special meet & greet with the players.

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5 Things You Need to Know About the Zika Virus


The Zika virus (pronounced zee-ka) has been in the national news a lot lately due, in part, to a travel alert related to its spread. In Brazil, it was recently linked to a rise in cases of microcephaly — a birth defect characterized by an undersized skull and brain. Scientists are still trying to better understand the possible connection between the increase in Zika virus infections and the increase in microcephaly cases. But concern is strong enough that in January 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Zika virus travel alert recommending pregnant women not travel to areas of virus transmission.

While experts currently think the virus poses a small risk to people in the United States, it’s important to learn more about this mosquito-borne virus:

  1. What is Zika?
    Zika is a virus originally discovered in Africa. People infected with the virus may have no symptoms at all, or may experience a rash, fever, joint pain and redness in the eyes. The illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting a few days to a week.
  1. How is Zika transmitted?
    The virus is primarily spread through bites from a mosquito species commonly found in the countries where Zika is present.
  1. Where has Zika been found?
    Active transmission of Zika has been found in more than 25 countries, mostly in Central and South America.
  1. Who is at risk?
    Anyone who hasn’t previously had the virus can be infected. While there’s no evidence pregnant women are more susceptible to the virus than others, their infections are of greatest concern because the virus can be transferred to babies still in the womb.
  1. How can I avoid being infected?shutterstock_339870569
    A Zika vaccine isn’t currently available, but scientists are working to develop one. For now, the CDC recommends that pregnant women avoid travel to countries where active Zika virus transmission is present. Women who may become pregnant should talk with their health care provider before traveling to these areas. Precautions recommended for anyone who travels to an area where Zika virus is spreading include using EPA-approved insect repellents; wearing clothing treated with permethrin that covers your arms and legs; and spending time in air-conditioned spaces or those with window and door screens that keep out mosquitoes.
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Low Sodium Zucchini Stir-Fry

shutterstock_231721423In observance of Cervical Cancer Awareness month, we’re sharing valuable information about women’s health relating to cervical cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, diets with rich amounts of antioxidants, carotenoids, flavonoids, and folate found in fruits and vegetables can help the body fight and lower the risk of HPV infection. Learn to make this tasty and low sodium stir-fry recipe with a touch of basil, oregano and black pepper to add flavor!

Number of servings: 4

Nutritional information per 1 cup serving: 68 calories; 4 g total fat; 2 g protein; 8 g carbohydrates; 2 g dietary fiber; 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 mg sodium.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion (medium)
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 zucchini (medium)
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano


  1. Peel the onion. Cut it into thin slices.
  2. Slice the yellow squash into thin round pieces.
  3. Slice the zucchini into thin round pieces.
  4. Chop the red pepper into small pieces.
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan or stir-fry pan. Add the onion slices.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring quickly for 1 minute.
  7. Add the spices and stir a few times.
  8. Add remaining vegetables and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until vegetables are just tender.

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

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6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Cervical Cancer

12100Susan Moore, MD, MPH, of UNC REX Cancer Center and REX Hematology Oncology Associates is board-certified in oncology, hematology and internal medicine. Dr. Moore graduated from The UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, NC. She completed her Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California San Francisco in San Francisco, CA. She then attended Emory University in Atlanta, GA,  for her  fellowship in Hematology and Oncology.


shutterstock_2911274391. Why do women develop cervical cancer?
The primary risk factor for cervical cancer is infection with human papilloma virus (HPV), an infection which causes papillomas (more commonly known as warts). HPV is a common virus that is spread by skin-to-skin contact, usually through sexual activity. Certain types of HPV strains (HPV 16 and 18) are considered high-risk and are linked to developing cancer of the cervix, vulva and vagina.

Although HPV infection is common and the body can often clear the infection by itself, sometimes the infection becomes chronic which is what can increase risk of developing cancer.

2. Can cervical cancer be prevented?
The best way to prevent cervical cancer is to have testing to find pre-cancerous lesions. This is commonly done with a Pap smear and HPV testing. If the pre-cancerous lesions are treated, then cervical cancer can be stopped before it really starts. Talk to your gynecologist about how frequently this testing should be done. Since there is a vaccine to prevent HPV infection, being vaccinated in childhood is an important way to prevent HPV infection and risk of cervical cancer.

3. How is cervical cancer detected?
Most women with early cervical cancer or pre-cancerous lesions do not have symptoms, but these abnormalities can be detected on routine exam. Please visit your gynecologist regularly for early detection. When cervical cancer begins to grow, the most common signs and symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, unusual vaginal discharge or pain during intercourse. If any of these symptoms occur, please see your gynecologist immediately.

4. How is cervical cancer treated?
Treatment of cervical cancer varies depending on the stage of disease (how much the cancer has spread). For the earliest stages of cervical cancer, surgery or radiation combined with chemotherapy can be used. For later stages, radiation combined with chemotherapy is the main treatment. Treating cervical cancer frequently involves several specialists, including gynecologic oncologists, radiation oncologists, and medical oncologists.

5. Are clinical trials available for cervical cancer patients?
Clinical trials are carefully designed and controlled studies done with patients who are interested in exploring new treatment options. Involvement in a clinical trial is strictly voluntary. Clinical trials are available at UNC REX and at UNC Medical Center. If you are interested in learning more, please discuss options with your doctor.

6. Is cervical cancer curable?
The ability to cure cervical cancer depends greatly on the stage of the cancer when it is detected. Rates of cure are greater than 90% when detected at the earliest stage but decline with advancing stage. The best option is to prevent cervical cancer from developing in the first place! In addition to early detection and vaccination, it is important not to smoke, maintain a healthy weight, and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. If cervical cancer is detected, maintaining these healthy habits will help you to recover from treatment.




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Chicken, Farro and Kale Tacos with Butternut Squash Pico De Gallo

Last month, Rex On Call featured Ryan Conklin, an executive chef at UNC REX and
Shelly Wegman, a registered dietitian of Rex Nutrition Services to discuss healthy eating habits. In addition to the Q&A session, Chef Ryan Conklin demonstrated a healthy taco and salsa recipe.CWNF30SXAAAVP-n








Chicken, Farro and Kale Tacos with Butternut Squash Pico De Gallo

  • Taco Filling
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 T Diced Onion
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • ¾ Cup of Shredded Kale
  • ¾ Cup Cooked Farro
  • ¾ Cup of Cooked Chicken Breast (Supermarket rotisserie chicken works great!)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Ground coriander

Heat up the oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook about 2-3 minutes, or until they turn translucent in color. Add the shredded kale & sauté. When the kale starts to wilt, add cooked farro, and pulled chicken. Season with Cumin, Coriander, and salt & pepper, and cook on low heat for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Butternut Squash Pico De Gallo

  • ¾ Cup Small diced Butternut Squash-
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup of Diced Fresh Tomatoes
  • 2 T Cilantro
  • 1T Minced Red Onion
  • 1 Fresh Lime (Juiced)
  • 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt-small pinch
  • Black Pepper- to taste
Toss squash with olive oil, and spread on small sheet tray. Place squash into a preheated oven at 375°, cooking them for about 7 minutes (or until cooked through depending on the cut size.) Remove from the oven, and cool. In a small bowl, mix the squash with the remaining ingredients, and let marinate for at least one hour before serving.

Catch up on the latest Rex On Call segment on healthy eating.

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