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Leukemia is cancer that originates in blood-forming tissue. The disease is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes), in the bone marrow. White blood cells are a fundamental component of the body's immune response. The leukemia cells crowd out and replace normal blood and marrow cells. In the United States, about 2,000 children and 27,000 adults are diagnosed each year with leukemia.
Our radiation oncologists use a variety of advanced technologies to deliver maximum radiation doses to tumors, with less damage to healthy tissues and organs. By focusing the radiation directly on the tumor, there is a lower risk of side effects.
The side effects you may experience will depend on the area being treated, the type of radiation used and whether or not you also received chemotherapy. Before treatment, your doctor will describe what you can expect.
Some patients experience minor or no side effects and can continue their normal routines.
If at any time you develop side effects, tell your doctor or nurse. He or she can give you medicine to help.