Introduction to Radiation Therapy of the Head & Neck: http://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=-dWm40P6elM&video_referrer=watch&ns=1
Welcome to the
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
This video is an introduction
to radiation therapy treatment
to the head and neck area.
We hope to give you a better idea
of what it will be like
to have radiation treatment
and explain some of the ways
we can work together to help you
get through your treatment successfully.
In the most general sense,
radiation is any sort of energy
such as light, heat, or sound.
Ionizing radiation is a type
of radiation that can damage cells,
such as ultraviolet light from the sun
that can damage your skin,
For radiation therapy treatment
we use a high-energy beam of radiation
that can penetrate through the body
and treat tissues under the skin.
Ionizing radiation affects all
of the tissues it passes through,
but there are 3 main ways that it
specifically targets cancer cells.
First, cancer cells are more sensitive
to radiation damage than healthy cells.
Secondly, cancer cells
are less able than healthy cells
to repair the radiation damage.
Third, we can focus the radiation beams
on the area we want to treat.
In the next part of the video,
we will show and describe
some of the procedures you will have done
to prepare for radiation treatment.
One of your first appointments
in this department is called CT simulation.
This is a type of CT scan that is needed
to create your personal treatment plan.
At this appointment,
you will also have a molded mask made
that fits over your
head and shoulders.
The mask will help make your treatments
as quick and accurate as possible.
It is normal to feel a bit anxious
about this procedure.
It may help to know
that the mask does not hurt you
and you will be able
to breathe normally the entire time.
The mask is a type of plastic that we soak
in a warm water bath to make it soft.
Then we shape it over
your face, neck and shoulders,
and clip it onto the treatment bed.
You can see here how
the mask looks when it is flat.
And then after it has been shaped
to fit your head and neck.
This is what it looks like
when the mask is made.
It goes over your face quickly
and we help shape it
around your nose, neck, and shoulders.
You'll have your eyes and mouth
closed for this step,
only because there is a bit of water
still on the mask.
The mask is meant to be snug
but should not hurt.
You will be able to breathe
through the holes in the mask.
For your treatment appointments,
there will be holes in the mask
in the area of your eyes, mouth and neck,
so it should be
a little bit more comfortable.
Once the mask is ready, we draw
some marks on it and take the CT scan.
At the very end,
we may talk to you about making
a permanent, freckle-sized
tattoo on your chest.
The marks on the mask and the tattoo
help make your treatment every day The information within this video is not intended to replace any advice provided to you by your health care team. For your safety, we ask that you do not act on the information within these videos without first discussing your treatment or healthy living plan with your qualified health care providers.
For more information about UHN Patient & Family Education, visit www.uhnpatienteducation.ca.