Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. It is usually not part of the main treatment for people with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but there are a few instances in which it may be used:
Before your treatment starts, the radiation team will take careful measurements to determine the correct angles for aiming the radiation beams and the proper dose of radiation. This planning session, called simulation, usually includes getting imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans.
The type of radiation therapy used to treat AML is called external beam radiation. The treatment is much like getting an x-ray, but the radiation is much stronger. The procedure itself is painless. The number of treatments you get depends on the reason radiation therapy is being used. Each treatment lasts only a few minutes, although the setup time − getting you into place for treatment – usually takes longer.
The possible side effects of radiation therapy depend on where the radiation is aimed. Sunburn-like skin changes and hair loss in the treated area are possible. Radiation to the head and neck area can lead to mouth sores and trouble swallowing. Radiation to the abdomen can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Radiation can lower blood counts, leading to fatigue (from low red blood cell counts), bleeding or bruising (from low platelet counts), and an increased risk of infection (from low white blood cell counts).
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Larson RA. Induction therapy for acute myeloid leukemia in younger adults. UpToDate. 2018. Accessed at www.uptodate.com/contents/induction-therapy-for-acute-myeloid-leukemia-in-younger-adults on June 20, 2018.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Practice Guidelines in Oncology: Acute Myeloid Leukemia. V.1.2018. Accessed at www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/aml.pdf on June 20, 2018.
Last Revised: August 21, 2018
Donate now so we can continue to provide access to critical cancer information, resources, and support to improve lives of people with cancer and their families.