Insulinoma is a type of neuroendocrine tumour (NET) that starts in the insulin making cells of the pancreas. Survival for insulinomas depends on different factors. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live.
Doctors usually work out the outlook for a certain disease by looking at large groups of people. Because insulinomas are so rare, the survival for this disease is harder to estimate than for other, more common cancers.
These are general statistics based on small groups of people. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case. Your specialist doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).
What affects survival
Survival depends on many factors. It depends on the stage and grade of the insulinoma when it was diagnosed and your overall health. The stage describes the size of the cancer and whether it has spread. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under a microscope.
Survival for insulinomas
There are no UK survival statistics for people with insulinoma. The statistics below are from a European study. 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.
About 55 out of every 100 people (55%) diagnosed with insulinoma survive for 5 years or more.
This 5 year survival rate comes from a European study that looked at 80 people diagnosed with insulinoma between 1985 and 1994. This study was done some time ago and people are now more likely to have different and better treatments.
European disparities in malignant digestive endocrine tumours survival
C Lepage and others
International Journal of Cancer, June 2010. Vol 126, Issue 12, Pages 2928-2934
Survival for NETs of the pancreas
In the UK, no statistics are available for the survival of all the different types of pancreatic NETs. This is because researchers haven’t collected this information yet. The information we have here is the 1 year survival for all types of pancreatic NETs.
This information is from people diagnosed in England between 2013-2015. Because this is for England only, it might not be the same for the whole of the UK.
Around 80 out of every 100 people (80%) diagnosed with a pancreatic NET survive for 1 year or more.
This 1 year survival rate comes from a study done by Public Health England. The study looked at 2,718 people diagnosed with a pancreatic NET in England between 2013 and 2015.
1-Year survival rates for neuroendocrine tumour patients in England
T Genus and others
Public Health England, 2017
About these statistics
The term 1 year, 5 year and 10 year survival does not mean that you will only live for 1, 5 or 10 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year, 5 years or 10 years after their diagnosis.
Some people live much longer than 10 years.
You might want to read our information about treatment for insulinomas.