Pituitary gland
tumours

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Survival statistics for pituitary gland cancer

Survival statistics for pituitary 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 pituitary gland cancer and what they mean to you.

Net survival

Net survival represents the probability of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. It is used to give an estimate of the percentage of people who will survive their cancer.

In Canada, 5-year net survival statistics for pituitary gland cancer are included in a group called other endocrine cancers, which 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 net survival for other endocrine cancers is 63%. This means that about 63% of people diagnosed with other endocrine cancer will survive for at least 5 years.

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 pituitary gland cancer. But the United States has reported survival statistics for pituitary gland cancer. They likely have similar outcomes to Canada. According to US statistics, the 5-year relative survival is 64%. This means that, on average, people diagnosed with pituitary gland cancer are 64% as likely to live at least 5 years after their diagnosis as people in the general population.

The 10-year US relative survival is 42%.

Questions about survival

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

  • your health history
  • the type and size of the tumour
  • if and where the cancer has spread
  • certain characteristics of the cancer
  • 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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