Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | November 17, 2020

Food Safety Tips for Your Thanksgiving Meal

In this unprecedented time, Thanksgiving will be different for many this year. The Centers for Disease Control has tips on how to safely celebrate Thanksgiving this year. However you observe the season, follow these food safety tips to ensure a delicious and happy Thanksgiving.

Cook your turkey (and the stuffing inside) to 165°F. Raw meat and leftovers need to reach a safe temperature to ensure heat-resistant bacteria (like salmonella) are destroyed. Food thermometers are the best way to determine if you have cooked your dish thoroughly. The chart below shows temperature requirements that ensure safe food preparation.


U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Safe Cooking Temperatures. https://www.fda.gov/media/107000/download. Accessed November 6, 2020


Don’t wash your turkey. Although you may think you are being safe by washing your turkey, it actually may increase your risk of exposure to bacteria, which can spread to other surfaces and food items if they come in contact with the meat or the contaminated water. This can increase your chances of contracting a foodborne illness. Be sure to properly wash and disinfect any tools and surfaces that come in contact with raw meats.

Change your cutting boards often. Every time you start cutting a new food, thoroughly wash or switch to a clean cutting board to prevent cross contamination. This is especially true when cutting raw or cooked meat, and common food allergens like wheat, soy, dairy products, nuts and shellfish. Make sure you wash your hands frequently, too! 

Be mindful of how long your holiday feast sits unrefrigerated. Food left at room temperature for two or more hours is at risk for bacterial growth, which could lead to food poisoning. You can’t always tell if a food is unsafe by taste, smell, or appearance alone. Safely-refrigerated leftovers can be reheated and enjoyed for up to four days after the meal, if it doesn’t get eaten before then. 

This piece was written by Claire MacNaughton, a Meredith College student who is completing a dietetic internship at Duke Raleigh Hospital, and her Meredith College co-authors Carley Lester and Katelyn Trumble.

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | November 12, 2020

Service Changes for the Thanksgiving Holiday

The following Duke Raleigh Hospital clinics and services will have scheduled changes in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Adjusted Hours for November 26

Café Hours

7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Breakfast 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Grab & Go 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Lunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Lite Fare 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Dinner 4:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Coffee Shop Hours
9 a.m. –3:30 p.m.

Adjusted Hours for November 27

Plaza Pharmacy
9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Duke Raleigh Hospital Pain Clinic
Virtual visits only

Cath/EP Lab
Inpatient procedures only

Service Closures for November 26

Service Closures for November 26 and November 27


*The Symptom Management Clinic, a resource for symptom management to help minimize our Wake County cancer patients’ use of the Emergency Department for care, will be open at 3404 Wake Forest Road (Medical Office Building 7) from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Friday, November 27. Patients in need of an appointment should call 919-862-5400.

Service Closures for November 25, November 26 and November 27

Employee Services

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | November 10, 2020

Join Us at the (Virtual) Tree of Hope

The Duke Cancer Patient Support Program will host the 30th Annual Tree of Hope Lighting Ceremony, to be broadcasted on *Zoom at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 3. 

Trees will be lit at Duke Cancer Center Raleigh on the Duke Raleigh Hospital campus gardens and at Duke Cancer Center in Durham.

The Tree of Hope honors and remembers loved ones, patients, staff, family, and friends whose lives have been touched by cancer. The lights on these beautiful trees represent and illuminate hope that outshines the darkness it is surrounded by.

The light in the uppermost branch of the Tree of Hope, the Light of Hope, recognizes individuals who work to support people through the challenges of cancer. This year, we will recognize our Healthcare Heroes. These individuals always provide unwavering compassionate care and have gone above and beyond to heal and protect our patients, their loved ones, and the community during the pandemic this year. 

To honor your Healthcare Hero, you may purchase a luminary. You also have the option to purchase a tribute card to make a gift in honor or memory of family members, friends, or caregivers.

*Registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | November 6, 2020

Early Detection Saves Lives

​​​​​​When COVID-19 hit, many appointments were cancelled while medical officials figured out the best way to go about them safely. While facilities have put precautions in place, many patients are putting off annual exams and screenings because of fear they could contract COVID-19.​

Duke experts want patients to know that they should keep up with their yearly screening mammograms and can do so safely.

