TNM system for testicular cancer
Testicular cancer staging describes how large a cancer is, whether or not the disease has spread and if it is producing tumor markers, in addition to the the level of those proteins in the serum, or blood. The staging guidelines developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) are often used in testicular cancer staging.
The stages are based on four categories:
- T – Describes whether the tumor has spread to tissues near the testicle.
- N – Indicates whether the testicular cancer cells have spread to regional lymph nodes.
- M – Refers to whether the cancer has metastasized (spread to distant areas of the body).
- S – Indicates the level of tumor marker proteins in the serum, or blood.
Once the individual T, N, M and S components are scored, they are combined to determine the overall testicular cancer stage group.