OBJECTIVES: To review treatment-related issues and acute and late side effects of radiation therapy for the treatment of childhood malignancies. DATA SOURCES: Research and review articles, oncology textbooks, and clinical experience. CONCLUSIONS: Radiation therapy is a key component in the treatment of childhood malignancies. Children receiving radiation have special nursing care needs that are dependent on growth and developmental issues. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Nurses play an important role in the education of families and children receiving radiation therapy. In addition, nurses are key in the management of acute and late toxicities from childhood radiation therapy.
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