Mortality and Second Cancer Incidence After Treatment for Testicular Cancer: Psychosocial Health and Lifestyle Are Modifiable Prognostic Factors

J Clin Oncol. 2022 Aug 10;40(23):2588-2599. doi: 10.1200/JCO.21.02105. Epub 2022 Apr 5.


Purpose: To evaluate whether selected modifiable patient-reported adverse health outcomes (AHOs) in testicular cancer survivors (TCSs) represent prognostic factors of overall mortality, cancer mortality, and first-time non-germ cell second cancer (SecCa) incidence.

Patients and methods: In 775 long-term TCSs (diagnosis: 1980-1994) who previously participated in a quality-of-life survey, 20-year mortality and SecCa incidence were compared between the surgery group (n = 272) and TCSs after platinum-based chemotherapy (PBCT; n = 503). A PBCT standard group (total cisplatin: ≤ 630 mg: n = 124) was separated from a PBCT high subgroup (total cisplatin: > 630 mg; n = 379). Univariate and multivariate analyses (Kaplan-Meier; Cox proportional hazard analyses) included age, treatment, and prior major physical comorbidity as nonmodifiable factors, whereas low socioeconomic status, unhealthy lifestyle, probable depression disorder, and neurotoxicity were modifiable AHOs.

Results: For all TCSs, the cumulative overall 20-year mortality was 14% (95% CI, 11.8 to 16.8). Rising age, PBCT high, and comorbidity significantly increased the risk of overall mortality rate. Compared with a low-risk group (no AHO; n = 446) and with exception of neurotoxicity, this risk was further significantly enhanced by 80% in TCSs of a medium-risk group (one or two AHOs; n = 278). In men of a high-risk group (three AHOs; n = 47), the probability of overall mortality and of cancer mortality was eight-fold and five-fold increased, respectively. Risk grouping did not influence on SecCa incidence.

Conclusion: Self-reported unfavorable modifiable AHO concerning lifestyle and psychosocial health are in TCSs independently and significantly associated with increased overall mortality and cancer mortality. Health professionals and the TCSs themselves, particularly those after PBCT high, should continuously be aware of these risk factors attempting maximal reduction of these AHOs and thereby supporting long-term survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cisplatin
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary* / chemically induced
  • Prognosis
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / drug therapy


  • Cisplatin

Supplementary concepts

  • Testicular Germ Cell Tumor