Multiple Myeloma

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Radiation Therapy for Multiple Myeloma

Some people with myeloma receive radiation therapy along with other treatments. Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells.

People with myeloma receive external radiation therapy. A machine outside the body delivers a dose of radiation that travels through the outer structures, such as the skin, into deeper areas of the body. (For other types of cancer, radiation is sometimes given internally, through implanted radioactive “seeds” or other methods.)

Doctors use radiation to treat specific areas where there are myeloma tumors or a plasmacytoma (a single area of myeloma activity); to treat painful areas of bone damage that aren’t getting better with other treatments; and to treat areas where disease activity or damage is causing pressure on the spinal cord or nerve.

SCCA’s myeloma patients receive radiation therapy at University of Washington Medical Center, an SCCA parent organization.