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Cancer of Unknown Primary: Statistics

What are statistics?

Some people use numbers called statistics to figure out their chances of getting cancer. Or they use them to try to figure out their chance of being cured. Because no two people are alike, statistics can’t be used to predict what will happen to one person. The statistics below describe large groups of people. They do not take into account a person's own risk factors, such as family history, behaviors, or cancer screenings. If you have questions, talk with your healthcare provider.

What are statistics for cancer of unknown primary?

Cancer of unknown primary is often called CUP. Having CUP means that your healthcare provider is not able to find where the cancer first started. This is called the primary site.

The following are some statistics about CUP:

According to the American Cancer Society, about 34,170 cases of CUP will be diagnosed in 2016 in the U.S. It’s estimated that CUP represents about 2% of all cancers. The exact numbers are unknown because in some cases of CUP, the primary site is found. Better medical tests may decrease the number of cases of CUP from now on.


Online Medical Reviewer: Gersten, Todd, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2016
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