MSK's Dental Service Aims to Make People Whole Again

VIDEO | 01:35

Medical artist Marjorie Golden and Dental Service Chief Joseph Huryn create lifelike facial prostheses for patients.

Show transcript

I had a rare form of childhood cancer known as rhabdomyosarcoma. They did surgery to remove my left eye. And I wore a patch most of my life, until I came to MSK and found the team that made my prosthesis.

I create prostheses for patients to wear whenever they cannot undergo reconstructive surgery to repair their eyes, nose, or ears.

"We're thinking maybe we could thin it out." The face is a very emotional part of our anatomy. This is how human beings identify themselves and others. And to be able to restore the patient's face is truly remarkable.

What we will do is make a mold of the patient's face and then do a wax sculpture. Once we're all happy with the shape and the contours of the prosthesis, we will have this processed into silicone. If they had freckles or blood vessels or birthmarks, we can incorporate that into the tinting to make it look much more realistic.

Marji is truly an artist. She just does her magic on these things. It's quite something.

I'm very fortunate to see the happy side of these cancers -- to be able to have people go back out and be with family and friends again.

I just feel like I look like everyone else. And this has just changed things for the better. "Wow."