Friday, May 8, 2009

Luncheon raises funds and skin cancer awareness

Dr. David Fisher

Approximately 100 people attended the Friends of the MGH Cancer Center’s annual fundraising forum April 22 in the Bulfinch Tents. This year’s event featured MGH skin cancer experts David Fisher, MD, PhD, chief of the Department of Dermatology and director of the Center for Melanoma, and Jennifer Wargo, MD, of the Department of Surgery.

Ginny Durfee, president of the Friends, opened the discussion by thanking attendees for their continued support and reiterating the group’s mission. “Many times, people are confused about the mission of the Friends of the MGH Cancer Center,” she said. “We do not fund bricks and mortar or salaries; rather, we support programs and services that provide comfort, support and care to patients and their families.”

The Friends help fund a wide variety of services at the MGH Cancer Center, including the HOPES program – which offers yoga, massage, acupuncture, music and art therapy, educational seminars and workshops to patients – and the Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Room, which provides a comfortable environment for patients and families seeking cancer-related information.

In his lecture, Fisher also thanked the group for their work. “As physicians, we can only provide some of the care cancer patients need. A huge part of care is the kind of support that you are providing – support that improves patients’ quality of life.”

Both Fisher and Wargo presented lectures on the prevention and treatment of skin cancer, describing how it develops and its dramatically increasing rate of occurrence. Wargo’s talk gave special attention to new immunotherapy techniques that are proving to be highly effective in treating skin cancer.


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