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Lymphomas and radiation

Lymphoma Cancer Treatment Options

Radiation therapy is proven effective.

At MRO, we use radiation, or radiotherapy, to destroy cancer cells with radiation, which has played an important role in the treatment of lymphomas for over a century, and is extremely effective for all types of lymphoma Using state-of-the-art imaging technologies, such as MRI, CT, and PET, your MRO care team can pinpoint radiation doses down to the millimeter.

“Radiation oncology allows me to combine my interests in patient care,
neuroscience, and medical technology.”
Somu Suppiah, MD
MRO | Methodist

Different types of lymphoma require different treatment techniques, but each of them directs precise doses of radiation at cancer cells. Like an x-ray, radiation therapy is painless. There’s no fear of becoming radioactive during or after treatment.

MRO physicians and care teams work to develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific lymphoma type, to maximize the chance for disease response while minimizing potential side effects.

At MRO, we use a machine called a linear accelerator (LINAC) to aim beams of radiation directly at the tumor, targeted right down to the millimeter. This is called external beam radiation, and it’s a local therapy; it only affects cells in the treated area. You won’t see or feel the radiation.

Your own treatment schedule will be specifically tailored to you by your MRO care team, depending on the type of tumor you have, where it’s located, and what type of technology we’ll be using. You’ll also meet with your MRO care team each week to monitor progress and answer any questions you may have.

For classic Hodgkin lymphoma, radiation is often given after chemotherapy, especially when there’s a large or bulky tumor mass (usually in the chest). Chemotherapy or radiation alone would probably not cure the lymphoma, but both treatments together usually do.

For non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) radiation may be used:

  • As the main treatment for some types of early-stage lymphoma.
  • For more advanced lymphomas or more aggressive types, for which radiation is sometimes used along with chemotherapy.
  • To treat people who are getting a stem cell transplant. In these cases, a patient may get radiation to the whole body along with high-dose chemotherapy to try to kill lymphoma cells throughout the body.
  • To ease symptoms caused by lymphoma that has spread to internal organs, or when a tumor is causing pain because it’s pressing on nerves.

Radiotherapy for lymphoma requires the utmost precision, so you’ll also go through a simulation at the MRO Therapy Center. Using image mapping as a guide, your care team will position you as you would be for treatment and take measurements to build a targeted treatment plan and pinpoint the radiation for the best possible outcome.