Radiation Therapy for Leukemia

Radiation therapy is a method used to kill cancer cells. External beam radiation comes from a machine outside of the body. Short bursts of x-rays are aimed at certain places inside the body. It may be used:

  • Before a bone marrow transplant to kill leftover cancer in the bone marrow
  • To unclog the spleen—may be done to avoid removing the spleen
  • To treat areas like the spinal cord, brain, or testicles—to keep leukemia from spreading to these places
  • Ease symptoms caused by later stage leukemia

References:

Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/leukemias/acute-lymphoblastic-leukemia-all. Updated December 2018. Accessed March 14, 2019.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated August 14, 2018. March 14, 2019.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/leukemias/chronic-lymphocytic-leukemia-cll. Updated December 2018. Accessed March 14, 2019.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic leukemia (SLL). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated November 21, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2019.
Chronic myeloid leukemia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated January 4, 2018. Accessed March 14, 2019.
Management of acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (ALL). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated October 12, 2018. Accessed March 14, 2019.
Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 3/14/2019

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