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Statistics and outlook for carcinoid

Men and women discussing carcinoid cancer

This page is about statistics and what they can tell us about the outlook for people with carcinoid tumours.

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Statistics and outlook for carcinoid

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Doctors call this prognosis. With carcinoid, the likely outcome depends on where it started in the body, and how advanced it is when it is diagnosed (the stage).

On this page, we have quite detailed information about the likely outcome of carcinoid of the digestive system and the lung. The statistics we use are taken from a variety of sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check every section of CancerHelp UK. They are intended as a general guide only. For the more complete picture in your case, you’d have to speak to your own specialist.

We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wants to read this type of information. 

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your outlook.

 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the Treating carcinoid section.

 

 

What you need to know about the information on this page

This page contains quite detailed information about the survival rates of different stages of carcinoid tumour. We have included it because people ask us for this. But not everyone who is diagnosed with a cancer wants to read this type of information. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment, you might like to skip this page for now. You can always come back to it.

Please note: There are no national statistics available for different stages of cancer or treatments that people may have had. The statistics we present here are pulled together from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of CancerHelp UK. We provide statistics because people ask us for them. But they are only intended as a general guide and can’t be used to predict exactly what will happen to you.

 

Cancer statistics in general

Our section on cancer statistics explains more about different types of these statistics. Unless you are very familiar with medical statistics, it might help to read this before you read the information below.

Remember – Doctors often use the term 5 year survival. This doesn’t mean you will only live 5 years. It refers to the number of people in research who are still alive 5 years after they were diagnosed. In research studies, doctors follow what happens to people for 5 years after treatment. This is so they can compare how well different treatments work. Some studies follow what happens to people for 10, 15 or 20 years.

 

The outlook for carcinoid

Out of all the people diagnosed with carcinoid tumours – of whatever stage or type – somewhere between 68 and 77 out of 100 (68 – 77%) will live for more than 5 years.

Your outlook varies depending several things, including where your carcinoid started in the body. Often it is not possible to know where the carcinoid started. There is information below on

  • Carcinoid in the digestive system
  • Carcinoid in the lung

Carcinoid in the digestive system

The outlook for carcinoid tumours in the digestive system varies, depending on the stage of your carcinoid. Overall, more than 90 out of 100 people (90%) live for more than 5 years if the carcinoid started in the appendix. Carcinoids of the appendix are less likely to spread into the surrounding tissue than carcinoids from other parts of the body. They are unlikely to have spread to other parts of the body when they are diagnosed. So they generally have a fairly good outlook.

If your carcinoid is localised (it hasn’t spread outside the part of the digestive system it started in), 93 out of 100 people (93%) live for at least 5 years.

If the carcinoid has spread to lymph nodes, 74 out of 100 people (74%) live for at least 5 years.

If the carcinoid has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic carcinoid), between 28 and 41 out of every 100 people (28 - 41%) live for at least 5 years. Do remember that statistics are only ever a general guide, and you will need to talk to your own cancer specialist about your own outlook.

Lung carcinoid

Overall, about 80 out of 100 people (80%) diagnosed with lung carcinoid live for at least 5 years, if the disease is localised (Stage 1 - 2). If the carcinoid has spread to lymph nodes far away from the original tumour, or it has spread to other organs (Stage 3 – 4), between 14 and 26 people out of 100 (14 – 26%) live for at least 5 years. People with typical lung carcinoid tend to do better than those with atypical carcinoid. Atypical lung carcinoid is likely to be more advanced by the time it is diagnosed.

 

How reliable these statistics are

No statistics can tell you exactly what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. For example, the same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people.

The statistics are not detailed enough to tell you

  • About the different treatments people may have had
  • How that treatment may have affected their prognosis

There will be many individual factors that could affect your individual prognosis, including the treatment you have and how you respond to it. So you will need to discuss this with your own specialist to get a more accurate picture.

 

Clinical trials

Research and clinical trials have been improving the treatments and outlook for people with carcinoid tumours. In our trials and research section, you can find out more about clinical trials and can search our trials database for clinical trials looking into carcinoid tumours. Pick ‘neuroendocrine (NET)’ from the dropdown menu of cancer types.

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Updated: 9 January 2014