Checking Blood Counts During Radiation

John Christodouleas, MD
Last Modified: December 1, 2010

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Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Is it normal to undergo radiation treatment 15 of them with out any follow up blood work during those treatments?


John Christodouleas, MD, Radiation Oncologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

Whether or not to get blood work during a short course of radiation treatment depends on the size of the radiation field, location of the field and whether concurrent therapy is given at the same time. If the field is large, includes a large portion of the spine or pelvis (where blood is made) or given with chemotherapy, then I do check blood work during or soon after treatment. Most cases of short course radiation (3 weeks counts as short course) do not require blood work to be checked during therapy.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Lung Cancer Q&A Webchat. View the entire Lung Cancer Q&A transcript.

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