Lymphoma Therapy: Radiotherapy

Radiation Therapy Topics

Fields / Ports Delivery
Dosage Side Effects
Late Effects Resources

Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is the use of high-energy x-rays (or sometimes other radiation) to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.

Radiation can be a highly effective treatment for certain types and stages of lymphoma. Radiotherapy for lymphoma has a history spanning the better part of a century.

Radiation for lymphoma usually comes from a machine outside the body (external-beam radiation therapy). There are occasions where a radioactive source is laced in the body but that is a separate type of treatment that will be described elsewhere.

Radiation therapy is most often prescribed and supervised by a radiation oncologist. Other members of your radiation therapy team may include a radiation physicist, a dosimetrist, a radiation therapy nurse, and/or a radiation therapist.

The radiation oncologist will evaluate your condition by giving you a physical examination and by reviewing all scans, diagnostic x-rays, blood tests, pathology slides and surgery reports.

Following review of the patient's condition, the radiation oncologist will do some planning to determine the exact areas of the body to treat with radiation therapy. These areas are called treatment fields or ports. Radiation for lymphoma is usually given in certain parts of the body. Before treatment starts the center will identify your ports or fields is called simulation. Simulation may take an hour or two. The patient is asked to lie very still on a table while the radiation therapist uses a special x-ray machine to identify your treatment ports.

The radiation oncologist, physicist, and dosimetrist will use the information from the simulation, other tests, and the patient's medical background to determine the dosage of radiation to be given. The goal is to deliver the maximum effective dose of radiation to the cancer while protecting the surrounding healthy tissues as much as possible. To help keep radiation away from healthy tissues, shielding or blocking devices may be tailor made. Finally the radiation oncologist will take the total dose calculated for treatment and divide it into several treatments over a few week period (4 to 6 weeks is common).

A list of questions you can use to discuss radiotherapy treatment options.

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Additional Radiation Therapy Topics:

[Fields/Ports] [Delivery] [Dosage] [Side Effects]

[Late Effects] [Resources]

Return Links - Therapy:

[Chemotherapy] [Chemo Drugs] [Immunotherapy] [Transplants]

Lymphoma Treatment Pages:

Adult Hodgkin's Lymphoma (Disease)

Adult Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Childhood Hodgkin's Lymphoma (Disease)


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