According to Tammy Kreuzer, MD, radiologist and breast imaging specialist with Duke Women’s Cancer Center Raleigh, women should begin having annual screening mammograms at age 40. If your screening mammogram is abnormal or there are other clinical issues like new lump, pain, tenderness, skin changes or swelling, a diagnostic mammogram will be ordered. Around 10 percent of screening mammograms get called back for a diagnostic mammogram.

“Patients can feel at ease because we are taking all the precautions,” said Alexis Eaves, RTRM, mammography technician with Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh. “Every team member wears a mask and we are limiting the number of patients in the waiting room and in the dressing rooms at a time. We also wipe down machines, door knobs and anything the patient may have touched between each screening.”​

Additionally, patients have their temperatures checked and are asked COVID-19 screening questions before entering. They are required to wear masks and no family members are allowed inside the office.

“If you put off your mammogram for too long cancers could be missed or diagnosed at a later stage,” said Kreuzer. “A full year could be the difference between catching something in the early stages where it hasn’t spread to an advanced stage.”

Annual screening mammography is the only test that has been proven to decrease the number of deaths related to breast cancer. Catching breast cancer early also means less treatment. According to Kreuzer, the majority of patients with cancer detected early don’t need chemotherapy and need less surgery.

“The most important thing in saving lives is early detection and we have good evidence that the measures we are taking to protect patients during the current pandemic are effective,” said Kreuzer.​

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | November 4, 2020

New Service Helps to Reduce Hair Loss for Cancer Patients

Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh is now offering cancer patients a scalp cooling treatment to help reduce hair loss caused by certain chemotherapy drugs.

“Many patients with cancer fear losing their hair during chemotherapy,” said Vincent McCray, Health Center Administrator, Duke Cancer Institute of Wake County. “Scalp cooling may reduce the damage that some chemotherapy drugs cause to hair follicles and allow patients to keep more of their hair.”

Scalp cooling can reduce hair loss by lowering the temperature of the scalp before, during, and after chemotherapy. This can reduce the blood flow to the area around the hair follicles, which may prevent or reduce hair loss.

The service is offered at Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh, 4101 Macon Pond Road, Raleigh. Patients who are beginning their first chemotherapy treatment that are interested in utilizing this service should speak with their healthcare provider.

How does scalp cooling work?

Scalp cooling may reduce the damage that chemotherapy causes to the hair follicles. It does this by lowering the temperature of the scalp before, during and after chemotherapy. This can reduce the blood flow to the area around the hair follicles, which may prevent or reduce hair loss.

You will bring your personal cooling cap (inner and outer cap) to your treatment. Based on the instructions in the cooling cap kit, place the cap on your head and connect it to the cooling and control unit. Thirty minutes before your chemotherapy treatment starts, you will begin scalp cooling to help lower your scalp temperature. You will continue wearing the cap during your treatment and up to 90 minutes after you finish treatment.

The temperature is controlled as the coolant moves through the cooling cap. Your scalp and the cooling cap should stay in direct contact to help control the temperature. If you need to use the restroom, your cap can be briefly disconnected from the cooling and control unit, while you keep the inner and outer cap on your head.

How will scalp cooling feel? 

People can react differently to the cold feeling while having scalp cooling. People may feel discomfort or pain from the cold in the first 10 to 15 minutes of treatment. This should go away as you get used to the cold.

Before and during the scalp cooling, deep breathing may help relax and calm you. Continue to breathe deeply throughout treatment.

You may want to dress warmly in layers even in the warm weather. If you find the first 20 minutes of scalp cooling hard to tolerate, let your nurse know. You may be given some medicine to help with the discomfort.

What are the side effects of scalp cooling?

You may have:

  • Chills or shivering
  • Headache
  • Neck or shoulder pain
  • Scalp pain

Please let your nurse know if you have any of these side effects.

Will my insurance pay for scalp cooling?

At this time, scalp cooling is not covered by most insurance companies. You are encouraged to check with your insurance company. You can expect to pay some out-of-pocket expense.

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