Musgrove’s cancer centre stages unique radiotherapy mask art exhibition - 31 October 2017

Musgrove’s cancer centre stages unique radiotherapy mask art exhibition - 31 October 2017

Radiotherapy treatment masks are being turned into works of art at Musgrove Park Hospital’s cancer centre.

The hospital has teamed up with cancer support group, The Swallows, to run a mask art competition at Musgrove’s Beacon Centre on Friday 3 November at 2pm, with the winning mask set to feature at a national head and neck cancer conference in Blackpool.

It’s all part of a campaign to raise awareness of head and neck cancer and how patients have to wear masks during their radiotherapy to keep their heads perfectly still.

The campaign also aims to bring family members closer together to talk about cancer and their experiences of radiotherapy treatment.

Media make-up students from University Centre Somerset, which is part of Bridgwater and Taunton College, have decorated and sculpted masks that patients wore during radiotherapy in the theme that patients have chosen.

The masks are also featuring at a small exhibition at the hospital’s Beacon Centre this week (from Monday 30 October) until the competition on 3 November.

The competition at Musgrove will be judged by a patient representative, the chair of the Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment (SURE) charity, a lecturer at University Centre Somerset, and a senior manager at Musgrove.

Simon Goldsworthy, a principal clinical researcher at Musgrove Park Hospital’s radiotherapy department, said:

“We are very pleased to be running this very unique competition at Musgrove and I hope it will go some way to raising awareness of the effect of head and neck cancer treatment.

“It’s really important to get families talking about their experiences of cancer treatment and I hope that by decorating the masks together, it can help those who have gone through radiotherapy to open up more and talk about their treatment.

“We want to thank the very talented students at University Centre Somerset for taking time to get involved in this competition.”

Lydia Stainer, a student at the college who was involved in designing the masks, said: “My mum has recently had radiotherapy treatment so it was really special for me to be able to support this great exhibition.”

Brodie Nichols, media make-up lecturer at University Centre Somerset, said: “It has been such a great opportunity for our students to get involved in something that means so much to the local community.

“It has given them experience in a different area than they’d normally be used to and we are proud to have linked up with our local hospital.”