The usual principle in deciding which area to treat is to give treatment to the region affected and to also treat the next level of lymph nodes where the disease is likely to progress.
External beam radiation therapy involves a method of treatment where the radiation comes from a radiation source outside the body.
► Mantle field radiation therapy- This treatment is focused on the lymph nodes in the neck, chest and under the arms.
► Total Nodal Irradiation- This therapy involves Mantle field radiation along with irradiating the affected lymph nodes of the upper abdomen, spleen and the pelvic region.
If there is a replase after the treatment with radiotherapy, chemotherapy maybe used. In advanced stage of the disease a combination therapy is used.
Short-term side effects
► Fatigue is a common side effect of radiation. It is advisable to listen to one’s body and rest as required.
► Skin reactions, such as inflammation or darkening, is also quite common. It is advisable to avoid using any soothing cream or lotion without consulting the doctor. It is necessary to avoid the sun and also to wear loose-fitting clothes.
► The patient when undergoing radiotherapy may not experience hunger or may find the need to change the eating pattern. It is always better for such individuals to eat regular small meals than go for three huge ones.
► Sore throat and loose bowel movements are the other common side –effects which can be effectively remedied by prescribed medications.
Long-term side effects
► Low- dose radiation when given to children affects growth of tissues, bones and muscles.
► Radiotherapy also predisposes an individual to develop secondary cancers.
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