Carcinoid Tumors

Below you will find more information about Carcinoid Tumors from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Carcinoid Tumors it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Carcinoid Tumors and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Carcinoid Tumors comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Carcinoid tumors pertain to rare growths of potentially cancerous masses in several areas of the body. They most commonly occur in the lungs and in the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, appendix, small intestine, rectum, and colon.

Diagnosis

Carcinoid tumors may be difficult to diagnose because they do not show symptoms in early stages. In most cases, carcinoids are discovered during a routine test or procedure for an unrelated condition. Diagnostic tests used to detect carcinoid tumors include: blood tests; urine tests; computerized tomography scans; and a biopsy.

Treatment

Carcinoid tumor treatment depends on whether it has metastasized to other parts of the body. If the tumor has not spread, it can be surgically removed and no further treatment is required. If the cancer has progressed to widespread proportions, other treatment options include: slowing the tumor's growth through regular injections of the octreotide (Sandostatin); stopping blood supply to the tumor; killing cancer cells with heat through radiofrequency ablation; and chemotherapy.

Symptoms and Signs

Carcinoid tumors are rare and relatively distinct compared to other forms of cancers. They usually grow at a slow rate and hardly become asymptomatic until late in the disease. Even when viewed under a microscope, carcinoid tumors may deceivingly resemble benign growths, even if they have already metastasized. When symptoms do appear, they are often vague and resemble those of other conditions, such as skin flushing, diarrhea, abdominal pain, chest pain, pneumonia, and various other symptoms depending on the location of the tumor.

Causes

The exact cause of carcinoid tumors is currently not known, but these tumors typically develop from cells in the neuroendocrine system. When these neuroendocrine cells undergo changes or mutations that cause them to grow too much, carcinoid tumors result.

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