Cancer Center in Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska Regional Hospital offers a Cancer Care Center for Anchorage residents and the surrounding communities. Here, we provide patient-focused resources and information including financial resources, patient-navigation services and support groups. We also offer a bi-monthly "Look Good, Feel Better" program.
If you would like to speak to someone about your symptoms or to find a specialist, call us at (907) 264-1431.
Common cancer conditions
Cancer disorders affect nearly all areas of the body. At the Cancer Center, located at the Medical Office Building C, Suite 414 on the Alaska Regional campus, we offer resources and consultation by appointment. Our oncologists discuss your medical history, symptoms, conduct a physical exam and order tests to determine your cancer diagnosis and plan treatment. Some cancers we may see include:
- Bladder cancer — These are cancers of the bladder.
- Breast cancer — These are cancers involving one or both breasts.
- Colorectal cancer — These are cancers that involve the rectum or colon.
- Gynecological cancer — This group of cancers involves the reproductive organs including the cervix, fallopian tubes, vagina, ovaries, endometrium, peritonea and vulvar.
- Lung cancer — This is cancer in one or both lungs.
- Pancreatic cancer — This is a group of cancers that affect the pancreatic gland or the islet cells within the pancreas that produce insulin.
- Thyroid cancer — This is cancer that develops in the butterfly-shaped gland located below the Adam's apple.
The Commission on Cancer, recognizes that our programs for their focus on prevention, early diagnosis, pretreatment evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation, surveillance for recurrent disease, support services, and end-of-life care.
Our imaging services earned the American College of Radiologists' recognition for their expertise in using CT scans, MRIs, nuclear medicine, stereotactic breast biopsy and ultrasound procedures for effective cancer diagnoses.
Cancer services and treatments we offer
We determine a cancer diagnosis with lab testing and image screening. Detecting cancer early allows doctors to start treatment sooner and in many cases stop the progress of cancer. Our diagnostic lab testing is done at our hospital.
If the evaluation warrants it, we also involve our imaging facility located on our campus. After determining your diagnosis, we create an individualized treatment plan. Once treatment is determined, your treatment may involve infusion therapy, surgical procedures and follow-up care.
Lung cancer screening
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers. Beginning as a growth of abnormal cells, the cancer grows to form a tumor, interfering with lung function. It is treated through surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Those who smoke cigarettes have an increased risk of lung cancer. However, diagnosing safely and reliably in the early stages is difficult.
Screening means checking for a disease when there are no symptoms. Doctors recommend a screening test to find lung nodules early, when treatment may work better.
Who qualifies for a screening?
In March 2021, the US Preventive Services Task Force approved revisions to lung cancer screening recommendations.
- Have a 20-pack-year or more smoking history
- Smoke now or have quit within the past 15 years
- Are between 50 to 80 years old
What happens during screening?
Low-dose computed tomography, also called a low-dose CT scan, or LDCT, is the only recommended screening test for lung cancer. During a low-dose CT scan, you lie on a table, and an X-ray machine uses a low dose (amount) of radiation to make detailed images of your lungs. The scan only takes a few minutes and is not painful.
If a lung nodule is found during screening, you will meet with your doctor to discuss the best course of action.
This type of screening aids in the diagnosis of small, hard-to-reach lung nodules. It provides advanced precision and control from robotic technology in one minimally invasive procedure. For nodules deep in the lung, robotic-assisted bronchoscopy helps physicians diagnose small, hard-to-reach nodules.
Please call (907) 205-8320 to learn more about our services.
Diagnostic testing and imaging screening
Our diagnostic services run the gamut from blood tests to image-guided biopsies. Some of our procedures include:
Diagnostic tests are just a few of the tools we use to evaluate your condition including:
- Complete blood counts
- Pap smear
- Thyroid-stimulating hormone test
Our radiologists use image screening for cancer diagnoses. Imaging tests we use include :
- CT scan
- Nuclear medicine
Alaska Regional Imaging Alliance
We offer imaging screening and image-guided procedures through the Alaska Regional Imaging Alliance. The Imaging Alliance handles our image screening and image-guided procedures, especially our breast health services. Some of the procedures we offer include:
- Mammography (traditional and 3D)
- Stereotactic biopsy
- Bone density scans (DEXA)
- Ultrasound-guided biopsy
- Ultrasound imaging
Infusion therapy center
Infusion therapy is the process of delivering medication through any part of the body, typically by injection. The treatment may be an alternative to the expense and inconvenience of inpatient hospitalization. Your treatment will depend on your health, cancer type and stage of cancer. Infusion services are available in the community, and some services may available on our hospital campus.
Our surgical options include traditional surgery and minimally invasive procedures. The Alaska Regional Center for Surgical Robotics is a designated Center of Excellence in Robotics Surgery (COERS™) by Surgical Review Corporation.
Earning this designation shows our ability to consistently deliver safe, high-quality robotic procedures to our patients. Our hospital has offered state-of-the-art robotic surgery since 2005 and was one of the first hospitals in Alaska to offer this service. Benefits of robotic-assisted surgeries include:
- Less blood loss
- Less pain
- Less scaring
- Lower risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stays
- Shorter recovery time
Our surgery options include:
- General surgeries — These are traditional, open surgeries that involve completing procedures through one large incision.
- Laparoscopic surgeries — These are a type of minimally invasive, image-guided procedure. It uses a long, slender tube with a camera and surgical instruments attached. The technique inserts the tube into the body using several small incisions.
- Robotic-assisted surgeries — Surgeons use a console with enhanced imaging to guide robotic arms to complete your procedure. The robotic arms increase precision and range of motion which, at times, is greater than the human hand.