The mould room
The mould room
Some patients need a mould or mask to be made in order to make sure that they do not move and that they are in the same place when having their radiotherapy treatment.
If you are having radiotherapy to your head, neck, arm or leg, you may need to have a mask or mould made before you start treatment. This will happen during your radiotherapy planning appointment.
The mould room clinical technologists will explain everything about making a mask to you when you attend the mould room. If you have any questions please ask one of our staff.
The masks are made of a material which becomes pliable when it has been warmed up. The mould room staff place a sheet of this special material into a warm water bath and when the plastic is at the correct temperature it is placed carefully on your face. The mould room team use their hands to gently shape the plastic on your face so that it forms a close fitting mask.
When the plastic has cooled down, it becomes stiff. Holes are cut out for your mouth or tracheostomy (if you have one) in the mask. You can see and breathe normally with the mask on. Making and wearing the mask is painless.
The mask has plastic anchor points which allow it to be connected to the Linac table. This will make sure that you do not move when you are having your radiotherapy treatment.
Making a mask can take up to 30 minutes as we need it to fit exactly to you.
Some patients do not like having the mask put on their face. If you would like some extra help when you are having your mask made, please tell a member of our staff. We have specially trained members of staff who can provide relaxation techniques that will make this process easier for you.
Below is a video showing a treatment pathway of a patient who is having radiotherapy to their head. It shows our mould room staff making a plastic mask.
The mould room staff don't just make masks
Our mould room team make other equipment needed for radiotherapy as well as masks.
In some people, their tumour is very close to the skin surface. If this is the case, you may need some wax to be shaped for you to allow for the radiotherapy treatment to be given evenly over your tumour. This was is called 'Bolus' and is individually made for each patient that needs it.
Not every patient needs Bolus for their treatment. If you need a Bolus to be made for you, the radiotherapy staff will let you know.