Radiation is sometimes used to shrink large lymph node masses or masses in locations that interfere with the function of a neighboring body part, such as the kidney, the gastrointestinal tract or the throat. This treatment is rarely used in CLL.
Though not used often to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), radiation therapy is sometimes used to relieve pain caused by an enlarged lymph node, spleen or other organ. The enlarged masses can affect the functions of nearby organs, such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract or throat.
Also called radiotherapy, this painless treatment uses X-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. This reduces the size of swollen lymph nodes and organs.