Diagnosed with Head & Neck Cancer

Lap Ming Mak’s journey through cancer was a tale of two vastly different treatment experiences.

In 2014, Ms. Mak was only 42 years old. Her youngest daughter was only 4.

Ms. Mak bravely faced breast cancer and underwent traditional x-ray radiation therapy, known as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). She went through misery for months due to the aftermath of debilitating side effects. Thankfully, her breast cancer went into remission.

Unfortunately, in January of 2022, she encountered a new battle with nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma – a type of cancer that starts in your nasopharynx (the tissue that connects the back of your nose to the back of your mouth).

Due to the fear of side effects from her previous cancer treatment, Ms. Mak initially sought alternative, holistic treatments in Mexico. After nine months, with her condition worsening and conventional treatment becoming necessary, Ms. Mak underwent IMRT radiation and chemotherapy from December 2022 through February 2023. Unfortunately, six months after the conventional treatments, a new symptom suddenly appeared, blurry and double vision, which impacted her quality of life. The cause was confirmed as a recurrence of nasopharyngeal cancer.

That’s when her radiation oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Yu Yao, referred her to ProCure Proton Therapy Center in central New Jersey.

Proton radiation therapy, with its remarkable precision, offers a level of accuracy that distinguishes it from conventional radiation treatments. Its ability to target cancer cells with laser-like precision while minimizing damage to surrounding organs was a game changer for Ms. Mak.

The difference she felt after undergoing proton therapy left a profound and long-lasting impression.

Ms. Mak’s journey to ProCure wasn’t without challenges although her fear of radiation treatment was significantly reduced, all by limiting damage to nearby organs and tissues and the caring and thorough ProCure doctors and technicians.

Proton therapy resulted in reduced long-term and short-term painful side effects that provided Ms. Mak a better quality of life during and after treatment.

Reflecting on her time at ProCure, Ms. Mak expressed gratitude and admiration. “The whole place is excellent with their expertise,” she said, “Outstanding!!! I felt so peaceful from Day 1 of being treated here.”

Ms. Mak found solace and support at ProCure. With 33 sessions of proton therapy, she navigated her journey with determination, supported by the flexible staff that helped her to coordinate and manage her chemotherapy and radiation treatments seamlessly.

Ms. Mak’s story is one of not just survival but also resilience and hope. At 52 years old, with a loving husband and three daughters, her journey as a pediatric nurse has been put on hold due to her health challenges. Yet, she continues to face each day with courage and gratitude, embracing the support of her family and the care she received at ProCure.

Ms. Mak said “I’m grateful and blessed that I had the opportunity to choose to come to the Proton Center. My experience here was phenomenal and comfortable with hope and trust!”