Neuroendocrine Tumor of the Gastrointestinal Tract: Statistics

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 02/2022

ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor of the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract NET) 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.

As explained in the Introduction, NETs often develop in the GI tract. The number of diagnosed NETs has been increasing for years, but the reason for this is unknown. This increase is thought to be related to improvements in the way NETs are diagnosed, including better imaging tests and endoscopy, and increased awareness of these tumors.

Each year, about 8,000 adults in the United States are diagnosed with a GI tract NET. The most common places in the GI tract for this type of tumor are the small intestine and rectum. 

The 5-year survival rate tells you what percent of people live at least 5 years after the tumor is found. Percent means how many out of 100. In general, the 5-year survival rate for a GI tract NET is 94%. However, the survival rate depends on many factors, including the specific location of the tumor.

The 5-year survival rate for people with a GI tract NET that has not spread to other parts of the body from where it started is 97%. If the tumor has spread to nearby tissue or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 95%. If the tumor has spread to distant areas of the body, the survival rate is 67%.

It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with a GI tract NET are an estimate. The estimate comes from annual data based on the number of people with this type of tumor in the United States. Also, experts measure the survival statistics every 5 years. This means the estimate may not reflect the results of advancements in how a GI tract NET is diagnosed or treated from the last 5 years. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about this information. Learn more about understanding statistics.

Statistics adapted from the American Cancer Society website. Additional source was Dasari A, et al.: Trends in the Incidence, Prevalence, and Survival Outcomes in Patients With Neuroendocrine Tumors in the United States. JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(10):1335–1342. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2017.0589. (All sources accessed February 2022.)

The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers a drawing of the main body parts often affected by a GI tract NET. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.