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Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy, also known as “radiotherapy,” uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells in a small, targeted area of the body. Since radiation can also harm normal cells, whenever possible, radiation therapy is directed only at the affected lymph node areas in order to reduce the long-term side effects.

Involved-site radiation therapy (ISRT) is sometimes used to treat HL. It selectively treats the lymph nodes where the cancer started and the cancerous masses near those nodes. With a special machine, carefully focused beams of radiation are directed at the cancer. This is also called “external beam therapy” (EBT). The size of the targeted area is restricted to minimize radiation exposure to adjacent, uninvolved organs, and to decrease the side effects associated with radiation therapy.

With careful planning, the exposure of uninvolved organs can be either reduced or avoided during radiation therapy. Imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT), and other specialized imaging techniques can enhance treatment planning.

If radiation therapy is being considered, you should carefully review the pros and cons of different approaches with your doctor.  

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