Survival for testicular cancer
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.
Your doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).
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
Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019
Office for National Statistics
These figures are for people diagnosed in England between 2013 and 2017.
These statistics are for net survival. Net survival estimates the number of people who survive their cancer rather than calculating the number of people diagnosed with cancer who are still alive. In other words, it is the survival of cancer patients after taking into account that some people would have died from other causes if they had not had cancer.
Survival if the cancer has spread
Researchers and doctors use a system to try and predict your outlook. This is for 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 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. These are good prognosis and intermediate prognosis. No one with pure seminoma is classified as having a poor prognosis.
- 95 out of every 100 men (95%) 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.
- almost 90 out of every 100 men (almost 90%) survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis
Intermediate prognosis means that the seminoma has spread beyond the lung or lymph nodes. It has spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain or liver.
There are three categories of outlook for non seminoma testicular cancer that has spread. These are good prognosis, intermediate prognosis and poor prognosis.
- around 95 out of every 100 men (around 95%) 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).
- around 90 out of every 100 men (around 90%) survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis
Intermediate prognosis is the same as good prognosis. But your markers are higher. They are moderately above normal (S2 in the TNM staging system).
- more than 65 out of 100 men (more than 65%) 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).
Pure seminoma survival
Survival and New Prognosticators in Metastatic Seminoma: Results From the IGCCCG-Update Consortium
International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group.
J Beyer and others
Journal of Clinical Oncology (2021) May 10, Volume 39, Issue 14, pages 1553-1562.
Non seminoma survival
Predicting Outcomes in Men With Metastatic Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumors (NSGCT): Results From the IGCCCG Update Consortium
International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group.
S. Gillessen and others
Journal of Clinical Oncology (2021) May 10, Volume 39, Issue 14, Pages 1563-1574
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.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and researchers collect information. They watch what happens to people with cancer in the years after their diagnosis. 5 years is a common time point to measure survival. But some people live much longer than this.
5 year survival is the number of people who have not died from their cancer within 5 years after diagnosis.
Taking part in clinical trials can help to improve the outlook for people with testicular cancer.
You can read more statistics on survival rates and other factors for testicular cancer in our Cancer Statistics section.