Carcinoid Tumors

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Carcinoid Tumour

Carcinoid tumour is the cancer of neuroendocrine, the system that is responsible for the production of hormones. It is a rare cancer & the tumour usually grows in the intestines or appdendix, it may be found in the stomach, pancreas, lung, breast, kidney, ovaries or testicles as well.

Signs & symptoms of Carcinoid Tumour

The symptoms of carcinoid tumour depends on the location of the tumour.

  • A bowel carcinoid tumour causes pain in the lower abdomen, diarrhoea, constipation & bleeding from the rectum.
  • A carcinoid tumour in the lung may cause cough, breathlessness, pain in the chest & fatigue.
  • A carcinoid tumour in the stomach may cause loss of appetite, fatigue, pain in the stomach.

Causes & risk factors of Carcinoid Tumour

The exact cause of carcinoid tumour is not known, but there are certain factors that increases the risk of developing carcinoid tumour, which are: 

  • Having family history of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) increases the risk of developing carcinoid tumour.
  • People who are suffering from diabetes for a long time may develop carcinoid more likely.
  • Inflammation of stomach lining increases the risk of developing carcinoid tumour.
  • Smoking & intake of alcohol may also increases the risk of developing carcinoid tumour.
  • Obesity have double risk of carcinoid tumours.

Diagnosis of Carcinoid Tumour

Urine test

Urine test is done to check for amount of serotonin in the urine.

PET- CT scan

PET- CT scan is done to see the tumour & check if the cancer has spread anywhere else in the body.


MRI is a cross section picture of the body is created by the use of magnetism and radio waves.


Colonoscopy is used to check for bowel carcinoid tumour.


In Biopsy, a tissue from the affected area is removed & send to the lab to check for the presence of cancerous cells.


Endoscopy is done to look inside the body & see the presence of carcinoid tumour.

Treatment of Carcinoid Tumour

Carcinod Tumors are generally treated using a combination of the following: 

Surgical & other interventions


The surgical options includes:

  • Appendoictectomy- It is the surgical removal of the appendix.


  • Colectomy- It is the surgical removal of the colon.

Hepatic artery embolization

During hepatic artery embolization, the blood to a carcinoid tumour that has spread to the liver is blocked.

Somatostatin analogues

Somatostatin analogue stops the body from producing too may hormones & may also slow down the growth of tumor.


Chemotherapy is the use of anti-cancer drug that helps to slow or stop the growth of rapidly dividing cells that cause cancer. It prevents the growth of rapidly dividing cells by killing the dividing cells.

Despite its side effects, chemo is still the most widely used cancer treatment option. Unlike radiation and surgery which treats cancer cells at particular locations, chemotherapy drugs can kill cancer cells that have metastated (spread) to different organs in the body.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy is a kind of cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation beams to kill cancer cells to shrink the tumors. Radiation kills the cancer cells by destroying the DNA. Cancer cells with damaged DNA fail to multiply and die. They are then removed by the body’s mechanism.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is also nowadays used in cancer treatment. It is used to treat a spot of cancer that is causing problems such as pain or other discomfort, although it is generally not used as the primary treatment for most cancers. The radiologist uses imaging tests to guide a thin needle through the skin or through an incision and into the cancer tissue. High-frequency energy passes through the needle and causes the surrounding tissue to heat up, killing the nearby cells.

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