- How is acute lymphocytic leukemia treated?
- Chemotherapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Targeted therapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Surgery for acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Radiation therapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant for acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Typical treatment of acute lymphocytic leukemia
- What if the leukemia doesn`t respond or comes back after treatment?
- Clinical trials for acute lymphocytic leukemia
- Complementary and alternative therapies for acute lymphocytic leukemia
Radiation therapy for acute lymphocytic leukemia
Radiation therapy is the use of high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. It is sometimes used to treat leukemia that has spread to the brain and spinal cord or to the testicles. It might also be used to reduce pain when the leukemia has spread to a bone if chemo hasn't helped
Radiation to the whole body is often done before a bone marrow or blood stem cell transplant (see “Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant” section). It is also used, though rarely, in an emergency to shrink a tumor if it is pressing on the windpipe. But more often chemo is used instead.
The possible side effects of radiation depend on where it is aimed. There may be sunburn-like skin changes in the treated area. Radiation to the belly (abdomen) can sometimes cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. For radiation that includes large parts of the body, the effects may include lowered blood cell counts, which can lead to extreme tiredness (called fatigue) and an increased risk of infection.
Last Medical Review: 06/25/2012
Last Revised: 01/24/2013
- What Is Leukemia - Acute Lymphocytic (ALL) in Adults?
- Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention
- Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging
- Treating Leukemia - Acute Lymphocytic (ALL) in Adults
- Talking With Your Doctor
- After Treatment
- What`s New in Leukemia - Acute Lymphocytic (ALL) in Adults Research?
- Other Resources and References