What is Radiation Therapy? 

Radiation uses high levels of energy to attack cancer cells. The energy usually comes from X-rays, gamma rays and fast-moving tiny particles called proton beam therapy. Radiation attacks healthy cells as well as cancer cells, so some side effects can occur. 

How will my child receive radiation? 

There are two ways in which radiation is given: 

  • Outside the body (externally). Your child will come to the hospital four or five days a week for several weeks to receive small doses of radiation targeting the exact area of the cancer. The treatment takes just a few minutes. After external radiation, your child will not have any restrictions as far as contact with family and friends. 
  • Inside the body (internally). This requires your child to stay in the hospital for a few days. Radioactive material may be put into the tumor, or it may be swallowed or injected into the bloodstream. Because some internal radiation may actually leave the body and thus be dangerous to others, your child will be in a private room and visitations might be restricted.  

What side effects will my child have? 

In general, early radiation side effects are not severe. Long term consequences of radiation therapy will depend greatly on dosages and location of the area being treated. Some of the most common issues are skin problems, exhaustion and low red blood cells (anemia). If you child’s side effects become overwhelming or distressing, we can offer therapies to provide some relief.  

Our providers

Our nurses specialize in care and compassion  
All of our nurse practitioners are specially trained in childhood cancers, which means you can rely on them for care and understanding as your child goes through cancer treatment.

Clinical Trials 

We will never stop fighting until there is a cure for all cancers. That’s why we actively participate in clinical trials, which as a result, provided major advances and higher cure rates for many childhood cancers. As a member of the Children's Oncology Group, we offer the latest trial protocols that represent the best care available. This means your child never receives a treatment that hasn't already been tested. We only offer proven, evidence-based treatments. Please visit our clinical trials page to see our current trials. 

Get Connected & Stay Informed   

MyHealth gives you access to your child's medical records. View test results, diagnoses, medications, follow-up instructions, make an appointment and more.   

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