Cancer Home > Testicular Cancer Staging

Lymphangiography is a procedure that is used to x-ray the lymph system. In this procedure, a dye is injected into the lymph vessels in the feet. The dye travels upward through the lymph nodes and lymph vessels. X-rays are taken to see if there are any blockages. This test helps determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Abdominal Lymph Node Dissection
Abdominal lymph node dissection is a procedure that is used to examine lymph nodes in the abdomen. In this procedure, lymph nodes are removed and checked for cancer cells. For patients with nonseminoma (one type of testicular cancer), removing the lymph nodes may help stop the spread of disease. Cancer cells in the lymph nodes of seminoma (another type of testicular cancer) can be treated with radiation therapy.
(Click Types of Testicular Cancer for more information about seminomas and nonseminomas.)
Radical Inguinal Orchiectomy and Biopsy
This is a procedure that is used to remove the entire testicle through an incision in the groin. A tissue sample from the testicle is then viewed under a microscope to check for cancer cells. In this procedure, the surgeon will not cut through the scrotum into the testicle to remove a sample of tissue for biopsy because if cancer is present, this procedure could cause the cancer to spread into the scrotum and lymph nodes.
Blood Tumor Marker Test
A blood tumor marker test is a procedure in which a sample of blood is examined to measure the amounts of certain substances released into the blood by organs, tissues, or tumor cells in the body. Certain substances are linked to specific types of cancer when found in increased levels in the blood. These substances are called tumor markers. The following three tumor markers are used for testicular cancer staging:
  • Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)
  • Beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG)
  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).
After a radical inguinal orchiectomy and biopsy, tumor marker levels are measured again to determine the stage of the cancer. This procedure will help to show if all of the cancer has been removed or if more testicular cancer treatment is needed. Tumor marker levels are also measured during follow-up to see if the cancer has recurred.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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