Hematology: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B- and T-cell) — Radiotherapy. Treatment
The radiation therapy (or radiotherapy) implies the destruction of tumor cells by ionizing radiation. For non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, this method is commonly used to consolidate the chemotherapy effects. Its use as a basic treatment is admissible only at initial stages of the disease.
The therapy is conducted in a clinic. The dose of radiation is calculated in each case individually, taking into account the severity of the condition and age of the patient. To reduce the severity of side effects, the total dose is divided into several sessions.
The treatments take place in a specially equipped room. A nurse helps a patient to take a correct position on the table with the ionizing unit. The individual areas affected by the tumor process (e.g., cervical, axillary region, spleen etc.) are irradiated, while the healthy parts of the body are protected by lead screens. All manipulations take no more than 10 minutes. In the course of the session, the patient’s condition is monitored by a radiologist from an adjacent room.
The nature of adverse reactions depends on the exposed area. For example, irradiation of the spleen is accompanied by development of dyspeptic disorders (nausea, vomiting), and irradiation of mediastinal organs with a sore throat. Almost all patients report malaise and fatigue.
At the discretion of the physician, the treatment is continued for 2 to 3 weeks. The sessions are held daily, except weekends. Upon cycle completion, the patient talks to an oncologist who provides recommendations for further treatment.Hide