Proton beam therapy is an advanced form of external radiotherapy that uses high-energy proton beams instead of photon x-ray beams or electrons. Carefully measured doses of protons are delivered to the precise area needing treatment, using the latest IBA ProteusONE technology. This ensures that the delivery of proton beam therapy is highly accurate and prevents the risk of radiation reaching surrounding healthy tissue.
Radiotherapy is used to kill and destroy cancer cells. It utilises radiation in the form of high-energy x-rays, known as photons, to kill and damage the cancerous cells and prevent their growth and reproduction. It can be used as a non-surgical option to treat cancer, and it can also be used to shrink a tumour or in combination with other treatments.
The Rutherford Cancer Centres and Elekta are bringing the next generation of personalised adaptive radiotherapy technology to oncology centres across the UK, with the new MR-linac Elekta Unity available at the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West in Liverpool from late 2020.
Head and neck cancer affects areas such as forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, sinuses and any glands or lymph nodes found in this region. Brain cancer, although situated in this region of the body is treated differently, as it affects a vital organ that is part of the central nervous system. Further information on brain cancer treatment can be found on our brain cancer page.
Rutherford Treatment Options
Proton Beam Therapy
Early and late symptoms can vary depending on the site of the tumour and its size. Some common symptoms may include:
Mouth ulcer or sore that does not heal
A lump inside the mouth
Pain in the mouth, jaw, ear or surrounding regions
Nasal and paranasal sinus cancer
Persistent nasal congestion and stuffiness in the nose or sinuses
Frequent nose bleeds or unusual discharge from nose
Pain or numbness in the nose, above or below eyes, or face
Dysphagia - difficulty in swallowing
Changes in voice, hoarseness
If you’d like to speak to us about any of the treatments we offer please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0800 210 0402 or
A diagnosis can be made through various scans and tests. The doctor may carry out physical examination to feel for any lumps in the suspected region, which may be accompanied by the use of a mirror and torch.
Ways head & neck cancer can be diagnosed:
A combination of scans, tests and biopsies can confirm details of the size, location and spread of the cancer.
Treating head & neck cancer with proton beam therapy
The head and neck region contains many important organs located closely to each other. When considering treatment options, it is essential to consider the impact on neighbouring organs. To determine suitable treatment, a consultant would need information on where the tumour began and how far it has spread. Tumours in the head and neck region are in close proximity to many organs. Proton beam therapy has the ability to stop radiating beyond a tumour site, making it possible to treat the cancerous area whilst reducing the radiation dose delivered to normal healthy tissue surrounding it.
Being diagnosed with head and neck cancer and deciding on the best treatment can be daunting, for full details on head and neck treatment options or to discuss a diagnosis, please contact our enquiries team. Our enquiries team will endeavour to help you assess your treatment options and advise which consultants could be best placed to plan your treatment pathway.
Macmillan Cancer Support offers a wide range of information and support, as well as help with your practical, emotional, and financial needs. All telephone helplines are free and confidential, and interpreting services are also available.