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Music and Cancer: A Prescription for Healing

Author(s): Nimesh P Nagarsheth, MD, Associate Director of Gynecologic Oncology, Director of Music and the Arts in Medicine, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, Director of Gynecologic Oncology, Associate Director of Robotic Surgery, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, New Jersey
  • ISBN-13: 9780763779085
  • Paperback    226 pages      © 2010
Price: $39.95 US List
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From diagnosis to end-of-life care to the meaning behind life with cancer, Music and Cancer: A Prescription for Healing is designed to improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer in a way that could only be conveyed through the incredible healing powers of music and the arts. This book has important information valuable to patients, caregivers, friends, and family members about what to expect when faced with cancer including dealing with the diagnosis and logistics of treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. This important book addresses a wide range of issues taking into consideration the complete care of the cancer patient.

Foreword written by Fran Drescher, President and Visionary of Cancer Schmancer Movement 
 Read the Foreword  

Applicable Courses

Music Therapy Courses

Courses in the School of Music or Premed Courses (Holistic Medicine)

Nursing School Oncology Programs


Nimesh P Nagarsheth, MD-Associate Director of Gynecologic Oncology, Director of Music and the Arts in Medicine, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, Director of Gynecologic Oncology, Associate Director of Robotic Surgery, Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Englewood, New Jersey

Nimesh P. Nagarsheth, M.D. is the Associate Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY and Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, NJ. Dr. Nagarsheth is on faculty at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is also actively involved in teaching and performing cutting-edge research. In his practice, Dr. Nagarsheth provides the full range of surgical and medical gynecologic oncology care. His specialized interests include cancer prevention, advanced radical laparoscopic surgery including robotic surgery, and novel approaches to cancer management. He has numerous publications and is a leading author in several landmark medical research studies. Dr. Nagarsheth has developed an extensive background in blood management in the field of Gynecologic Oncology and is considered one of the world's experts in performing bloodless (transfusion-free) cancer surgery. He speaks frequently at national meetings and has received a number of teaching and research awards.

Dr. Nagarsheth earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin­–Madison and his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He completed his residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Duke University Medical Center, and completed his fellowship training in Gynecologic Oncology at Mount Sinai. During his training, Dr. Nagarsheth also conducted important research projects at New York University Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

In addition to his career as a surgeon, Dr. Nagarsheth is also an accomplished musician and currently plays drums and percussion, keyboards, and guitar for several bands. In 2008, Dr. Nagarsheth and 5 of his medical colleagues from around the country founded the rock band N.E.D., which stands for No Evidence of Disease. Following their first show at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, FL, N.E.D. was signed onto the New York City based record label, Motema Music, with a concept to help promote gynecologic cancer awareness, education, research, and fundraising through their music. Since that time, N.E.D. has been invited to play throughout the United States and internationally and continues to develop and shape the role of music in the healing process.



  • Praise for Music and Cancer: A Prescription for Healing

    “Over the past several decades, modern medicine has witnessed incredible and exciting advances in the treatment of cancer. These advances have largely focused on improvements in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other novel treatment strategies with the ultimate goal of extending life with cancer, or when feasible, curing cancer. However, it has become clear that simply performing more radical surgeries or administering more aggressive chemotherapy is not the only solution. Cancer patients must be treated as whole individuals taking into consideration their overall quality of life when considering treatment options. Although quality of life has become a major focus of research in the care of cancer patients, improvements in the quality of life have lagged far behind the more tangible treatment modalities as outlined above.

    Music and Cancer is a significant advance in improving the quality of life of cancer patients. By approaching cancer from an artistic (musical) point of view, “Music and Cancer” brings to life the humanistic side of cancer care in a way that is easy to understand and enjoyable to read. From diagnosis, to treatment, to the meaning of life with cancer, this book addresses it all. With chapters on topics such as keeping perspective, to end of life considerations, “Music and Cancer” takes on the tough and emotional issues related to cancer and presents them in way that is palatable to the reader. “Music and Cancer” is extremely well written, informative and insightful.

