Adrenal gland
cancer

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Survival statistics for adrenal gland cancer

Survival statistics for adrenal gland cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for adrenal gland cancer and what they mean to you.

Relative survival

Relative survival looks at how likely people with cancer are to survive after their diagnosis compared to people in the general population who do not have cancer but who share similar characteristics (such as age and sex).

In Canada, a separate 5-year relative survival statistic is not reported for adrenal gland cancer. It is included in the general category of other endocrine cancers. This broad category includes similar cancers that are grouped and reported together. This statistic does not necessarily reflect the actual survival for the individual cancers within the group.

The 5-year relative survival for other endocrine cancers is 63%. This means that, on average, people diagnosed with other endocrine cancers are 63% as likely to live at least 5 years after their diagnosis as people in the general population.

Survival by stage and tumour type

Survival varies with each stage and particular type of tumour for adrenal gland cancer.

There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the different stages or types of adrenal gland cancer. The following information comes from a variety of sources. It includes statistics from other countries that are likely to have similar outcomes as in Canada.

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) survival

Stage5-year relative survival

local – cancer is only in an adrenal gland

65%

regional – cancer has grown into nearby tissues or spread to nearby lymph nodes

44%

distant – cancer has spread to other parts of the body

7%

Cancerous pheochromocytoma survival

The total 5-year relative survival for cancerous pheochromocytoma is 65%. The 5-year relative survival for cancerous pheochromocytoma that is only in the adrenal gland (local) is 83%. Statistics for regional and distant disease are not available because the number of cases is very small.

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis (predicting the outcome). A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain features of the cancer
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

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