For this reason, doctors use the lowest possible doses of radiation and give this treatment only to children who cannot be treated successfully with chemotherapy alone. Radiation to the testicles is likely to affect both fertility and hormone production, and most boys who have this form of treatment are not able to have children later on. Some may need to take hormones.
Children who have a bone marrow transplant face an increased risk of infection, bleeding, and other side effects of the large doses of chemotherapy and radiation they receive. In addition, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) may occur in children who receive bone marrow from a donor. This means that donated marrow reacts against the patient's tissues (most often the liver, the skin, and the digestive tract) at any time after the transplant (even years later). Drugs may be given to reduce the risk of GvHD and to treat the problem if it occurs.
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