Fight Cancer Now with Proton Therapy


Advanced. Precise. Effective Treatment
for Head, Neck & Oral Cancers.
Gum • Hypopharyngeal • Laryngeal • Lip • Mouth • Nasal Cavity • Nasopharyngeal • Oropharyngeal • Palate • Salivary Gland • Sinus Cavity • Throat • Tongue • Tonsil • Voice Box • Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Proton Therapy for Head, Neck & Oral Cancers

Proton therapy is one of the world’s most advanced forms of radiation therapy.

  • Precisely Targets Tumor
  • Avoids Unnecessary Radiation
  • Lowers Risk of Side Effects

When treating tumors in the head, neck, or mouth, proton therapy reduces radiation exposure to critical structures like the brain, swallowing muscles, and spinal cord. As a result, patients maintain better nutritional health and reduce the risk of side effects such as hearing loss, painful mouth sores, dry mouth, malnutrition, and secondary cancers.1,4

Cancer Won’t Wait. Schedule a Consultation Now.

The Cancer Care Experts at Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville are ready to answer your questions and help you avoid delays in your path to treatment. Both in-person and telehealth consultations are available. Simply fill out the form or call us to begin moving forward with your care in a timely and safe manner.

Call Now | 865-770-7405

Explore Proton Therapy benefits or view our Head, Neck & Oral Cancer Brochure to learn more.

Benefits of Proton Therapy

Proton therapy is a more precise form of radiation therapy that is an effective treatment option for many head, neck and oral cancer patients. It can be used alone or combined with other forms of treatment. Protons have distinct characteristics that allow the radiation beam to precisely target the tumor. This avoids unnecessary radiation to nearby healthy tissue and critical structures, ultimately reducing the risk of short-term and long-term side effects.

Studies have shown many clinical benefits of proton therapy for head, neck and oral cancers:

  • 45% reduction in overall risk of needing a feeding tube for nasopharyngeal cancer3
  • 44% relative increase in disease free survival rate for nasal and paranasal sinus cavity cancers at 5 years5
  • 27% reduction in overall risk of needing a feeding tube for oropharyngeal cancer1
  • Dramatic reduction of negative impact on taste, nausea, and painful changes to the mouth in salivary gland treatment4
  • Fewer side effects first 3 months after treatment, quicker return to normal function in patients with oropharyngeal cancer2

Speak to a Cancer Care Expert now to learn more and schedule a consultation.

Comparing Treatment Options

We believe the quality of your life during and after treatment matters. That’s why it’s important to be your own health advocate and understand all of your treatment options, as well as the possible side effects of each.

When treating cancer with radiation, you have a choice between traditional radiation therapy (x-ray/IMRT) and proton therapy. Both methods kill cancer, but proton therapy avoids unnecessary radiation to nearby healthy cells. As a result, patients experience fewer side effects both during and after treatment.

Proton therapy for head, neck and oral cancers reduces the risk of side effects by delivering significantly less radiation to areas like the spinal cord, brain and swallowing muscles, compared to traditional radiation (x-ray/IMRT).

Contact our Cancer Care Experts to find out if Proton Therapy is right for you.

Cancers We Treat

More than 60,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with head, neck and oral cancer. When treating head and neck tumors it’s critical to protect the delicate organs that surround the tumor. Proton therapy can substantially reduce damage to eyes, optic nerves, salivary glands, and other tissue and organs near head and neck tumors.7-9 Proton therapy also reduces the likelihood of side effects such as blindness, hearing deterioration, and dry mouth.8 Secondary malignancies are also less likely with proton therapy.7

Proton therapy can be an ideal treatment for many types of head, neck and oral cancers.

Speak to a Cancer Care Expert or view our Proton Therapy Benefits brochure to learn more.

How Proton Therapy Works

When protons enter the body, most of their energy is deposited at the targeted tumor and do not continue beyond that target. This unique behavior allows protons to destroy cancer cells while minimizing damage to nearby healthy tissue and critical organs. This is different from traditional radiation, in which x-rays deposit more radiation before their target, then continue delivering radiation beyond the target until exiting the body.

