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Cancer Health Center

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Testicular Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage Information for Testicular Cancer

Table 5. Site-Specific Prognostic Factorsa continued...

In addition to the clinical stage definitions, surgical stage may be designated based on the results of surgical removal and microscopic examination of tissue.

Stage 0

Stage 0 testicular cancer is testicular intraepithelial neoplasia (TIN), which is also referred to as intratubular germ cell neoplasia (ITGCN). TIN is analogous to carcinoma in situ. In most cases, TIN is diagnosed as a result of an orchiectomy that was performed to remove an invasive germ cell tumor (pT1-T4); generally, TIN has already been removed from the body at the time of diagnosis and requires no treatment. A more challenging situation arises if a biopsy is performed of the contralateral testis and TIN is discovered. Because of the low incidence and low mortality rates associated with contralateral germ cell tumors, such biopsies are performed rarely in the United States; therefore, TIN is almost never diagnosed in testicles that do not also have an invasive tumor. Consequently, a treatment decision about TIN in stage 0 testicular cancer is rarely faced in the United States. Treatment options for ITGCN include radiation therapy, surveillance, and orchiectomy.

Stage I

Stage I testicular cancer is limited to the testis. Invasion of the scrotal wall by tumor or interruption of the scrotal wall by previous surgery does not change the stage but does increase the risk of spread to the inguinal lymph nodes, and this must be considered in treatment and follow-up. Invasion of the epididymis tunica albuginea and/or the rete testis does not change the stage. Invasion of the tunica vaginalis or lymphovascular invasion signifies a T2 tumor, while invasion of the spermatic cord signifies a T3 tumor, and invasion of the scrotum signifies a T4. Increases in T stage are associated with increased risk of occult metastatic disease and recurrence. Men with stage I disease who have persistently elevated serum tumor markers after orchiectomy are staged as IS, but stage IS nonseminomas are treated as stage III. Elevated serum tumor markers in stage I or II seminoma are of unclear significance except that a persistently elevated or rising hCG usually indicates metastatic disease.

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