For many patients undergoing radiation therapy, their immune systems will not be affected by radiation therapy. This is because radiation is focused on specific targets in the body and can be designed to avoid the bone marrow which is where cells that make up the immune system are produced.
However, there are some patients undergoing radiation therapy who may be at an increased risk of infection due to the weakening of the immune system. This is more commonly seen in patients receiving concurrent chemotherapy or whose radiation treatment plan requires that larger volumes of bone marrow be exposed to radiation.
Here, we offer more insight into how radiotherapy affects the immune system and tips for improving your immunity during and after treatment.