Health Team

Cancer surgeons rock out, score record deal

Posted February 5, 2009 6:10 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— Each member of a new rock band in town has hands steady as a surgeon's – because they are surgeons, treating women with gynecological cancers.

The members of the band N.E.D. combine their musical hobbies with their real-life, life-saving jobs. And the musicians say their band has a mission they take seriously.

"It's not a gimmick. It's not a joke," said Dr. John Boggess, a gynecological surgeon at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

When he isn't fingering controls in robotic surgery, Boggess is plucking a guitar, writing songs and singing lead. His colleague and fellow UNC surgeon, Dr. John Soper, keeps up a steady guitar rhythm.

They're joined by other clinicians who have gynecological oncology practices in New York City; Amarillo, Texas; and Portland, Oregon.

"We all rehearse almost on a daily basis, trying to elevate our level of accomplishment musically," Boggess said.

Their work inspired the name, N.E.D. – "which, to a cancer patient, is actually something they enjoy hearing, because it means 'no evidence of disease,'" Soper said.

Their lyrics have also been inspired by the doctors' daily experiences helping women and their families through battles with cancer.

N.E.D. has signed with Motema Music, a New York-based record company, to produce a CD, scheduled for release in the fall. In November, they'll go to Washington, D.C., to play at the first GCAM – Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Movement.

All the proceeds from the CD and GCAM go the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation.

The N.E.D. doctors formed their band to raise awareness about gynecological cancer and raise funds for research.

They saw "the potential we could communicate to patients, communicate to survivors, communicate to physicians, all the industries that surround the fight against cancer," Boggess said.