Music to fight cancer

The power of music is being channeled to take some of the anxiety out of having to undergo an MRI scan.

Cancer Dojo‚ in partnership with the Berklee College of Music‚ have turned the noises that the machines make into music. It commissioned 36 students to transform the sounds into “powerful‚ uplifting songs” aimed at encouraging cancer sufferers to beat their disease.

Now‚ they are calling on South Africans to download Battle Call‚ the top track that emerged from the collaboration‚ from SoundCloud so that it can get play-listed on national radio – spreading cancer and fear conquering sounds across the country.

Magnetic resonance imaging‚ also called an MRI‚ is frequently used by doctors to detect cancer‚ learn more about tumours after they are found‚ decide on how to treat the disease and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment. With MRI machines producing an array of unfamiliar and unnerving clangs‚ buzzes‚ hums and squeaks‚ this adds to the fear that oncology patients already feel.

“Through this project‚ we wanted to normalise the terrifying sounds and associations created when patients undergo MRI scans,” said Conn Bertish‚ founder of Cancer Dojo‚ an organisation that aims to empower people with the disease and increase the survival rate‚ said in a statement.

“We have used psychoneuroimmunology – the study of how what’s going on in your mind affects the way in which your body behaves – to change the fear that those facing cancer have around these machine,s as well as their disease whilst boosting their immune systems and ultimately giving them a better chance of a more positive outcome.”

One of the students‚ Esin Aydingoz‚ said: “This project was meaningful for me because we were actually writing for a purpose — to help others heal. With my song‚ I wanted to remind the listener of how powerful they are. I wanted to give them a reason to stay alive … and also help them realise that they are only a few steps away from beating cancer.”

Professor Loudon Stearns said: “The idea is that we can be the first of many people to make music from MRI machine noises. We want other people around the world to take on this challenge.

“If you are about to begin treatment‚ I hope that these songs help you. And if you are an artist‚ share your take on an MRI track.”

To download Battle Call‚ visit

Find out more about Cancer Dojo at

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