About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Español
VNA of Care New England
VNA of Care New England

Radiation Therapy for Multiple Myeloma

Radiation therapy is the use of penetrating beams of high-energy waves or streams of particles called radiation to treat disease. Radiation therapy destroys the ability of cancer cells to grow and divide.
There are a few cases in which radiation may be used to treat multiple myeloma:
  • If the tumor returns to one site and is causing symptoms
  • If a compression fracture in the spine is pressing against the spinal cord
  • If a bone marrow transplant is to be done—Total body radiation may be given prior to this procedure to eliminate the myeloma cells and prepare the bone marrow for transplantation of the new, healthy stem cells.

Type of Radiation Therapy

External radiation is used to treat multiple myeloma. In external radiation therapy, rays are directed at the tumor from outside the body. Treatments are given at a hospital or radiation center once a day, five days per week. The daily time spent receiving external therapy is short.
Effectiveness
Radiation therapy does not cure multiple myeloma, but may be able to decrease symptoms.

References

American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp .

Cancer Medicine e5 . 5th ed. Hamilton, Ontario: BC Decker Inc; 2000.

National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov .

Rakel R. Bope E, ed. Conn's Current Therapy 2002 . 54th ed. St. Louis, MO: WB Saunders Company; 2002: 439-443.

Revision Information

Health Headlines
Lift U.S. Ban on Blood Donations by Gay Men, Experts SayView in a lightbox
Health Tip: Pack Safety Essentials for a Long HikeView in a lightbox
Study Links Shift Work to Risk for Type 2 DiabetesView in a lightbox
Anal, Throat Cancers on the Rise Among Young Adults, Study FindsView in a lightbox
Diet Changes Can Alter Gut Bacteria, Study SaysView in a lightbox
VNA of Care New England
© 2011 Site Index | Disclaimer | Legal Notices