Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor - GIST: Statistics

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 11/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about how many people learn they have 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.

Each year, approximately 4,000 to 5,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with a GIST. The most common locations in the body are in the stomach (60% of people with GIST) and small intestine (30% of people with GIST). The remaining types of GISTs mostly start in the rectum, colon, and esophagus.

Most people with GIST, even those with disease that has spread, live for years after a diagnosis. The specific survival rate (the percentage of people who survive after the cancer is detected, excluding those who die from other diseases) for people with GIST depends on several factors, including specific biologic characteristics of the tumor and its risk of coming back after treatment. In addition, the pace of GIST treatment research has been rapid in the past decade, particularly since the 2002 approval of the drug imatinib (Gleevec) that will be discussed further in the section on Treatment Options.

Survival statistics should be interpreted with caution. Estimates are based on data from thousands of people with this type of tumor in the United States each year, but the actual risk for a particular individual may differ. It is not possible to tell a person how long he or she will live with GIST. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Source: American Cancer Society.

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