Advantages of treating certain head and neck cancers with proton therapy
Head and neck cancers account for approximately 4% of all cancers in the United States. They include cancers in the pharynx, larynx, oral cavity, throat, lips, mouth, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, and salivary glands. These cancers typically begin in the squamous cells that line the mucosal surfaces inside these regions of the body. Because the resulting cancers are often within close proximity to several critical organ structures — such as the brain stem, optic nerves, eyes, and spinal cord — it is imperative to reduce damage to adjacent tissue during treatment.
Proton therapy, or proton beam therapy, is a type of radiation therapy used in the treatment of cancer. Unlike photon-based forms of external beam radiotherapy, proton therapy enables an intense dose distribution pattern, depositing radiation in the precise dimensions of a tumor while eliminating the exit dose and damage to adjacent normal tissue.
Traditional radiation treatment has a relatively high entrance dose and exit dose. Proton therapy has a lower entrance dose and no exit dose.
Interested in learning more about the advantages of treating certain head and cancers with proton therapy? Download our whitepaper.
 Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer Statistics, 2017. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2017; 67(1):7-30.