Radiation therapy for leukemia
Radiation therapy for leukemia may be used to destroy leukemia cells, or 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. Also, radiation therapy is sometimes given in low doses just before a stem cell transplant.
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. Depending on your individual needs, your leukeumia radiation treatments may be combined with other therapies, like immunotherapy and chemotherapy, to prevent the growth of new cancer cells.
Helping you maintain your quality of life
The side effects of radiation therapy for leukemia depend on the treatment dose, the part of the body being radiated, the duration of radiation and other factors. Radiation may cause a drop in white blood cell count, which can increase your risk of infection. Some other potential side effects include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite and skin irritation.
During your radiation treatment for leukemia, your doctors will monitor your blood counts regularly. If needed, we’ll provide therapies to stimulate your blood cell production and/or antibiotics to prevent or treat infection.
We’ll also work with you to manage any radiation-induced side effects. Your care team will provide supportive care services like nutrition therapy, naturopathic medicine, pain management, oncology rehabilitation and mind-body medicine—all under one roof. These therapies can help to keep you strong so you can better tolerate treatment and maintain your quality of life.