The testicles are part of the male reproductive system that have two main functions:
- They make male hormones (androgens) such as testosterone.
- They make sperm, the male cells needed to fertilize a female egg cell to start a pregnancy.
In adult males the size of each testes is a little smaller than a golf ball. Both testes are located in a sac called the scrotum. Testicular cancer starts in the testicles and it typically develops in one or both testicles in young men, although it can occur at any age. It is a highly treatable and usually curable type of cancer.
Typical Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
- Lump or swelling in the testicle
- Testicular pain or discomfort in the region
- Testicular enlargement
- Aches in the abdomen, back or groin
- Fluid collection in the scrotum
Role of Radiation in Testicular Cancer
In treating testicular cancer, radiation is used mainly to kill cancer cells that have spread to lymph nodes. Radiation is generally given in the form of high-energy beams that deposit the radiation dose in the body where the risk of cancer cells is greatest.
Typically, radiation therapy for testicular cancers is given via linear accelerators, which produce high-energy external radiation beams that penetrate the tissues and deliver the radiation dose deep into the areas where the cancer resides.