Radiotherapy Mask

Contributed by Derek Stewart

Masks have been found throughout history in drama, art and dance. They capture and reflect the rituals of different contexts and cultures.

They prevent the watcher from seeing the essential nature of emotional attachment and they contain the fears of those who hide behind.

The Radiotherapy Mask is an example of the means of keeping the patient still when delivering radiation treatment from a linear accelerator to destroy a cancerous cells in the larynx. It outlines the jaw line and ears rather than a whole face. Similar masks are made for different parts of the body.

Before the frequent use of the mask patients were sometimes tattooed to allow the treatments to be targeted. More modern equipment may reduce the need for such masks in the future. Such advances in cancer treatments have led to significant improvements in the quality of life and survival rates.

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