EBRT for leukemia
EBRT is a common option for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and can help to reduce swelling in the lymph nodes, liver or spleen.
Some advantages of EBRT for leukemia include:
- It’s a fast, painless outpatient procedure. A typical radiation treatment lasts a few minutes.
- Unlike chemotherapy, which circulates throughout the body, EBRT for leukemia is targeted to a specific area.
- By targeting tumors with higher doses of radiation, EBRT helps minimize damage to healthy tissues and reduce side effects.
Helping you maintain your quality of life
Your care team anticipates and proactively manages the side effects of external beam radiation therapy for leukemia. Before, during and after your treatment, you’ll receive integrative oncology services, such as nutrition therapy, naturopathic medicine, pain management, mind-body medicine, oncology rehabilitation and spiritual support. These therapies are designed to keep you strong and nutritionally fortified, reduce the side effects of radiation and promote your overall well-being.
What is EBRT?
External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) directs a beam of radiation from outside the body at cancerous tissues inside the body. It is a cancer treatment option that uses doses of radiation to destroy cancerous cells and shrink tumors. Examples of EBRT include 3D conformal radiation therapy, IMRT, IGRT, TomoTherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), our radiation oncologists are experienced in using advanced technologies to deliver external beam radiation therapy while also proactively managing patients’ side effects.
How it works
EBRT delivers high-energy rays to tumors, using a special X-ray machine called a linear accelerator. This machine allows radiation to be delivered from any angle and shapes radiation beams to the contour of the tumor. The machine moves around the body without touching the patient and aims radiation at the cancer.
Our radiation oncologists use EBRT to target a tumor with higher, more precise doses of radiation, while reducing damage to healthy tissue and nearby organs. As a result, EBRT may help reduce the risk of side effects associated with traditional radiation treatment.
During EBRT, you will lay down on a treatment table and remain motionless, but you don’t have to hold your breath. A radiation therapist will not be in the room with you, but he or she will be able to monitor you and talk with you through the speaker at all times.
The length of your treatment depends on many factors, including your type and stage of cancer. EBRT may be administered over a period of two to 10 weeks. Patients typically receive treatment once a day for five days in a row, generally Monday through Friday. Each treatment lasts a few minutes and is performed as an outpatient procedure.
Managing EBRT side effects
While EBRT may help reduce the risk of side effects, some patients may experience skin changes, fatigue, nausea or other symptoms. With years of experience and training, the radiation oncologists at CTCA® at are well-versed in treatment-related side effects. They collaborate with our supportive care clinicians to work with you to help manage side effects as well as improve your quality of life.