Neuroendocrine
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Survival statistics for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

Survival statistics for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) 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 NETs and what they mean to you.

Observed survival

Observed survival is the percentage of people with a particular cancer who are alive at a certain point in time after their diagnosis. For example, a 5-year observed survival of 70% means that, on average, people have a 7 in 10 chance of being alive 5 years after their diagnosis. Observed survival does not consider the cause of death, so the people who are not alive 5 years after diagnosis could have died from cancer or from another cause. It is often used when talking about a person’s prognosis.

Survival by location and stage

Survival varies with the location and stage of each NET.

Many NETs grow slowly.Generally, the earlier NETs are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome. There are effective treatments available for NETs.

NETs are often found by chance (incidentally) while looking for or treating another problem. They can be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are often vague.

There are no specific Canadian statistics available for NETs. 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. Treatment options have improved since the observed survival statistics for NETs below were calculated.

The following table shows survival statistics for grade 1 and grade 2 NETs. The grade is a description of how the cancer cells look compared to normal cells. When describing the stage, doctors may use the terms local, regional or distant. Local means that the cancer is only in the organ and has not spread to other parts of the body. Regional means close to or around the organ. Distant means in a part of the body farther from the organ.

5-year observed survival by stage

Location of the tumourLocalRegionalDistant

stomach

73%

65%

25%

duodenum

68%

55%

46%

jejunum or ileum

65%

71%

54%

cecum

68%

71%

54%

appendix

88%

78%

25%

colon

85%

46%

14%

rectum

90%

62%

24%

lung

84%

72%

27%

pancreas

79%

62%

27%

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain characteristics 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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