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Survival

Find out about survival for carcinoid. These statistics are general and should only be used as a guide.

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

These are general statistics based on large groups of patients. 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 with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Survival for different tumour sites

Carcinoid tumours are a type of neuroendocrine tumour that tend to grow slowly. The statistics here are for all types of neuroendocrine tumours, including carcinoid tumours.

There are no UK wide statistics available for the different carcinoid tumour sites.

The following statistics were collected in a study in England and Wales between 1986 and 1999. They are for people with well differentiated neuroendocrine tumours in their digestive system.

The term well differentiated refers to what the cancer cells look like under the microscope. Well differentiated tumour cells look similar to normal cells and tend to grow slowly. Medium differentiated cells look less normal. Poorly differentiated tumour cells are unlike normal cells and tend to grow quickly.

Stomach

More than 50 out of 100 people with well differentiated neuroendocrine tumours in the stomach (more than 50%) will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Small bowel

Around 60 out of 100 people with well differentiated neuroendocrine tumours in the small bowel (around 60%) will survive for 5 years or more after they are diagnosed.

Pancreas

Around 40 out of 100 people with well differentiated neuroendocrine tumours in the pancreas (around 40%) will survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Bowel (colon)

65 out of 100 people with well differentiated neuroendocrine tumours in the bowel (65%) will survive for 5 years or more after diagnosis.

Lung

The statistics for lung carcinoid tumours come from 2 large European studies.

Typical carcinoid in the lung

Almost 95 out of 100 people with typical carcinoid of the lung (almost 95%) survive for 5 years or more.

Atypical carcinoid in the lung

More than 75 out of 100 people with atypical carcinoid of the lung (more than 75%) survive for 5 years or more.

Large cell neuroendocrine tumours of the lung

More than 25 out of 100 people with large cell neuroendocrine tumours of the lung (more than 25%) survive for 5 years or more.

Survival by stage for neuroendocrine tumours in the digestive system

There are no UK wide statistics available for outcome by stage for neuroendocrine tumours.

The following statistics are from America and are for people with neuroendocrine tumours in the digestive system. This includes the pancreas and the liver, as well as lung neuroendocrine tumours that have spread to the liver or lymph nodes in the liver. We do not have any survival statistics for the different stages of lung carcinoid.

Please be aware that due to differences in health care systems, data collection and the population, these figures may not be a true picture of survival in the UK.

These statistics are split into groups, depending on what the cancer cells look like under the microscope (the grade). Well differentiated tumour cells look similar to normal cells and tend to grow slowly. Medium differentiated cells look less normal. Poorly differentiated tumour cells are unlike normal cells and tend to grow quickly.

Survival also depends on where the cancer is localised, regional or metastatic:

  • localised spread means the neuroendocrine tumour has not spread through the wall of the organ it started in
  • regional spread means the neuroendocrine tumour has gone through the wall of the organ it developed in and is now in the surrounding tissue
  • metastatic spread means the neuroendocrine tumour has spread to another part of the body, for example the liver or lungs

In people who have well or medium differentiated tumours:

  • more than 80 out of 100 people with localised spread (more than 80%) will survive for 5 years or more
  • almost 70 out of 100 people with regional spread (almost 70%) will survive for 5 years or more
  • 35 out of 100 people with metastatic spread (35%) will survive for 5 years or more

In people who have poorly differentiated tumours:

  • almost 40 out of 100 people with localised spread (almost 40%) will survive for 5 years or more
  • around 20 out of 100 people with regional spread (around 20%) will survive for 5 years or more
  • around 5 out of 100 people with metastatic spread (around 5%) will survive for 5 years or more

What affects survival

Your outcome depends on the type of tumour and its stage when it was diagnosed. The stage means how big it is and whether it has spread.

Your likely survival also depends on where the carcinoid tumour is in your body.

How the tumour looks under the microscope affects your likely survival. Doctors call this differentiation or grade.

Your age also affects your outcome.

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. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year or 5 years after their diagnosis of cancer.

Some people live much longer than 5 years.

Last reviewed: 
31 Mar 2017
  • Guidelines for the management of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine (including carcinoid) tumours (NETs)
    JK Ramage and others
    Gut 2012, Volume 61, Issue 1

  • Prognostic model of survival for typical bronchial carcinoid tumours: analysis of 1109 patients on behalf of the European Association of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) Neuroendocrine Tumours Working Group
    PL Filosso and others
    European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2015 September, Volume 48, Issue 3

  • Clinical management of atypical carcinoid and large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma: a multicentre study on behalf of the European Association of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) Neuroendocrine Tumours of the Lung Working Group
    PL Filosso and others
    European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 2015 July, Volume 48, Issue 1

  • Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology (10th edition)
    VT DeVita , TS Lawrence, SA Rosenberg
    Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 2015

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