What is the rate of incidence of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors?

Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery

Carcinoid tumors are relatively rare but the numbers are growing due to increased imaging and screening endoscopy of the general population. According to the SEER program (surveillance, epidemiology and end results program) of the national cancer institute, the age-adjusted incidence for carcinoid tumors is approximately 4.7 per 100,000. For African Americans it was approximately 6.46. The median age was 63 years old. The risk was increased for those individuals with a first degree relative in their family history.

Of the estimated 11,000 to 12,000 annual cases of neuroendocrine cancers and tumors in the United States, about two-thirds are located in the digestive tract - adding up to about 7,300 to 8,000 cases of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor each year. Most commonly, people are diagnosed with this cancer around age 60. African Americans are at a higher risk than whites for developing carcinoid tumors, as are women when compared to men.

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