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Survival

Survival for testicular cancer is very high. Nearly all men are cured.

This page gives detailed information about the survival rates for the different stages of testicular cancer.

People ask us for this information but not everyone diagnosed with cancer wants to read it. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can always come back to it later.

The statistics here are intended as a general guide and can't tell you what is likely to happen in your individual case.

About cancer statistics

Doctors collect statistical information about different types of cancer and outlook. The outlook is the likely outcome of your cancer and treatment. It means your chances of getting better and how long you are likely to live. This is also called a prognosis.

Statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. They cannot predict exactly what will happen to you. No two patients are exactly alike. The response to treatment also varies from one person to another.

You may find it helpful to read our guidance on understanding cancer statistics before you read the rest of this page. 

What survival means

You should feel free to ask your doctor about your outlook. But they cannot tell you for sure what will happen.

They may use the terms '1, 2, or 5 year survival'. This does not mean you will only live for 1, 2 or 5 years. Doctors follow what happens to people for several years after treatment in research studies. ‘Survival’ relates to the number of people in that research who were still alive 1, 2, or 5 years after diagnosis.

You can also talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).

Survival by stage

There are no UK-wide statistics available for testicular cancer survival. 

Survival statistics are available for the different stages of testicular cancer in one area of England. These figures are for men diagnosed between 2002 and 2006. They don't provide information about the type of testicular cancer or tumour marker level.

The figures below are for 4 stages of testicular cancer. Your doctor may use a different system that only has 3 stages.

Stage 1

Almost all men survive their cancer for five years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 1 means the cancer is only in the testes.

Stage 2

Almost 95 out of 100 men (almost 95%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 2 means the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.

Stage 3

More than 80 out of 100 men (more than 80%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 3 means the cancer has spread to lymph nodes further away from the testicles: for example, in the armpit or neck.

Stage 4

Around 80 out of 100 men (around 80%) survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 4 is now classed as a stage 3C cancer. It means the cancer has spread to other organs in the body, such as the lungs. This is called metastatic cancer.

Survival if the cancer has spread

Researchers and doctors have use a system for trying to predict the outcome for men with testicular cancer that has spread. Men's outlook is defined as having good prognosis, intermediate prognosis or poor prognosis.

Your prognosis is worked out slightly differently, depending on whether you have:

  • pure seminoma testicular cancer
  • non seminoma testicular cancer

No UK-wide survival statistics are available for testicular cancer that has spread. The survival statistics below are from a large international study.

Pure seminoma

Pure seminoma means that there are no teratoma cells in the tumour. You will have normal Alpha fetoprotein (AFP) marker levels if you have pure seminoma.

There are two categories of outlook for pure seminoma testicular cancer – good prognosis and intermediate prognosis. No one with pure seminoma is classified as having a poor prognosis.

Good prognosis

Almost 90 out of every 100 men (almost 90%) survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Most men have a good prognosis. Good prognosis means that the seminoma has spread only to the lymph nodes or the lungs. It has not spread anywhere else. 

Intermediate prognosis

More than 70 out of every 100 men (more than 70%) survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Intermediate prognosis means that the seminoma has spread beyond the lung or lymph nodes to other parts of the body, such as the brain or liver. 

Non seminoma

There are three categories of outlook for non seminoma testicular cancer that has spread – good prognosis, intermediate prognosis and poor prognosis.

Good prognosis

More than 90 out of every 100 men (more than 90%) survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed. 

Good prognosis means that your primary cancer was in your testicle, or at the back of your stomach or abdomen (retroperitoneal). It may have spread to the lungs or lymph nodes, but has not spread to anywhere else in your body. Your markers are only slightly above normal (S1 in the TNM staging system).

Intermediate prognosis

80 out of every 100 men (80%) survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Intermediate prognosis is the same as good prognosis, except that your markers are higher – moderately above normal (S2 in the TNM staging system).

Poor prognosis

Almost 50 out of 100 men (almost 50%) will survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Poor prognosis means that:

  • the primary cancer started in your chest (mediastinum) or
  • the cancer has spread to somewhere in your body other than the lungs or lymph nodes, such as the liver or brain

You may also be in this category if your marker levels are high (S3 in the TNM staging system).

Survival for all stages of testicular cancer

The outlook for testicular cancer is one of the best for all cancers. Nearly all men are cured.

In England and Wales:

  • almost all men will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • almost all men (98%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis

Unlike some other cancers, it is rare for testicular cancer to come back more than 5 years later. The overall figures support this. The 5 year and 10 year survival figures are virtually the same.

Clinical trials

Taking part in clinical trials can help to improve the outlook for people with mesothelioma.

More statistics

You can read more statistics on survival rates and other factors for testicular cancer in our Cancer Statistics section.

Last reviewed: 
07 Sep 2014
  • Statistics for Five-Year Relative Survival by Stage, Men (Aged 15-99 Years)

    Former Anglia Cancer Network, 2002-2006

    These statistics are for relative survival. Relative survival takes into account that some people will die of causes other than cancer. This gives a more accurate picture of cancer survival.

     

  • Survival for all stages of cancer from the Cancer Research UK Statistical Information Team

  • Guidelines on testicular cancer European Association of Urology, 2015

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