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The stage of a cancer is a term used to describe its size and whether it has spread beyond its original site. Knowing the extent of the cancer helps the doctors decide on the best treatment for you.
There are several staging systems for testicular cancer. One commonly-used system in the UK is the Royal Marsden staging system. Here is a simplified version of this system:
The cancer may be of any size and is only in the testes. Stage 1 cancers are further divided depending on whether tumour markers remain raised.
The cancer has spread to local lymph nodes in the abdomen known as the retroperitoneal lymph nodes|. Stage 2 cancers are further divided depending on the size of the lymph nodes.
The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the chest or higher up, for example lymph nodes in your armpit or neck.
The cancer has spread to other organs in the body (known as metastases) such as the lungs or liver.
Content last reviewed: 1 August 2012
Next planned review: 2014
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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