Carcinoid Tumor: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2015

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

It is estimated that 12,000 people are diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor each year in the United States. As explained in the Overview 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. Carcinoid tumors make up about 1% of cancers of the GI tract. The most common place in the GI tract for this type of tumor is the small intestine.

The five-year survival rate is the percentage of people who survive at least five years after the cancer is found. The five-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 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 fewer than 5% of all lung cancers. The five-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 five-year survival rate of 50% to 70%.

Interpreting statistics

Cancer survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. These estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of cancer in the United States each year, so the actual risk for a particular individual may be different. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with a carcinoid tumor. Because survival statistics are measured in five-year intervals, they may not represent advances made in the treatment or diagnosis of this cancer. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Source: American Cancer Society.

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations and it offers drawings of body parts often affected by this type of tumor. Or, use the menu on the left side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.