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News Unmasked: Art Session Gives Expression to Cancer Treatment

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Cancer survivors and their loved ones are invited to attend a free and inventive art session on Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Samaritan Pastega Regional Cancer Center

Radiation treatments for people with head, neck and brain cancers require complete stillness, and to achieve that, each patient has a custom-made mask created from rigid plastic. After treatment ends, patients are given the option to keep their masks or discard them. Discarded masks are cleaned and stripped of any identifying patient information — then reused in a unique and therapeutic art project, aptly titled ’Unmasked.’

Jeanette Hansen, an oncology social worker for the Samaritan Cancer Program, has decorated several of the masks. “I imagine the patient’s journey and all of the thoughts and feelings they may have wrestled with,” she said. “I find myself thinking healing thoughts for that patient as I transform the mask to something that imbues strength, beauty and empowerment.”

ArtsCare artists will facilitate the event, which is held in the Samaritan Radiation Oncology section of the building, just behind the larger cancer center at 501 Elks Drive in Corvallis. All art supplies and lunch are provided at no cost. 

No art experience is necessary. To register and for more information, contact Sara Krainik, ArtsCare Coordinator, at 541-768-6762 or skrainik@samhealth.org.