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Testicular Cancer Stages and Treatments

in NJ, CT, MD, and the Washington, D.C., Area

After a patient receives a diagnosis of testicular cancer, doctors will determine the cancer’s stage. Cancer staging identifies the extent of the cancer, such as whether it is contained to the organ or tissue where it began, or whether it has spread to nearby areas or throughout the body. This staging process helps physicians select the most appropriate treatment. The experienced oncologists of Regional Cancer Care Associates employ staging to develop and implement comprehensive treatment plans for patients with testicular cancer in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area.

What Is Testicular Cancer?

Cancer occurs when cells in the body start growing uncontrollably. This abnormal growth can cause tumors t to form and to interfere with the body’s normal processes and functions. Testicular cancer starts in the testes, organs located in the scrotum sac that hangs below the penis. Depending on the type of testicular cancer and its stage, reproductive, urinary, or abdominal processes may be affected. In addition, when cancer spreads through the lymph or blood systems, it can reach distant areas of the body and cause further problems.

Doctor using a tablet to explain testicular cancer stages to a patient

What Are the Stages of Testicular Cancer?

As noted, cancer staging is a system of categorization and an important element in determining cancer treatment plans. Determining a cancer’s stage also provides physicians with evidence-based insights into a patient’s long-term outlook – although each person is different and outcomes can vary widely between two patients with the same cancer and cancer stage because of factors such as age and overall health.

Testicular cancer stages are based on several factors, including the size of tumors, whether lymph nodes are involved, and whether the cancer has metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body. In assigning a testicular cancer stage, physicians draw on information from sources including physical examination, imaging, blood work, and biopsy.

While the stages of testicular cancer can be divided into subsets and described in great detail, there are four main stages:

  • Stage 0: Abnormal cells are found
  • Stage 1: Active cancer is found in cells
  • Stage 2: Cancer has spread outside the testicle but remains contained to the scrotum
  • Stage 3: Cancer has spread to nearby or distant parts of the body

Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Early detection of testicular cancer may be possible through awareness of symptoms and regular self-examination. Contact a medical professional if there are any noticeable changes in the testicles and remain alert for these testicular cancer symptoms:

  • Lump in the testicle, often without pain
  • Change in size or feeling (i.e., one testicle may be larger or firmer than the other)
  • Swelling in the scrotum or one or both legs
  • Pressure, weight, or ache in the scrotum or groin area
  • Breast soreness, or swelling, lumps, or other changes noticed in the breasts
  • Fluid collecting in the testicles
  • Early signs of puberty in boys
  • Belly or lower back pain

Testicular Cancer Risk Factors and Survival Rates

Testicular cancer affects boys and men of all ages and ethnicities. However, most diagnoses are seen in Caucasian males between the ages of 15 and 45. Here are the main known testicular cancer risk factors:

  • Age: Being between 15 and 45 years old
  • A man previously diagnosed with testicular cancer is at increased risk, as are men who have a close relative who developed the disease
  • Undescended testicle: This uncommon physiologic condition and other types of unusual testicle development can heighten the risk of contracting testicular cancer
  • HIV infection: Having human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) may increase the likelihood of developing testicular cancer
  • Race and ethnicity: White men are at higher risk than other racial groups, and testicular cancer is more prevalent in Europe and the U.S. than elsewhere in the world
  • Klinefelter Syndrome: Patients with this rare genetic disorder have an extra X chromosome and may be more likely to have testicular cancer

The American Cancer Society publishes relative five-year survival rates for testicular cancer.

When testicular cancer is localized (has not spread outside the testicles), the five-year survival rate is approximately 99%. If cancer travels to distant organs, the rate falls to 73%. This decline highlights the importance of early detection and treatment to achieve better outcomes.

Treatment Options for Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is often curable, especially when diagnosed in the early stages. Regional Cancer Care Associates’ oncologists offer several evidence-based treatment options for testicular cancer, with the preferred approach for a specific patient determined by his cancer stage, tumor type, age and overall health, among other factors. Treatments, which sometimes are used alone and other times are offered in conjunction with one another or one after the other, include:   

  • Surgery to remove the testicle, spermatic cord, and any tumors or affected lymph nodes
  • Radiation therapy to kill cancer cells in the testicle or within lymph nodes
  • Chemotherapy drugs taken intravenously or by mouth to kill cancer cells
  • Targeted therapy, which uses drugs that target the cancer cells without harming healthy cells

In some cases, physicians may recommend a strategy known as active surveillance, in which treatment is deferred in favor of closely monitoring low-risk tumors. A patient’s age and overall health, as well as the tumor type and stage, are considered when determining whether this may be the best initial approach.

Receive Expert Testicular Cancer Care with Regional Cancer Care Associates

Patients who have received a diagnosis of testicular cancer may consult with the highly experienced, compassionate medical professionals of Regional Cancer Care Associates. Obtain expert cancer care, as well as treatment for numerous blood disorders, at 25 convenient locations throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, and the Washington, D.C., area. Contact us to learn more.

Regional Cancer Care Associates — Cancer care you can trust

Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) offers high-quality, comprehensive and advanced treatment close to home. At RCCA, you’ll be treated by experts who are part of one of the largest cancer care networks in the country. We focus on every patient, individually, and work with you and your family to make sure your care is second to none.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (844) 346-7222. You can also schedule an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you.

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