Carcinoid Tumor: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 08/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people are diagnosed with this type of tumor each year. You will also learn some general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. To see other pages, use the menu.

It is estimated that 12,000 people are diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor each year in the United States. As explained in the Introduction section, the most common places these tumors develop are in the GI tract and the lungs. The number of carcinoid tumors diagnosed has been increasing, but the reason for this is unknown.

Carcinoid tumors in the GI tract

Each year, about 8,000 adults in the United States are diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor in their GI tract. The most common place in the GI tract for this type of tumor is the small intestine. People are most often diagnosed in their early 60s.

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the cancer is found. Percent means how many out of 100. However, the survival rate depends on many factors, including the location of the tumor.

The 5-year survival rate for people with a GI carcinoid tumor that has not spread to other parts of the body ranges from 65% to 90%, depending on where the carcinoid tumor is located. If this type of tumor has spread to nearby tissue or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival ranges from 46% to 78%. If the tumor has spread to distant areas of the body, survival rates range from 14% to 54%.

Carcinoid tumors in the lung

Each year, an estimated 4,000 adults in the United States are diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor in their lung. Carcinoid tumors make up 1% to 2% of all lung cancers.

The 5-year survival rate for people with a typical lung carcinoid tumor is 85% to 90%. People diagnosed with an atypical lung carcinoid tumor have a 5-year survival rate of 50% to 70%.

Interpreting statistics

It is important to remember that statistics on how many people survive this type of cancer are an estimate. The estimate comes from data based on thousands of people with this cancer in the United States each year. So, your own risk may be different. Doctors cannot say for sure how long anyone will live with a carcinoid tumor. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means that the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Source: American Cancer Society.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by this type of tumor. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.