Lymphomas are cancers that develop in the lymphatic system where white blood cells are produced and stored. Hodgkin’s lymphomas develop in the lymph nodes while non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas are a type of cancer that originate in the lymph nodes or lymphatic tissue. The majority of these cancers begin as painless lumps in various areas of the body. Some of these cancers can show in certain organs or tissues, such as the stomach, spleen, nasal passages, intestines or bone.
Management of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease requires a detailed understanding of the changing patterns of treatment for these cancers over the past several decades. Many improvements in systemic and radiation techniques allow for higher cure rates, with reduced side effects. At Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia, we have experienced physicians who have supervised the care of numerous patients with these diseases. We use a multidisciplinary approach to allow for a team of physicians, including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgeons, radiologists and pathologists to help direct an individual patient’s care.
First we locate the cancer, which involves tests such as PET scans, CT scans, MRI scans, lab tests, or bone marrow biopsies. Once the extent of disease is known, the management of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can be determined. Treatment may involve coordinating the use of chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia’s treatments are typically a daily treatment targeting the known areas of cancer and any adjacent areas that are felt to be at a high risk for cancer spread. In general, radiation therapy is very effective in destroying cancer cells in the treated tissues.
The role of radiation therapy in treating Hodgkin’s disease is also advancing. The success of treatment has led more doctors to work toward decreasing the amount of radiation given to each patient. Our physicians have been able to maintain the excellent cure rates of the past, while avoiding some of the more severe side effects with these advancements. Currently, our goal is to offer radiation either alone or in combination with chemotherapy, with the goal of destroying any microscopic cancer cells. Treatments will typically be given on a daily basis, targeting the areas where we know cancer exists and those areas at significant risk for spread. In general, radiation therapy is also very effective in controlling this type of cancer.
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