Orange Regional Medical Center’s Spagnoli Family Cancer Center offered a Masks of Courage Workshop for head and neck cancer patients on September 23, 2018, in the Outpatient Services Building.

Head and Neck Cancer patients often have a mesh mask molded around their head and neck area to help stabilize them for radiation treatments. It is important for patients who have treatment to the brain or the head and neck area to be still during treatment, as radiation is precisely given to such areas and to avoid other vital organs.

The Healing Effects of Art Therapy

The art therapy session allowed participants to re-imagine their radiation masks as a symbol of victory over their disease. Radiation masks worn during treatment for head and neck cancer or other cancers can become powerful symbols of healing when transformed into works of art. Orange Regional Medical Center offers patients an opportunity to work with artists and therapists to transform their masks into sculpture.

The workshop includes both a therapeutic and expressive component allowing participants to discuss their experiences with radiation treatment. The discussions provide patients with the opportunity to share both positive and negative emotions tied to the treatment process and their masks.

Participants transitioned into a creative state of mind where they used a variety of provided art materials, as well as their own personal items, to create, paint and decorate their masks. The end result was individual for each participant. The themes displayed through the masks range from humorous and elaborate to powerful and spiritual.

For more information on cancer services at Orange Regional Medical Center, please visit