Dr. Anurag Singh, Director of Radiation Research at Roswell Park

Radiation Therapy for Head & Neck Cancer — Squamous Cell Carcinoma

If you have squamous cell carcinoma — the most common type of head and neck cancer — targeted radiation therapy may be part of your treatment plan. This type of radiation is highly precise, making it possible to zero in on the tumor while protecting healthy tissue from radiation exposure. We offer three types of targeted radiation therapy: Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) and Volumetric-Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).

Our Radiation Medicine Department provides the highest level of safety for our patients. Treatment is delivered by board-certified radiation oncologists. The Radiation Medicine team also includes several PhD-trained, board-certified medical physicists who continually monitor safety and quality-control standards.

Managing side effects

Cancer treatment can cause xerostomia, or dry mouth, which can be painful and make it difficult to eat or speak. Roswell Park’s Department of Radiation Medicine offers Acupuncture-Like Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (ALTENS), a non-invasive treatment for xerostomia that doesn’t produce the side effects associated with drug therapy.

Special assistance for alcohol-dependent patients who need radiation therapy

Some patients with alcohol dependency develop a condition called delirium tremens, or DTs, when they drink heavily and then quit. DTs can uncontrolled shaking, seizures, heart palpitations and other symptoms that interfere with treatment. Through Roswell Park’s Radiation Medicine Department, eligible patients who have DTs can receive medication to control symptoms during treatment.

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