The stages of testicular cancer are similar to the stages of other types of cancer. Testicular tumors are “graded” on a numerical scale, with higher numbers representing larger and more advanced tumors. However, while most other cancers are graded on a scale of one to four, testicular cancers are graded on a scale of one to three, with three “sub-grades” for stage 3 tumors. The testicular cancer stages are as follows:
- Stage 1 testicular cancer is contained within the testicle and has not spread
- Stage 2 testicular cancer has started to spread into the lymph nodes in the abdomen or the pelvis.
- Stage 3 testicular cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes or other organs. Within stage 3, the designations of 3A, 3B and 3C can be used to denote the levels of testicular proteins that are present in the blood
Some physicians use the TNM staging system, which takes into consideration the size of the tumor (T), whether the tumor has invaded local lymph nodes (N) and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (M). This staging system is widely used for a number of different types of cancer. Ordinarily, it only includes the T, N and M factors, but when it is used to stage a testicular tumor, a fourth factor (represented by the letter S) is also added. The “S” stages indicate the number of testicular proteins that are present in the blood, the same way that the stage III sub-classifications indicate biomarkers in the numerical staging system. The oncologists of Moffitt Cancer Center’s Urologic Oncology Program can provide you with additional information regarding the various stages of testicular cancer and help you determine how your testicular tumor should be categorized. No referral is required; call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a patient registration form online to schedule your visit.