ANCHORAGE - They are cancers that people don’t often talk about but this weekend you are likely to hear plenty about them. The campaign called “Let Every Woman Know” aims to bring awareness to women’s gynecological cancers. And one of the highlights of the weekend’s events is a documentary film featuring a band of rock and roll surgeons.
The film is called NED, the same name as the band. It stands for “no evidence of disease,” according to Anchorage oncologist Joanie Hope.
“That’s sort of the closest that we can come as cancer doctors to saying the word 'cure'", said Hope. “It means there is no clinical sign of cancer in your body at this time. It’s like music to a cancer patient’s ears.”
Shot over four years, the film follows the doctors and their patients, but it also chronicles the band.
Hope explains that NED’s members are six well-known gynecological oncologists from around the country. Hope is the only woman. They met at a conference in Florida five years ago and got together to perform what they thought would be a one night gig.
“We practiced once and we got up in front of 1,500 people and jammed out 20 songs, cover songs, which was great fun,” said Hope.
And somehow things grew from there. Today the band has two albums of original songs. Every few months the doctors take time away from their busy practices to perform weekend shows all over the country.
“We just got back from Washington D.C.,” said Hope. “We played four sold out shows in New York City in September. We are playing in New Orleans in a month.”
But Hope says audiences shouldn’t expect to hear a playlist full of songs about cancer.
“Our goal is to be legitimate rock and roll musicians,” said Hope. “We want someone who has never heard of us to say wow, that’s a cool song! What is it about? What’s the back story here?”
Hope says she would love fans to look them up on Facebook or go to the band’s website where they will find plenty of information about women’s cancers. A complete list of the weekend’s events can be found by going to the website leteverywomanknow.org.