Carcinoid Tumor: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2018

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with a carcinoid tumor each year. You will also read general information on surviving the disease. Remember, survival rates depend on several factors. Use the menu to see other pages.

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. Most tumors are found in this localized stage. 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 average age of diagnosis is approximately age 60.

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%.

For the earliest stage of all carcinoid tumors in the lung, stage I (one), the 5-year survival rate is 93%. The 5-year survival rate for stage II (two) disease is 85% and stage III (three) disease is 75%. When the disease has spread to other parts of the body, the stage is called stage IV (four). The 5-year survival rate for stage IV carcinoid tumors in the lung is 57%.

Interpreting statistics

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with a carcinoid tumor are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this cancer in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 5 years. People should talk with their doctor if they have any questions about this information. 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 a carcinoid tumor. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.