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Survival

Insulinoma is a type of neuroendocrine tumour (NET) that starts in the insulin making cells of the pancreas. Survival for insulinomas depends on different factors. So no one can tell you exactly how long you will live.

Doctors usually work out the outlook for a certain disease by looking at large groups of people. Because insulinomas are so rare, the survival for this disease is harder to estimate than for other, more common cancers.

These are general statistics based on small groups of people. Remember, they can’t tell you what will happen in your individual case. Your specialist doctor can give you more information about your own outlook (prognosis).

You can also talk about this with the Cancer Research UK nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040, from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

What affects survival

Survival depends on many factors. It depends on the stage and grade of the insulinoma when it was diagnosed and your overall health. The stage describes the size of the cancer and whether it has spread. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under a microscope. 

Survival for insulinomas

There are no UK survival statistics for people with insulinoma. The statistics below are from a European study. Please be aware that due to differences in health care systems, data collection and the population, these figures may not be a true picture of survival in the UK.

About 55 out of every 100 people (55%) diagnosed with insulinoma survive for 5 years or more.

Survival for NETs of the pancreas

In the UK, no statistics are available for the survival of all the different types of pancreatic NETs. This is because researchers haven’t collected this information yet. The information we have here is the 1 year survival for all types of pancreatic NETs.

This information is from people diagnosed in England between 2013-2015. Because this is for England only, it might not be the same for the whole of the UK.

Around 80 out of every 100 people (80%) diagnosed with a pancreatic NET survive for 1 year or more. 

About these statistics

The term 1 year, 5 year and 10 year survival does not mean that you will only live for 1, 5 or 10 years. They relate to the number of people who are still alive 1 year, 5 years or 10 years after their diagnosis.

Some people live much longer than 10 years.

What next?

You might want to read our information about treatment for insulinomas. 

Last reviewed: 
11 Jul 2019
  • Malignant insulinoma: recommendations for characterisation and treatment
    E Baudin and others
    Annals of Endocrinology, 2013. Vol 74, Issue 3, Pages 168-173

  • 1-Year survival rates for neuroendocrine tumour patients in England
    T Genus and others Public
    Health England, 2017

  • Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs): incidence, prognosis and recent trend toward improved survival
    T Halfdanarson and others
    Annals of Oncology, 2008. Vol 19, Pages 1727-1733 

  • ENETS Consensus Guidelines Update for the Management of Patients with Functional Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors and Non-Functional Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
    M Falconi and others
    Neuroendocrinology, 2016. Vol103, Pages 153–171

  • Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Pancreas
    F Ehehalt and others
    The Oncologist, 2009. Vol 14, Pages 456-467

  • European disparities in malignant digestive endocrine tumours survival
    C Lepage and others
    International Journal of Cancer, June 2010. Vol 126, Issue 12, Pages 2928-2934

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