David Berger, MD, a surgeon in the Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery at Mass General, is, in the words of Chief of Surgery Keith Lillemoe, MD, “clearly the busiest surgeon within the Department of Surgery, with a large percentage of his practice dedicated to the care of patients with cancer.” Renowned for his remarkable work ethic, his accessibility to patients and his warm bedside manner, Dr. Berger receives patient referrals from Mass General and beyond. With wide-ranging experience in cancers affecting the stomach, colon, rectum, esophagus, pancreas biliary tree and liver, he routinely demonstrates some of the most positive patient outcomes across the department.
In 2006, one patient, Stephen Baseman, was told by other doctors that nothing could be done to save him after a 5 ½ inch tumor was found growing on his liver. Then he was referred to Dr. Berger, who not only performed a life-saving surgery to remove the tumor on his liver, but seven subsequent surgeries to remove additional tumors that had grown within his abdomen. Today, despite his rare condition, Stephen is doing well and enjoying life. “Dr. Berger was willing to take a chance on me,” Stephen says. “And I am forever grateful for that. I am positive that I wouldn’t be here right now if not for him.”