Leukemia--Chronic Myeloid (Myelogenous) Overview

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Treating Leukemia - Chronic Myeloid (CML) TOPICS

Radiation treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia

Radiation treatment is the use of high energy x-rays to kill cancer cells. It is usually not part of the main treatment for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), but it is used in certain cases. For some people with an enlarged organ (such as the spleen), radiation might be used to shrink the swelling. It is also used to treat bone pain caused by leukemia cells growing in the bone marrow. Radiation is sometimes given to the whole body, just before a stem cell transplant (see the section "Bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell transplant (SCT) for chronic myeloid leukemia"). The main short-term side effects of radiation treatment are sunburn-like changes in skin over the treated area, tiredness, and a higher risk of infection.

More information on radiation therapy can be found in the Radiation section of our website, or in our document Understanding Radiation Therapy: A Guide for Patients and Families.


Last Medical Review: 08/13/2013
Last Revised: 02/10/2014