    Dr. Nagarsheth is an expert in the field of gynecologic cancer and an accomplished musician/recording artist, and his unique analogies of music and life with cancer are brilliant. Although written for cancer patients and their loved ones, the concepts in this book are easily applicable to all individuals at any stage of life, regardless of disease status. This book is must reading for helping patients and their loved ones manage life with cancer.”

    Richard R. Barakat, MD
    Vice Chair, Clinical Affairs, Department of Surgery
    Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


    "This is a fascinating book! It is easy to read, well written, and each page leaves you wanting more. Being involved in music my entire life I always sensed the magical healing powers of music, but never before imagined capturing these ideas into words until now. No matter what kind of illness you or your loved ones might be suffering from, Music and Cancer will change your life!"

    Sweet Georgia Brown
    Jazz, Gospel, and R&B Singer


    “This book is “music to my ears.” I am thrilled that Nimesh Nagarsheth has written an inspiring and thought provoking book on the healing properties of music for patients with cancer and their families.  My partners and I had the opportunity to nurture Dr. Nagarsheth’s interest in woman’s cancers during his residency.  I am proud that he is merging his talents as a physician and musician in the service of women with cancer.

    Gynecologic Oncology is a holistic medical specialty in the sense that we provide comprehensive treatment.  One doctor acts as surgeon, chemotherapist and care provider throughout, regardless of the ultimate outcome.  The close relationships we form with patients over time open our minds to artistic forms such as music that provide valuable emotional support. 

    I have worked closely with Dr. Nagarsheth and several of his co-authors in caring for patients, and encouraged them as they have sought to incorporate music into our specialty.  For many years there were informal gatherings of musically inclined members at the annual meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO).  In 2001, I was program chair of their annual meeting, and asked my partner Dr. John Soper to lead the first jam session that was a formal part of the meeting agenda.  This seemed like a natural fit, since the meeting was held in Nashville – Music City USA. 

    In 2008 country music gave way to rock and roll.  Under the guidance of impresario Dr. G. Larry Maxwell (another former trainee), the N.E.D. band made their debut at the SGO annual meeting in Tampa.  In my role as SGO President that year, I had invested heart and soul in planning all aspects of the meeting.  The venue was beautiful and the educational and social events rewarding, but as the event has receded in the rear view mirror the dominant memory that lives on is the awe inspiring performance of the N.E.D. band.  They have followed up this initial success with more music making, awareness raising and now this amazing book.  Silence is dead, long live N.E.D.”

    Andrew Berchuck, MD
    Director, Duke University Division of Gynecologic Oncology
    Past-President, Society of Gynecologic Oncologists


    “Part self cancer-care guide, part medical lesson, part music lesson, and part history lesson, Music and Cancer rocks. Enjoy, as I did, an unusual duet:  how one outstanding surgeon took his passion - the learning, playing and writing of music - and used it to harmonize communication and the best quality care for his cancer patients and their loved ones. Which is music to my ears baby!”

    Fran Drescher
    U.S. Public Diplomacy Envoy for Women’s Health Issues
    Founder and Visionary, Cancer Schmancer Movement
    The Nanny


    “This is an important book for every patient and their doctors to read. As a cancer doctor and also as a cancer survivor, I appreciate the "healing" power of music and other nontraditional methods now being used in the treatment of patients with cancer. Not only is Dr. Nagarsheth a great cancer doctor, but also an individual who sees beyond the horizon. He has brought together a talented group of cancer doctors to include music as part of their professional and personal lives. His personal experience with music in his life and career is moving. The book is a testament to the importance of the healing power of music in our lives.”

    Carolyn D. Runowicz, MD
    Past President of the American Cancer Society
    Past President of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists
    Chair, National Cancer Advisory Board