Radiotherapy for non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Radiotherapy treats cancer by using high-energy rays that destroy cancer cells while doing as little harm as possible to normal cells. Radiotherapy only treats the area of the body that the beams are aimed at.

Radiotherapy is given in the hospital radiotherapy department, usually as daily sessions from Monday to Friday, with a rest at the weekend. The length of your treatment will depend on the type and stage of the lymphoma, but it’s normally no more than three weeks.

Radiotherapy treatment is usually directed at specific parts of the body. It may be used when the lymphoma cells are contained in one or two areas of lymph nodes in the same part of the body.

When is radiotherapy used?

For some people with indolent NHL in just one group of lymph nodes, radiotherapy may be the only treatment that’s needed. Sometimes radiotherapy is used after chemotherapy to treat indolent or aggressive NHL.

If indolent NHL returns in just one area of the body, radiotherapy may be used instead of chemotherapy.

How is radiotherapy given?

Treatment is usually given in the hospital radiotherapy department, every weekday, with a rest at the weekend. The length of your treatment will depend on the type and stage of the lymphoma, but it’s normally no more than three weeks.

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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 people before, during and after radiotherapy treatment.