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Survival

Survival for testicular cancer is very high. Nearly all men survive their disease.

Survival depends on many factors, so no one can tell you exactly how long you’ll live. It depends on your individual condition, type of cancer, treatment and level of fitness.

Statistics for this cancer are harder to estimate than for other, more common cancers.

Some of the statistics have to be based on a small number of people. Remember, they can't tell you what will happen in your individual case.

Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

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

Survival for all stages of testicular cancer

The outlook for testicular cancer is one of the best for all cancers. Nearly all men survive their disease.

Generally in England:

  • more than 95 out of 100 men (more than 95%) will survive their cancer for 1 year or more after they are diagnosed
  • 95 out of 100 men (95%) will survive their cancer for 5 years or more after diagnosis
  • around 90 out of 100 men (around 90%) will survive their cancer for 10 years or more after diagnosis

Survival if the cancer has spread

Researchers and doctors use a system to try and predict the outcome for men with testicular cancer that has spread. Your outlook might be defined as:

  • good prognosis 
  • intermediate prognosis
  • 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).

What affects survival

Your outlook depends on the stage of the cancer when it was diagnosed. This means:

  • whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of your body
  • the level of certain substances (tumour markers) in your blood

The type and size of your testicular cancer also affects your likely survival.

About these statistics

The terms 1 year survival and 5 year survival don't mean that you will only live for 1 or 5 years. Some people live much longer than 5 years.

Clinical trials

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

More statistics

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

Last reviewed: 
05 Nov 2020
Next review due: 
05 Nov 2023
  • International Germ Cell Consensus Classification: a prognostic factor-based staging system for metastatic germ cell cancers.
    International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group.
    P Wilkinson and G Read
    Journal of Clinical Oncology 15, 2 (February 01, 1997)  pages 594-603.

  • Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019
    Office for National Statistics

  • Guidelines on testicular cancer European Association of Urology, 2015

  • Cancer Prinicples & Practice of Oncology (10th edition)

    V T DeVita, T S Lawrence and S A Rosenberg

    Wolters Klumer 2015

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