The Bragg peak shows how proton therapy precisely targets the tumor, avoiding unnecessary radiation to nearby healthy tissue and organs

The image above shows the difference between protons and x-rays (IMRT). The goal of treatment is to deliver the proper dose of radiation directly to the tumor, while limiting the amount of exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. This is illustrated by the orange area, which represents proton therapy. On the other hand, the gray area shows how x-rays use IMRT to deliver radiation. Much of the healthy tissue in front of the target receives unnecessary radiation, and by the nature of x-rays, more unnecessary radiation is delivered beyond the tumor, compared to proton therapy.

Have questions? Our Cancer Care Experts are ready to help. Contact us now.

Patient Testimonials

Holly C.

“Everyone is so wonderful at Provision. It just doesn’t feel like a cancer treatment center.”

Ken R.

“I’m so thankful I found Provision. I could’ve taken the other treatment, but from now on I would have had all those side effects to deal with.``

Ryan M.

“The doctors were easy to work with and made the treatment process relaxed and not scary.”

Terry V.

``I’ve yet to hear one negative remark from anyone at Provision. That makes you feel even more like we’re in the right place.”

Only Proton Center in East TN

Provision CARES Proton Therapy is located in West Knoxville. Our beautiful Dowell Springs campus is less than 10 minutes from downtown, just off Middlebrook Pike.

Provision CARES Proton Therapy Knoxville is located on Middlebrook Pike in West Knoxville.
98% Patient Satisfaction
Our 98% Patient Satisfaction scores speak to our excellence in patient experience and our Culture of Care.
Clean and Safe
Our goal is to ensure timely treatment in a safe environment. Our non-hospital setting offers peace of mind for all of our patients.
Patient Concierge
Our Patient Concierge provides personalized care to all patients, including lodging support and other needs for traveling patients.

Speak with the Cancer Care Experts at Provision CARES to learn more about Proton Therapy.

Sources & Studies

1. Steneker M, Lomax A, Schneider U. Intensity modulated photon and proton therapy for the treatment of head and neck tumors. Radiother Oncol. 2006;80(2):263-267

2. Taheri-Kadkhoda Z, Björk-Eriksson T, Nill S, et al. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy of nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a comparative treatment planning study of photons and protons. Radiat Oncol. 2008;3:4

3. Yeung D, Malyapa RS, Mendenhall WM, et al. Dosimetric comparison of IMRT and proton therapy for head and neck tumors. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2006;66(3):S412

4. Taheri-Kadkhoda Z, Björk-Eriksson T, Nill S, et al. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy of nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a comparative treatment planning study of photons and protons. Radiat Oncol. 2008;3:4

5. Sio, Terence & Lin, Huei-Kai & Shi, Qiuling & Gunn, Gary & Cleeland, Charles & Lee, J. & Hernandez, Mike & Blanchard, Pierre & Thaker, Nikhil & Phan, Jack & Rosenthal, David & Garden, Adam & Morrison, William & Fuller, C. & Mendoza, Tito & Mohan, Radhe & Wang, Xin & Frank, Steven. (2016). Intensity-Modulated Proton Therapy (IMPT) versus Intensity-Modulated Photon Radiotherapy (IMRT) for Oropharyngeal Cancer: First Comparative Results of Patient-Reported Outcomes. International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics. 95. 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.02.044.

6. Holliday EB, Garden AS, Rosenthal DI, Fuller CD, Morrison WH, Gunn GB, Phan J, Beadle BM, Zhu, XR, Zhang X, Hanna E, Glisson BS, Hutcheson KA, El-Naggar AK, Hong JH, Hung TM, Uzel EK, Lewis G, Frank SJ. Proton Therapy Reduces Treatment-Related Toxicities for Patients with Nasopharyngeal Cancer: A Case-Match Control Study of Intensity-Modulated Proton Therapy and Intensity-Modulated Photon Therapy. 2015;2(1):19–28

7. Proton beam radiation therapy results in significantly reduced toxicity compared with intensity-modulated radiation therapy for head and neck tumors that require ipsilateral radiation Romesser P.B., Cahlon O., Scher E., Zhou Y., Berry S.L., Rybkin A., Sine K.M., (…), Lee N.Y. (2016) Radiotherapy and Oncology, 118 (2) , pp. 286-292.

8. Charged Particle Therapy for Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Malignancies: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Patel, S.H. et al. International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics, Volume 90, Issue 1, S542 – S543