Staging of testicular cancer
Staging is the process of finding out how far the cancer has spread. This is very important because the type of treatment and the outlook for your recovery depend on the stage of the cancer. Staging testicular cancer can be a complex process. Many factors are involved. If you have testicular cancer, ask your cancer care team to explain staging in a way that you can understand.
Stages may be labeled using Roman numerals I through III (1-3). As a rule, the lower the number, the less the cancer has spread. A higher number, such as stage III (3), means a more advanced cancer. Knowing all you can about staging lets you take a more active role in making decisions about your treatment.
Another use of the TNM system for more advanced disease takes into account tumor markers (substances made by cancer cells) and groups the cancer as good, intermediate, or poor outlook. Some doctors give stronger chemotherapy to patients who are in a higher-risk category.
Last Medical Review: 05/16/2012
Last Revised: 01/28/2013