Hodgkins Disease (cont.)
In this Article
- Hodgkin's lymphoma facts*
- What is Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What are Hodgkin's lymphoma causes and risk factors?
- What are Hodgkin's lymphoma symptoms and signs?
- How is Hodgkin's lymphoma diagnosed?
- How is the staging determined for Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What is the treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- Chemotherapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Radiation therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Stem cell transplantation for Hodgkin's lymphoma
- How do people get a second opinion for Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- Nutrition during cancer treatment
- What happens after treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What other support is available for cancer patients?
- Clinical trials for Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) for Hodgkin lymphoma uses high-energy rays to kill lymphoma cells. It can shrink tumors and help control pain.
A large machine aims the rays at the lymph node areas affected by lymphoma. This is local therapy because it affects cells in the treated area only. Most people go to a hospital or clinic for treatment 5 days a week for several weeks.
The side effects of radiation therapy depend mainly on the dose of radiation and the part of the body that is treated. For example, radiation to your abdomen can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. When your chest and neck are treated, you may have a dry, sore throat and some trouble swallowing.
In addition, your skin in the area being treated may become red, dry, and tender. You also may lose your hair in the treated area.
Many people become very tired during radiation therapy, especially in the later weeks of treatment. Resting is important, but doctors usually advise people to try to stay as active as they can.
Although the side effects of radiation therapy can be distressing, they can usually be treated or controlled. You can talk with your doctor about ways to ease these problems.
It may also help to know that, in most cases, the side effects are not permanent. However, you may want to discuss with your doctor the possible long-term effects of radiation treatment. After treatment is over, you may have an increased chance of developing a second cancer. Also, radiation therapy aimed at the chest may cause heart disease or lung damage.
Radiation therapy aimed at the pelvis can cause infertility. Loss of fertility may be temporary or permanent, depending on your age:
- Men: If radiation therapy is aimed at the pelvic area, the testes may be harmed. Sperm banking before treatment may be a choice.
- Women: Radiation aimed at the pelvic area can harm the ovaries. Menstrual periods may stop, and women may have hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Menstrual periods are more likely to return for younger women. Women who may want to get pregnant after radiation therapy should ask their health care team about ways to preserve their eggs before treatment starts.
|You may want to ask your doctor these questions before having radiation
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