Radiotherapy for CLL

Radiotherapy treats CLL by using high-energy x-rays to destroy the leukaemia 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. Treatment is usually given daily, from Monday to Friday. It is usually given over one or two weeks, with a rest at the weekend. Each session may last a few minutes and is painless. You 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.

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Possible side effects

There are things you can do to help manage the possible side effects of radiotherapy treatment.

Who might I meet?

You will meet many different specialists before, during and after radiotherapy treatment.