Disease and Drug Information

Testicular Cancer Staging

In the event that you or a loved one receives a testicular cancer diagnosis, your doctor will work through the staging process to determine the extent of the cancer. A cancer's stage can offer incredible insight into how it will impact a patient and how the cancer may respond to treatment.

Generally speaking, there are four stages of testicular cancer ranging from stage 0 to stage 3. Most of these stages can be broken down further for a deeper understanding of the extent of the disease.

Stage 0

In this stage, the cancer is contained within the small, seminiferous tubules inside the testicle. No cancer cells will have spread to other parts of the testicles, nearby lymph nodes, or any other parts of the body. Some blood tests can fail to detect stage 0 testicular cancer because tumor marker levels tend to be within acceptable limits.

Stage I

  • Stage I
    • Tumor has grown beyond seminiferous tubules
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle and grown to encompass nearby structures
    • Cancer has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body
  • Stage IA
    • Tumor has grown beyond seminiferous tubules
    • Tumor remains within the testicle
    • Tumor has not extended to nearby lymph nodes, blood vessels, or other parts of the body
    • Tumor markers within normal limits
  • Stage IB
    • Tumor has grown outside of testicle and into nearby areas
    • Cancer has not spread to lymph nodes or to other parts of the body
    • Tumor markers within normal limits
  • Stage IS
    • Tumor may or may not have grown outside of the testicle
    • Cancer has not spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body
    • One or more tumor marker levels are higher than average

Stage II

  • Stage II
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle or not
    • Cancer has spread to at least one nearby lymph node
    • Cancer has not spread to other parts of the body
  • Stage IIA
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle or not
    • Cancer has spread to at least one nearby lymph node (but no more than five nearby lymph nodes)
      • No lymph nodes are larger than 2 cm across
    • Cancer has not spread to other parts of the body
    • Tumor markers are within acceptable limits
      • Or at least one marker is slightly elevated
  • Stage IIB
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle or not
    • Cancer has spread to at least one nearby lymph node
      • Larger than 2 cm, smaller than 5 cm across OR
    • Cancer has spread to more than five lymph nodes
    • Cancer has not spread to other parts of the body
    • Tumor markers are within acceptable limits
      • Or at least one marker is slightly elevated
  • Stage IIC
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle or not
    • Cancer has spread to at least one nearby lymph node
      • Larger than 5 cm across
    • Cancer has not spread to other parts of the body
    • Tumor markers are within acceptable limits
      • Or at least one marker is slightly elevated

Stage III

  • Stage III
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle or not
    • Cancer may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes
    • Cancer has spread to other parts of the body
  • Stage IIIA
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle or not
    • Cancer may or may not have spread to nearby lymph nodes
    • Cancer has spread to the lungs or to distant lymph nodes
    • Tumor markers are within acceptable limits
      • Or at least one marker is slightly elevated
  • Stage IIIB
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle or not
    • Cancer has spread to one or more nearby lymph nodes
    • Cancer has not spread to distant parts of the body
    • At least one tumor marker is significantly higher than usual
  • Stage IIIC
    • Tumor may have grown outside of the testicle or not
    • Cancer may or may not have spread to one or more nearby lymph nodes
    • Cancer has not spread to distant areas in the body
      • OR has spread to distant lymph nodes or the lungs
      • OR has spread to parts of the body other than the lungs and lymph nodes
    • At least 1 tumor marker level is significantly high
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