Survival statistics for testicular cancer | Cancer Research UK
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A quick guide to what's on this page

Testicular cancer statistics and outlook

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Doctors call this prognosis. The outlook for testicular cancer is one of the best for all cancers. Most men are cured, even after the cancer has spread. There are different types of testicular cancer and their prognosis statistics are slightly different. As with other types of cancer, your chances of recovery also vary depending on the stage of your cancer.

On this page, we have quite detailed information about the likely outcome of different stages and types of testicular cancer. The statistics are intended as a general guide only. For the more complete picture in your case, you’d have to speak to your own specialist.

We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wants to read this type of information. 

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your prognosis.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating testicular cancer section.

 

 

Testicular cancer survival

Find out about survival for testicular cancer.

People ask us for this information but not everyone with cancer wants to read it. So, if you aren’t sure whether you want to know at the moment, you can come back to it later.

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. They can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case.

No one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live with testicular cancer. It depends on your individual situation, treatment and level of fitness.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis). Or you can talk to the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.

 

Survival by stage

There are no UK-wide statistcs 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 do not provide information about the type of testicular cancer or tumour marker level. There is more information further down the page about how these factors affect outlook for testicular cancer that has spread. 

The figures below are for 4 stages of testicular cancer. This might seem confusing if your doctor uses a different staging system that only has 3 stages.

Stage 1

Almost all people will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 1 testicular cancer has not spread any further than the testes.

Stage 2

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

Stage 2 testicular cancer has spread to close by lymph nodes.

Stage 3

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

Stage 3 testicular 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%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Stage 4 testicular cancer has spread to other organs in the body such as the lungs, and is called metastatic cancer.

 

Survival if the cancer has spread

In 1997 researchers and doctors worked out a system for trying to predict the outcome for men with testicular cancer that has spread. Men's outlook is defined as good prognosis, intermediate prognosis or poor prognosis. 

The way your prognosis is worked out is slightly different, 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 AFP marker levels if you have pure seminoma. There are two categories

  • Good prognosis
  • Intermediate 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 must not have 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. 

No one with pure seminoma is classified as having a poor prognosis

Non seminoma testicular cancer

For non seminoma that has spread there are three categories

  • Good prognosis
  • Intermediate prognosis
  • 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 must not have 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 for good prognosis, except that the 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 else 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).  

Read more about testicular cancer staging

 

Survival for all stages of testicular cancer

The outlook for testicular cancer is one of the best for all cancers. 

Generally, for people with testicular cancer in England and Wales

  • around 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.

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

 

About these statistics

The term 5 year survival doesn't mean you will only live for 5 years. It relates to the number of people who live 5 years or more after their diagnosis of cancer. Many people live much longer than 5 years.

On this page the statistics for survival by stage and survival for all stages of testicular cancer are 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.

 

Clinical trials

Research evidence shows that taking part in clinical trials may improve outlook. No one is completely sure why this is. It is probably partly to do with your doctors and nurses monitoring you more closely if you are in a trial. For example, you may have more scans and blood tests. There is more information in the trials and research section.

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More statistics

Read more about understanding statistics in cancer research and incidence, mortality and survival statistics.

For more in-depth information about survival and other statistics for testicular cancer, go to our Cancer Statistics section.

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Updated: 10 September 2014