Radiation Dosages

John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Question
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I would like information on the specific dosage and the type and energy of the radiation used in treating Hodgkin's Disease. I would be most grateful for any information you can send about this.  
Yours sincerely,
SK


Answer
John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD, OncoLink's Editorial Assistants, respond:

Dear SK:
The energy of the radiation used to treat Hodgkin's Disease is termedmegavoltage radiation. That is, radiation with energies over 4Mev. Thistype of radiation is 'skin-sparing', because the effect of theradiation does not occur on the skin but rather in the body. Incontrast, in the 1960s and the only type of radiation available wasorthovoltage radiation, which invariably burned pateints' skin.

The dose of radiation for Hodgkin's Disease is somewhat controversial. However, most radiation oncologists would recommend at least 35 Gray or higher.

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