Mat-Su Valley News

UV Safety Month: how sun-safe are you?

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July is UV Safety Month and a good reminder to take care of your skin and protect yourself from ultraviolet rays that can increase your chances of skin cancer. Here in Alaska, we’re fortunate to live in the land of the midnight sun; more daylight means more sunshine and for many people, more time outdoors enjoying it. But Alaskans are at just as much of a risk at developing skin cancer, the most common cancer in the U.S. Brush up on our UV safety tips to keep you and your family safe this summer.

  1. Wear sunscreen (duh!) but choose it carefully! Many sunscreens can have chemicals that are dangerous for both you and the environment. Take a few minutes to do a little research and pick the sunscreen that’s right for you.
  2. Think outside the box. It’s obvious that you need to apply sunscreen when you’re lying on the beach but what about when you’re just out for a hike? It’s still very important to wear sunscreen, especially when you consider that higher altitudes can increase your exposure.
  3. Know the UV index for the day. Different levels of UV rays change the risk. The more you know, the safer you can plan.

While these tips are important for everyone to follow, those receiving radiation treatment need to be extra careful in the sun. Skin in an area receiving radiation therapy may already be red or burned from treatments so be extra cautious. Schedule your sun time when the UV index is lower, either early or late in the day. Wear a hat and clothes that cover most of your body and choose your sunscreen carefully. As always, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about your concerns or to ask for recommendations.

Cancer Bites: July recipe / Gazpacho


There are some cravings that can only be satisfied by pure comfort food. There’s no comfort food quite like a bowl of soup but no one wants piping hot soup when it’s warm out! This month we’re bringing you a recipe that will satisfy that comfort food craving without the steaming hot broth of your go-to chicken noodle.

A traditional Spanish dish, this soup is refreshing and cool. It’s made with raw vegetables, which means no heating up the house with a hot stove. Extra bonus: it’s tomato-base may help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer according to a study from The University of Montreal. This traditional recipe is sure to be a hit in any household!

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Cancer Bites: June recipe / Honey Mustard Chopped Chicken Salad

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There’s something about summertime that calls for bright salads and chilled beverages. Luckily, Alaska’s long summer days make for the perfect produce growing season, another reason to get creative with easy, thrown-together dinners chock-full of Alaska Grown nutrients. Our June edition of Cancer Bites features a recipe that could easily become your new go-to this summer, and beyond.

Packed with flavors of feta, tomato and red onion, this Honey Mustard Chicken Chopped Salad also provides a healthy dose of protein, phytonutrients and vitamins. Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomatoes, while inulin is found in onions and has been shown to help prevent the development of colon cancer. We hope you try this recipe and we’d love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook page. Enjoy!

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Knock out cancer at the Midnight Sun Golf Classic

During the summer, our passions for getting outdoors and for giving back to our community often collide. This weekend, your Anchorage and Valley Radiation Therapy Centers' doctors and staff are getting out and getting active to support a great cause at the Midnight Sun Golf Classic, an annual event that will donate this year’s proceeds to Hospice of Anchorage

Hospice of Anchorage works with the patient and family, nurses and physicians to provide assistance through the transition from life to death, and to cope with loss and grief. Hospice gives people the opportunity to live fully regardless of their illness and support can take many different forms including education, consultations and assistance with insurance and legal matters. All services are free of cost and range from a one-time visit to periodic contact lasting weeks or months.

We can’t wait to “swing into solstice” this Saturday and support a really great cause. Think you can ‘Knock Out Cancer?’ We’ll see you there!


Qigong Classes: good for the body + soul

Have you heard of Qigong? Ever tried it? Valley Radiation Therapy Center is proudly offering free Qigong (pronounced “chi-gong”) to patients every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. Our wonderful instructor, Chris Remick, will lead you and others in the class through a session of gentle Qigong exercises, consisting of breathing practices and slow, stretching movements. Qigong is designed to increase fluid movement and build awareness of how the body moves through space.

We can’t stress enough how beneficial physical activity is for our patients and we encourage you to stop by and check out Qigong! Want more information? Hear more from Chris himself in this quick video. We hope to see you there!