Tom Documents His Experience with Proton Therapy at Penn Nasal Tumor

Tom Ashley preparing for immobilization device mask molding

After he received proton therapy for a nasal tumor at the Roberts Proton Therapy Center in 2013, local filmmaker Tom Ashley wanted to help others going through the same experience.

As an incoming patient unfamiliar with radiation therapy and the patient journey, Tom had had a lot of questions:

Where do I go? How do I prepare? What is the process like? Will I have support staff with me the whole time? Why do I need a mask? Does having a mask made before treatment hurt?

His tumor required a custom immobilization device — also known as a mask — which is used to help patients remain still and in the same position each time they receive treatment.

To better explain the process, Tom brought the camera behind the scenes and documented the experience from his point of view.