- 3D (3-dimensional) conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT)
With this method, 3D images help the doctor better target the tumor. The images are created using a special machine — a computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. The radiation beams can be aimed from many different angles to match the exact shape of the cancer.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)
This method is like the first method, but the doctor can adjust how much radiation you get from each beam. In certain situations, this allows for better avoidance of nearby normal cells, and fewer potential side effects.
- Electron therapy: This method uses electrons, which are small negatively charged particles, to treat superficial tumors such as lymphomas of the skin. This may be to only a limited area of the skin where the tumor is, or to the entire skin surface (i.e. Total Skin Electron Beam Therapy or TSEBT).
Receiving radiation treatments
Radiation therapy does not cause pain, so you won’t feel anything during your treatments. Radiation does not make you radioactive, and you can safely be around other people, including children.
The exact number and timing of your radiation treatments depends on the type of lymphoma you have and the type of radiation therapy you need:
- Typically, you will be treated once a day, Monday through Friday, over a few weeks.
- Most treatment sessions take 15 to 30 minutes, but some may take up to 1 hour.
- We offer treatment sessions between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at our Cancer Centers in Palo Alto, Pleasanton, South Bay, and Turlock.
Radiation therapy side effects
Everyone has a different response to radiation therapy. It may cause short-term side effects during treatment or long-term side effects after treatment ends.
The side effects of treatment depend on the type of radiation you receive, the dose, and your overall health. Common side effects that you may experience after radiation treatment include:
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Skin irritation
- Swelling in your arms or legs (lymphedema)
No matter what you experience, your care team can help ease the side effects of treatment. At least once a week, your radiation oncology team will meet with you to discuss your progress and any side effects that you may have.