ON THIS PAGE: You will find information about the number of people who are diagnosed with a pancreas neuroendocrine tumor (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.
Pancreas NETs are uncommon. This year, an estimated 4,032 people in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease. Pancreas NETs account for less than 2% of all cancers in the pancreas. The number of all diagnosed NETs has been increasing for years. This increase is thought to be in part due to finding smaller tumors when imaging is done for another reason, as well as better awareness of and diagnostic tests for this type of tumor.
The average age of diagnosis for a pancreas NET is 60. However, when these types of tumors are the result of a genetic syndrome (see Risk Factors), the age of diagnosis is generally earlier, during childhood or young adulthood. Men are slightly more likely to develop the disease than women.
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. The 5-year survival rate for people with a pancreas NET is 54%.
However, the survival rate depends on a variety of factors, including whether the tumor can be removed using surgery. The 5-year survival rate for people with pancreatic NET that has not spread to other parts of the body from where it started is 93%. If the tumor has spread to nearby tissue or the regional lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 77%. If the tumor has spread to distant areas of the body, the survival rate is 27%.
It is important to remember that statistics on the survival rates for people with a pancreas 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. So the estimate may not show the results of better diagnosis or treatment available for less than 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 (January 2020).
The next section in this guide is Medical Illustrations. It offers drawings of body parts often affected by a pancreas NET. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.