What is it?

Carcinoid tumor is a type of neuroendocrine tumor that grows from neuroendocrine cells. Neuroendocrine cells receive and send messages through hormones to help the body function. Neuroendocrine cells are found in organs throughout the body. This tumor can be either benign, non-cancerous, or malignant.
Carcinoid tumors often grow very slowly. In children and young adults, carcinoid tumors are most often found in the appendix, called appendiceal carcinoid tumors, or in the lungs, called bronchial tumors. In adults, carcinoid tumors are most often found in the digestive tract. This tumor may spread to other parts of the body but does so more often in adults than children.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Malignant carcinoid Tumor
- Malignant Carcinoid Tumor of the Small Intestine
- Malignant Carcinoid Tumor of the Large Intestine
- Secondary Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Signs & symptoms

Some people with carcinoid tumors have symptoms, but others don’t. The symptoms of carcinoid tumor depend on where the tumor is inside the body.
If the tumor is located in your gut, you may feel abdominal pain, nausea or have diarrhea.
If the tumor is in your lungs, you may experience trouble breathing, chest pain, wheezing and bloody cough.
In rare cases, patients with carcinoid tumor may develop carcinoid syndrome which include feeling flushed, massive vomiting and diarrhea.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history, then he or she will perform a physical exam. The following tests will be done next:
- Blood and urine tests- to check for any abnormalities.
- Imaging tests such as CT scan, MRI or PET scan
- Biopsy- a small piece of the abnormal tissues is taken out so it can be viewed under a microscope.

Treatment

Treatment for each person will be unique, and may include the following:
- Surgery – to remove the tumor
- Somatostatin analogs- This medication may slow down the growth of the tumor when cancer cells have spread to other part of the body
- Targeted therapy- drugs or other substances that are aimed to attack specific tumor cells.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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