CDPHP Collaborative News - Spotlight on: Cancer Survivors in Alaska - JUNE 2017

Alaska Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

CDPHP Collaborative News

Safe and Healthy Me - Eat Well, Move More, Stay Safe, Tobacco Free.

Cancer Resources:

Alaska Cancer Resources

> State of Alaska Cancer Plan

> Alaska Cancer Survivorship Resource Plan

National Cancer Resources

> American Cancer Society: Survivorship During and After Treatment

> American Institute for Cancer Research

Alaska Cancer Support Groups

> Us Too! Prostate Cancer Support Groups (Anchorage and Kenai)

> Women Listen (all cancers). Or call: 907-222-6285

> Anchorage Young Cancer Coalition

Safe and Healthy Me - Video Stories

The Power of a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity, By: Elize Rumley, RD, CDE

Meet Elize. Elize is a Dietitian and Nutrition Educator.

"When I learned that not all cancers are of genetic origin and that many can be prevented through choice of a healthy lifestyle, I decided to change my career. I knew in my heart that my passion was in prevention. I wanted to help people avoid preventable disease. I wanted to teach them the power of a healthy diet and physical activity."

She believes "that we can at least reduce the number of people diagnosed with cancer and other chronic conditions."

Go to Elize's Cancer Story page>

Go to all Safe and Healthy Me Stories>

Safe and Healthy Me

June 2017

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Spotlight on:

Cancer Survivors in Alaska

Mike Zoske - Alaska Cancer Survivor
Mike Zoske – Alaska cancer survivor, Us Too support group volunteer

“I was very scared about taking the biopsy.”

I am very willing to talk and share. I find that although people are used to talking about breast cancer, they are NOT comfortable talking about prostate cancer. I think is it important to educate the public so men can feel comfortable talking about it.”

Alaska men shared these thoughts in the 2015 Alaska Prostate Cancer Needs Assessment. The assessment revealed many underutilized options that could improve quality of life for men undergoing cancer treatment. For example, complementary services, such as acupuncture and massage, can help improve cancer treatment outcomes and alleviate side effects. Yet less than half of the participants in the survey were referred to such complementary services during or after treatment, and about 81% experienced side effects that interfered with their daily living.[1]

Sunday, June 4 is National Cancer Survivors Day. 

There are 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. By 2024, there will be almost 19 million. In Alaska, the number of survivors is growing. In 2016, there were an estimated 33,340 Alaskans living with cancer.[2]

Cancer greatly impacts Alaska. It has been the leading cause of death for Alaskans since 1993. The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with cancer is 1 in 3 for women and 1 in 2 for men. Most people know of a friend or have a family member who has been impacted by cancer.

The good news is that due to advances in detection and treatment, the number of deaths due to cancer is decreasing. The five-year relative survival rate for prostate, thyroid, and testicular cancer; melanoma of the skin; and female breast cancers are all over 90%.[3]

However, some cancer survivors must cope with long-term side effects of treatment, including fatigue and psychological concerns, such as the fear of recurrence and depression. Cancer patients, their families, caregivers, and cancer survivors need support to continue to have the highest quality of life possible.

Healthy Behaviors:  Regaining and Improving Health

Research shows that increased physical activity, good nutrition and no tobacco use improve cancer treatment outcomes and overall quality of life.

Clinical trials demonstrate that exercise can improve heart and lung function and reduce cancer-related fatigue among survivors. Exercise can improve anxiety, depression, self-esteem, happiness and overall quality of life. Exercise recommendations should be tailored to the survivor’s capabilities and reviewed by their health care provider.

Good nutrition and maintaining a healthy weight can help address some of the late-stage side effects like lymphedema, a swelling in your arms or legs, and fatigue.

Not smoking during and after cancer treatment is also important. Smoking during treatment can decrease or delay the desired outcomes of the treatment, and smoking after treatment increases the risk for smoking-related cancers.

Local Resources

Being a part of a support group connects cancer survivors with other survivors to share their stories and learn from each other. While face-to-face meetings are a great comfort to some, online options are also available to those who prefer digital support. (See the calendar of upcoming events below and links for local resources.)

In recognition of National Cancer Survivors Day, please reach out to support the cancer survivors in your community.


  1. University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Behavioral Health, Research and Services. 2015 Alaska Prostate Cancer Needs Assessment.
  2. ACS Cancer Treatment & Survivorship Facts and Figures 2016-2017
  3. ACS Cancer Statistics Center


AtoZ Library - Alaska Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Key Section Publications

Alaska CDPHP Public Health Webinars

Save the Date - June/July 2017

8th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit

  • When: June 6-8, 2017
  • Where: Dena'ina Center, Anchorage
  • Learn More>

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)

Southcentral Foundation's 7th Annual Nuka System of Care Conference

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA)

  • When: June 23, 2017
  • Where: Goldbelt Building, Juneau
  • Learn More>

3rd Annual Alaska Family Medicine Summit & Alaska Family Medicine Residency 20th Anniversary Celebration

  • When: June 29-July 1, 2017
  • Where: Hotel Captain Cook, Anchorage
  • Learn More>

Relay For Life - June/July 2017

American Cancer Society - Relay for Life Survivorship Events:

Save the Date - July/August 2017

RurAL CAP - Rural Providers’ Conference

  • When: July 31-August 4, 2017
  • Where: Tanacross, Alaska
  • Learn More>