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Obituary: Professor Gerald "Charlie" Westbury

BASO is sad to report the death of a former President of the Association

Professor Gerald "Charlie" Westbury has died at the age of 86, on 12 June 2014. He helped to transform the field of cancer surgery, pioneering new procedures which focused on preservation of physical function as well as cure. He was best known for his work on sarcomas, and was an early advocate of what is now known as the multidisciplinary approach. He also played a major role in developing new reconstructive procedures for cancers of the head and neck, including the "commando" procedure.

Westbury was born in London on July 29, 1927, into an Eastern European Jewish family. His father was a tailor. After education at St Marylebone Grammar School he trained at Westminster Medial Schoool (part of the University of London). Following National Service in the RAF he became resident surgical officer at the Brompton Hospital and then at Westminster Hospital as registrar to Sir Stanford Cade, succeeding him as Consultant Surgeon there in 1960. Westbury also served as Foundation Professor of Surgery at the Royal Marsden (1982-89) and Dean of the Institute of Cancer Research (1986-92), where he helped establish a Sarcoma Unit. He was a Fellow of both the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians, and President of BASO from 1990 to 1992.

In retirement he became a trustee of a number of charities, and was a founding Fellow of Breakthrough Breast Cancer.  He was appointed OBE 1990.

Prof.Westbury married, in 1965, Hazel Frame, who died shortly before her husband.  Their three daughters, including Charlotte Westbury, a consultant oncologist, survive him.

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