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Radiotherapy| treats cancer by using high-energy x-rays to destroy the cancer cells, while doing as little harm as possible to normal cells.
It’s not often used to treat CLL, but is sometimes used if your lymph nodes or spleen are very enlarged.
Radiotherapy is given in the hospital radiotherapy department and consists of daily treatments, which last a few minutes. The treatments are usually given Monday–Friday, with a rest at the weekend. Radiotherapy treatment for CLL will usually be given for one or two weeks. You can usually have radiotherapy as an outpatient.
CLL is very sensitive to radiotherapy, and usually only very low doses are needed. This means that side effects are very uncommon.
Content last reviewed: 1 January 2013
Next planned review: 2015
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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