Radiotherapy for Hodgkin lymphoma

Radiotherapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells, while doing as little harm as possible to normal cells. It 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 is normally no more than three weeks.

We have more information about having radiotherapy.

When is radiotherapy used?

Radiotherapy can be used to treat groups of lymph nodes that are affected by lymphoma.

Some people will have radiotherapy after chemotherapy to treat classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Others may have radiotherapy to treat a group of lymph nodes that are still affected by lymphoma after having chemotherapy. But some people may also have radiotherapy even if there are no signs of lymphoma after chemotherapy. This is because radiotherapy may reduce the risk of lymphoma coming back.

If you have NLPHL, you may have radiotherapy as your main treatment after a small early-stage lymphoma has been removed with an operation.

Some people will have radiotherapy to treat lymphoma that comes back in a group of lymph nodes.

We have more information about this treatment.

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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.