Decorative image

Survival

Survival for lung neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) depends on different factors. So no one call tell you exactly how long you will live.

These are general statistics based on large groups of people. 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.

What affects survival

Survival depends on many factors. It depends on the type of lung NET, its stage and the grade of the tumour when it was diagnosed. The stage describes the size of the tumour and whether it has spread. The grade means how abnormal the cells looks under a microscope. 

Another factor is how well you are overall.

Survival for lung NETs

There are no UK survival statistics for the different types of lung NETs. The statistics below are from European studies. 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.

Survival for typical carcinoid (TC)

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

Survival for atypical carcinoid (AC)

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

Survival for large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC)

More than 25 out of every 100 people (more than 25%) with LCNEC survive for 5 years or more.

Survival for small cell lung cancer (SCLC)

The survival of SCLC sadly hasn’t improved much in the last 25 years. Most people with SCLC are diagnosed when their cancer has spread beyond a single area that can be treated with radiotherapy (extensive stage).

Limited stage SCLC
Between 20 and 40 out of every 100 people (between 20% and 40%) with limited stage SCLC survive for 2 years or more.  

Between 10 and 13 out of every 100 people (between 10% and 13%) with limited stage SCLC survive 5 years or more.

Extensive stage SCLC
Less than 5 out of every 100 people (less than 5%) with extensive stage SCLC survive 2 years or more. Between 1 and 2 out of every 100 people (between 1% and 2%) with extensive stage SCLC survive 5 years or more.

About these statistics

The terms 2 year survival and 5 year survival does not mean that you will only live for 2 or 5 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 2 years or 5 years after their diagnosis of lung NET. 

Some people live much longer than 5 years.

You can call the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, if you would like to discuss anything further after reading this page.
Last reviewed: 
14 May 2018
  • 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
    P Filosso and others
    European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 2015. Vol 48, Issue 3, Pages 441-447

  • 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
    P Filosso and others
    European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 2015. Vol 48, Issue 1, Pages 55-64

  • Small cell lung cancer: have we made any progress over the last 25 years?
    B Lally and others
    The oncologist, 2007. Vol 12, Number 9, Pages 1096-1104

  • Lung cancer statistics
    Cancer Research UK 

  • The information on this page is based on literature searches and specialist checking. We used many references and there are too many to list here. Please contact patientinformation@cancer.org.uk with details of the particular issue you are interested in if you need additional references for this information.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.