Staging of testicular cancer

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:

Stage 1

The cancer may be of any size and is only in the testicle. Stage 1 cancers are further divided depending on whether tumour markers remain raised.

Stage 2

The cancer has spread to local lymph nodes in the tummy (abdomen) called the retroperitoneal lymph nodes. Stage 2 cancers are further divided depending on the size of the tumour and lymph nodes affected and level of tumour markers.

Stage 3

The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the chest or higher up, for example, lymph nodes in your armpit or neck. Stage 3 cancers are further divided depending on the size of tumour and lymph nodes affected and level of tumour markers.

Stage 4

The cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or lungs. This is known as metastases.

Your specialist can give you more information about the stage of the cancer.

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My Cancer Treatment

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Treatment overview

After surgery to remove the testicle (orchidectomy) your treatment will depend on the stage and type of testicular cancer you have.

Storing sperm

If treatment might affect your ability to father a child (fertility) your doctor will advise you to store sperm first.