This year, an estimated 7,920 men in the United States will be diagnosed with testicular cancer. It is estimated that about 370 deaths from this disease will occur this year. Almost all of these deaths are from cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and could not be effectively treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or surgery, but some are from complications from chemotherapy and/or surgery.
The overall five-year relative survival rate of people with testicular cancer is 95%. What this means is that for every 100 men diagnosed with testicular cancer, there are five additional deaths in the five years after diagnosis compared to the death rate among men the same age in the general population. This number includes all men diagnosed with testicular cancer. The survival rate is higher for men diagnosed with early-stage cancer and lower for men with later-stage cancer. For men with cancer that has not spread beyond the testicles (Stage 1; see Staging), the survival rate is about 99%. For men with cancer that has spread to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes (lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen), the survival rate is about 96% but depends on the size of the lymph nodes with cancer. For men with cancer that has spread to distant areas outside the testicles, the survival rate is 73%.
For patients with more widely spread cancer (Stage 3), the disease is classified into one of three categories—good risk, intermediate risk, or poor risk—to better predict a man’s prognosis (chance of recovery). (For more details, refer to the chart listed in the Staging section.) For men in the good-risk Stage 3 group, the five-year survival rate is 91%. Men in the intermediate-risk group have a five-year overall survival rate of 79%, and men in the poor-risk group have a five-year overall survival rate of 48%. However, these survival rates are based on patients who received treatment more than 10 years ago, so they may not reflect how long a man recently diagnosed with testicular cancer will live after receiving more current treatments. Although the success rate of treatment is lower for patients with poor-risk disease, many men with poor-risk disease can be cured.
Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States each year, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a man how long he will live with testicular cancer. Because the survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent recent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.
Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society's publication, Cancer Facts Figures 2013.