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Minnesota Oncology News                                                                              May 2015
In This Issue
Vitamin D: Important Enough to Supplement?

The risk of vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency is high in Minnesota. There is a lot of conflicting information and recommendations regarding why Vitamin D may be beneficial beyond bone health. This includes how much vitamin D you should take to maintain a sufficient level of vitamin D and what is considered a sufficient vitamin D level in the body. Minnesota Oncology nutrition therapist Tracie Swearingen, RD, CSO, LD, shares the latest on this hot topic. Read more.
SkinCancerMay is Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Get the Facts

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with more than two million skin cancer diagnoses annually. Many of these cancers can be prevented by protecting skin from excessive sun exposure and avoiding indoor tanning. Get the facts about risk factors, screening and treatment. Learn more.
HopeCelebrate National Cancer Survivors Day on June 7

Join Minnesota Oncology at
 Hope in Motion - Minnesota's National Cancer Survivors Day 5K and Family Walk on Sunday, June 7, 2015  at Normandale Lake Park in Bloomington  to celebrate survivors of all types of cancer. Shirt size is guaranteed for race day only if you are registered by May 15. Register now!
NurseWeekMinnesota Oncology Celebrates Our Nurses


Nurses are tireless caregivers who serve patients for hours on end, making sure they are safe and comfortable. They provide compassionate hands-on care, working with precision, diligence, and pride. National Nurses Week 2015 is May 6-12. This is a time to celebrate the vital role all nurses have in communities spanning the U.S., including our own. This National Nurses Week, please join us in thanking and showing our appreciation for our Minnesota Oncology nurses. 

LarsonDr. Tim Larson Discusses Importance of Cancer Screening on WCCO


Last month, news that screening found cancer in singer Taylor Swift's mother has brought new attention to cancer screenings. Minnesota Oncology and Abbott Northwestern Hospital oncologist, Tim Larson, MD, talked with WCCO-TV about the state of cancer screening capabilities and who they best serve. Click here to watch the clip.


HopeChestMinnesota Oncology Sponsors Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Galleria Brunch & Fashion Show


Minnesota Oncology was a proud sponsor of the 2015 Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Galleria Brunch & Fashion Show on Sunday, May 3 at the Galleria in Edina. Minnesota Oncology physicians Dr. Purvi Gada (left) from our Chaska Clinic and Dr. Joclin Huang (right) from our Edina & Chaska Clinics strutted their stuff on the runway as models of the latest spring fashions! See more photos here.

LabWeekLab Week 2015 at Minnesota Oncology

Did you know that Minnesota Oncology labs performed 3,673,126 total tests in the past year? That includes:

  • 77,755   Venipuncture (blood draws)
  • 94,017   Complete Blood Counts (CBC)
  • 19,855   Comprehensive Metabolic Panels (CMP)
  • 10,719   INRs (blood clotting test)
  • 10,337   Cancer antigen (CA) 27-29 tests
  • 7,539     carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) Tests

In addition to all of these tests, Minnesota Oncology's Laboratory Services department has improved processes, embraced practice goals, cross-trained into other areas, participated and volunteered in practice activities, passed inspections, and sought ways to reduce waste. Minnesota Oncology celebrated the important work of our laboratory employees this week during Lab Week 2015. "Lab Week", or Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (MLPW) provides the profession with a unique opportunity to increase public understanding of and appreciation for clinical laboratory personnel. Now in its 40th year, MLPW, which takes place the last full week in April each year, is coordinated by a collaborative committee with representatives from 14 national clinical laboratory organizations, including The American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Read more.

AngelHelp For Teens When a Parent Has Cancer


When a parent is diagnosed with cancer, family life changes.  An already busy schedule now can become chaos and is filled with the constant uncertainty that living with cancer brings to the family. 


For a teen, this diagnosis can lead to an increased amount of household responsibility and decrease in the amount of time spent with friends.  This can be a very hard time. That's why Angel Foundation's Teen Outreach Program aims to ease emotional stress and provide an environment for teens to feel safe and supported by peers and leaders. 


To do this, the program offers a wide range of activities that are always free of charge.  These programs focus on education, support and simply taking the time to leave the cancer burden at home and have a good time.


Previous activities have included: art projects, paintball, rock climbing at Vertical Endeavors, culinary classes, tours of the University of Minnesota campus and a cancer research lab, Skyzone trampoline park and many others. Although the range of activities is diverse, they all lead to the same outcome: a group of peers who feel connected to one another through their shared experience with cancer.  


Twelve teens who each have a parent facing cancer recently participated in a photography project to help them express their cancer story. Teen artists such as "Charlie" unveiled their work in a photo exhibit at Angel Foundation.


For more information about Angel Foundation's Teen Outreach program, call (612) 627-9000 or go to