What is radiation therapy for lymphoma and leukemia?

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy X-rays to destroy leukemia cells, to prevent the cells from spreading and/or to relieve symptoms.

The area treated with radiation therapy and the dose given is based on your specific leukemia diagnosis, including the type of leukemia and your symptoms.

For example, radiation therapy for leukemia may be used to relieve pain or discomfort caused by an enlarged liver or spleen, or swollen lymph nodes. It can also help to treat pain from bone damage caused by leukemia cells growing in the bone marrow. In addition, radiation therapy is sometimes given in low doses just before a stem cell transplant.

Some common radiation treatments used for leukemia patients include the following:
  • External Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Total Body Irradiation (TBI)
  • Total Marrow Irradiation (TMI)
Depending on your individual needs, your leukemia radiation treatments may be combined with other innovative therapies, like immunotherapy and chemotherapy, to prevent the growth of new cancer cells.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.