Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, is a type of cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells. A large machine outside the body called a linear accelerator (LINAC) generates and delivers radiation beams to precisely targeted areas of the body. This type of radiotherapy is called external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). It is considered a local therapy because the treatment generally only affects the cells in the treated areas.
Seminomas, the most common type of testicular cancer, are highly sensitive to radiation and the treatment cycle may be as short as two weeks.
Your cancer care team may incorporate radiotherapy into your treatment after orchiectomy (surgery to remove the testicle) and may begin as soon as the surgical wound is healed.
Radiotherapy may be used after to:
- Target at risk lymph nodes in the abdomen and/or pelvis
- Treat affected areas of recurrent disease
For treatment of testicular cancer, the preferred radiotherapy approach is 3-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D-CRT) which combines the latest technologies in linear accelerators with sophisticated computer software that incorporates modern imaging such as computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the planning software. This approach delivers radiation to precisely shaped target areas.