Testicular Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Stages of Testicular Cancer
There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.
The three ways that cancer spreads in the body are:
- Through tissue. Cancer invades the surrounding normal tissue.
- Through the lymph system. Cancer invades the lymph system and travels through the lymph vessels to other places in the body.
- Through the blood. Cancer invades the veins and capillaries and travels through the blood to other places in the body.
When cancer cells break away from the primary (original) tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another (secondary) tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually breast cancer cells. The disease is metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.
The following stages are used for testicular cancer:
Stage 0 (Carcinoma in Situ)
In stage 0, abnormal cells are found in the tiny tubules where the sperm cells begin to develop. These abnormal cells may become cancer and spread into nearby normal tissue. All tumor marker levels are normal. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.
In stage I, cancer has formed. Stage I is divided into stage IA, stage IB, and stage IS and is determined after a radical inguinal orchiectomy is done.
- In stage IA, cancer is in the testicle and epididymis and may have spread to the inner layer of the membrane surrounding the testicle. All tumor marker levels are normal.
- In stage IB, cancer:
All tumor marker levels are normal.
- is in the testicle and the epididymis and has spread to the blood vessels or lymph vessels in the testicle; or
- has spread to the outer layer of the membrane surrounding the testicle; or
- is in the spermatic cord or the scrotum and may be in the blood vessels or lymph vessels of the testicle.
- In stage IS, cancer is found anywhere within the testicle, spermatic cord, or the scrotum and either:
- all tumor marker levels are slightly above normal; or
- one or more tumor marker levels are moderately above normal or high.