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Radiation Treatment

If your child’s leukemia has spread or may spread to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) or to the testicles, your child’s doctors may recommend treating it with radiation therapy to that area, in addition to chemotherapy. Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells.

Children with leukemia receive external radiation therapy, in which a machine outside the body delivers a dose of radiation that travels through the outer structures, such as the skin and the skull, into deeper areas of the body. (For other types of cancer, radiation is sometimes given internally, through implanted radioactive seeds or other methods.)

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) childhood leukemia patients receive radiation therapy through University of Washington Medical Center, an SCCA parent organization.