Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

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Early Detection, Diagnosis, and Staging TOPICS

Survival rates for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors

Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person's prognosis (outlook). Some patients with cancer may want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you decide that you do not want to know them, stop reading here and skip to the next section.

The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Of course, many people live much longer than 5 years (and many are cured). Also, people who have this cancer can die from something else. These survival rates, called observed survival rates, do not take this into account.

To get 5-year survival rates, doctors have to look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outlook for people now being diagnosed with carcinoid tumors and cancers.

Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they cannot predict what will happen in any particular person's case. Many other factors may affect a person's outlook, such as treatment received, the grade of the tumor and its growth rate, and the patient's age and health. Your doctor can tell you how the numbers below may apply to you, as he or she is familiar with the aspects of your situation.

Most GI carcinoid tumors are found while they are still localized, but this does vary based on the organ they start in. Tumors of the stomach, duodenum (the first part of the small intestine), appendix, and rectum are likely to be found before they have spread. In contrast, many tumors of other parts of the small intestine (the jejunum/ileum) and the colon (including the cecum) have already spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes or to distant sites when they are first diagnosed.

The following 5-year survival rates are based on people diagnosed with carcinoid (well and moderately differentiated neuroendocrine tumors) between 1988 and 2004:

5-year observed survival rates

    Site

    Localized

    Regional

    Distant

    Stomach

    73%

    65%

    25%

    Duodenum

    68%

    55%

    46%

    Jejunum/ileum

    65%

    71%*

    54%

    Cecum

    68%

    71%*

    54%

    Appendix

    88%

    78%

    25%

    Colon

    85%

    46%

    14%

    Rectum

    90%

    62%

    24%

*These numbers are correct as written (the 5-year survival for regional stage is slightly better than for localized stage)


Last Medical Review: 12/31/2013
Last Revised: 12/31/2013